Wedding2point0: Wedding Ceremony Readings

Here are articles from our wedding websites: 


back to article index

Wedding links


(Many of these readings have been chosen by couples married by Beth and Mary. These readings may be used as vows, intentions, blessings, family readings or meditations for any parts of the ceremony)

We have been called together as witnesses

to the happiness which this couple

has found together

and to the pledge which they will now make

each to the other

for the mutual service

of their common life.


We rejoice with them,

that out of all the world

they have found each other.

And that they will henceforth find the deeper

meaning and richness of human life

in sharing it with each other.


Taught by our own joys,

By our own sorrows,

Even by our own failures,

We remind them

That in marriage

As in all life,

Whosoever insists upon saving his lesser goods

And his little self

Shall miss what is greater,


But whosoever forgets himself

In devotion to his beloved

And in consecration to their common enterprise,

Is surest to find a full and happy life - anon.


Marriage, Homer

There is nothing nobler and more admirable
Than when two people who see eye to eye
Keep house as man and wife,
Confounding their enemies -
And Delighting their friends

(Alternate translation:)

For there is nothing greater and better than this
 – when a husband and wife keep a household in oneness of mind,
a great woe to their enemies, and joy to their friends.


Love, Plato

Love is the joy of the good,
The wonder of the wise
The amazement of the Gods


Classical Chinese Poem – unknown


I want to be your friend forever and ever
When the hills are all flat
and the rivers run dry
When the trees blossom in winter
and the snow falls in summer,
when heaven and earth mix -
not till then will I part from you.


from the I Ching

When two people are at one
in their inmost hearts
They shatter even the strength of iron, of bronze

And when two people understand each other
in their inmost hearts
Their words are sweet and strong
like the fragrance of orchids.

"Married Love" by Kuan Tao-sheng (1263-1319)

translation #1:
You and I have so much love
That it burns like a fire,
In which we bake a lump of clay
Molded into a figure of you
And a figure of me.
The we take both of them,
And break them into pieces,
And mix the pieces with water,
And mold again a figure of you,
And a figure of me.
I am in your clay.
You are in my clay.
In life we share a single quilt,
In death we will share one bed.

translation #1:
Take a lump of clay, wet it, pat it,
And make an image of me, and an image of you.
Then smash them, crash them, and add a little water.
Break them and remake them into an image of you
And an image of me.
Then in my clay, there's a little of you.
And in your clay, there's a little of me.
And nothing ever shall us sever;
Living, we'll sleep in the same quilt,
And dead, we'll be buried together.



The Buddha

Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened.
Happiness never decreases by being shared.


Old German poem?

I am yours. You are mine.
Of this we are certain.
You are lodged in my heart, the small key is lost.
You must stay there forever.



The Sound of Silence by Raymondo Baughan

Here in the space between us and the world
lies human meaning

Into the vast uncertainty we call.
The echoes make our music,
sharp equations which can hold the stars,
and marvelous mythologies we trust.

This may be all we need
to lift our love against indifference and pain.
Here in the space between us and each other
lies all the future
of the fragment of the universe
which is our own.



from First Poems, by Rainer Maria Rilke


Understand, I’ll slip quietly
Away from the noisy crowd
When I see the pale
Stars rising, blooming over the oaks
I’ll pursue solitary pathways
Through the pale twilit meadows,
With only this one dream:
You come too.



Scaffolding by Seamus Heaney


Masons, when they start upon a building,
Are careful to test out the scaffolding;

Make sure that planks won't slip at busy points,
Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints,

And yet all this comes down when the job's done,
Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.

So if, my dear, there sometimes seem to be
Old bridges breaking between you and me

Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall
Confident that we have built our wall.


I love you, by Carl Sandburg

I love you. I love you for what you are,
but I love you yet more for what you are going to be.
I love you not so much for your realities as for your ideals.
I pray for your desires, that they may be great,
rather than for your satisfactions,
which may be so hazardously little.
A satisfied flower is one whose petals are about to fall.
But the most beautiful rose is one,
hardly more than a bud,
wherein the pangs and ecstasies of desire are working for larger and finer growth.
Not always shall you be what you are now.
You are going forward toward something great.
I am on the way with you and I love you    

 MARRIAGE by Carl Sandburg

Live long and laugh loud,
Sent on singing, singing,
Smashed to the heart
Under the ribs
With a terrible love.
Joy always,
Joy everywhere __
Let joy kill you!
Keep away from the little deaths.


To My Dear and Loving Husband,  Ann Bradstreet 1650


If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were lov'd by wife then thee:
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me ye women if you can.
I prize thy love more than the whole mines of gold,
Or all the riches that the East doth hold,
My love is such that rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee, give recompense


Love's Tranquillity, by Sir Philip Sidney

My true love hath my heart, and I have his
By just exchange one for the other given:
I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss,
There never was a better bargain driven:
My true love hath my heart, and I have his.

His heart in me keeps him and me in one,
My heart in him his thought and senses guides:
He loves my heart, for once it was his own,
I cherish his, because in me it bides


(Adapted from Erasmus On Marriage)

What more sweet than to live with one
with whom you are united in body and mind,
who talks with you in secret affection,
to whom you have committed
all your faith and your fortune?
What in all nature is lovelier?

You are bound to friends in affection.
How much more to a husband or wife
in the highest love,
with union of the body,
the bond of mutual vows
and the sharing of your goods!

Nothing is more safe, tranquil,
pleasant and lovable than marriage.



(He wishes for the cloths of heaven) by William Butler Yeats


Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams


El amor nace, Jose Marti

El amor nace
con el placer de contemplarse,

se alimenta
con la necesidad de verse,
y concluye con la imposibilidad
de separarse.

Love is born
with the pleasure of looking at each other, it is fed with the necessity of seeing each other, it is concluded with the impossibility of ever being apart.



Letters to a Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke

For one human being to love another human being
that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been entrusted to us, the ultimate, the final test and proof, The work for which all other work is but preparation…

Love is a high inducement for the individual to ripen become world in himself for the sake of another person ….human love… consists in this:  that two solitudes protect and border and greet each other.


…even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue to exist, a wonderful living side by side can grow up, if they succeed in loving the distance between them --which makes it possible for each to see the other against a wide sky! 


Another translation, from "Letters"


The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of [her] solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side by side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.



Sonnet 116, William Shakespeare

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments; love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no, it is an ever-fixèd mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his heighth be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not wit his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved



SONNET XVII, Pablo Neruda

I don’t love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
therefore, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom and carries

Hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where
I love you simply, without problems or pride:

I love you in this way because I don’t know another way of loving.
but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest in my hand:

so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.



two happy lovers make one bread by Pablo Neruda


Two happy lovers make one bread,
a single moon drop in the grass.
Walking, they cast two shadows that flow together;
waking, they leave one sun empty in their bed.

Of all the possible truths, they chose the day;
they held it, not with ropes but with an aroma.
They did not shred the peace; they did not shatter words;
their happiness is a transparent tower.
The air and wine accompany the lovers.
The night delights them with its joyous petals.
They have a right to all the carnations.
Two happy lovers, without an ending, with no death,

they are born, they die, many times while they live:
they have the eternal life of the Natural.



From Adam Bede by George Eliot,

What greater thing is there for two human souls

than to feel that they are joined for life,

to strengthen each other in all labor,

to rest on each other in all sorrow,

to minister to each other in all pain

to be one with each other in silent unspeakable memories

at the moment of the last parting?



From The Book and the Brotherhood by Iris Murdoch

I hereby give myself. I love you. You are the only being whom I can love absolutely with my complete self, with all my flesh and mind and heart. You are my mate, my perfect partner, and I am yours. You must feel this now, as I do. It was a marvel that we ever met. It is some kind of divine luck that we are together now. We must never, never part again. We are, here in this, necessary beings, like gods. As we look at each other we verify, we know, the perfection of our love, we recognize each other
Here is my life, here if need be, is my     death. 


by Anthony Powell Davies

When two individuals meet, so do two private worlds.  None of our private worlds is big enough for us to live a wholesome life in.  We need the wider world of joy and wonder, of purpose and venture, of toil and tears.  What are we, any of us, but strangers and sojourners, wandering through the nighttime until we draw together and find the meaning of our lives in one another, dissolving our fears in each other’s courage, making music together and lighting torches to guide us through the dark?   



from Captain Corelli’s mandolin, Louis de Bernieres.

Love is a temporary madness; it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.


from Anna Karenina, Tolstoi

Levin was happy, but having embarked on married life, he saw at every step that it was not at all what he had imagined. At every step he experienced what a man experiences when, after admiring the smooth, happy motion of a boat on a lake, he finds himself sitting in it himself. He found that it was not enough to sit quietly without rocking the boat, that he had constantly to consider what to do next, that not for a moment must he forget what course to steer or that there was water under his feet, that he had to row, much as it hurt his unaccustomed hands, that it was pleasant enough to look at it from the shore, but very hard, though very delightful, to sail it.


Marriage and Morals , Bertand Russell

It is therefore possible for a civilised man and woman to be happy in marriage, although if this is to be the case a number of conditions must be fulfilled. There must be a feeling of complete equality on both sides; there must be no interference with mutual freedom; there must be the most complete physical intimacy; and there must be a certain similarity in regard to standards of values. Given all these conditions, I believe marriage to be the best and most important relation that can exist between two human beings.


Excerpt from Goodridge v. Dept. Of Public Health, introduction by Massachusetts Supreme Court Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall,
the landmark case that legalized same-sex marriages in the
Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Marriage is a vital social institution. The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support; it brings stability to our society. … marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family. "It is an association that promotes a way of life, not causes; a harmony in living, not political faiths; a bilateral loyalty, not commercial or social projects."

Because it fulfils yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, marriage is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life's momentous acts of self-definition.

From A Natural History of Love by Diane Ackerman
Love. What a small word we use for an idea so immense and powerful it has altered the flow of history, calmed monsters, kindled works of art, cheered the forlorn, turned tough guys to mush, consoled the enslaved, driven strong women mad, glorified the humble, fueled national scandals, bankrupted robber barons, and made mincemeat of kings. How can love's spaciousness be conveyed in the narrow confines of one syllable.


Love is an ancient delirium, a desire older than civilization, with taproots stretching deep into dark and mysterious days.The heart is a living museum. In each of its galleries, no matter how narrow or dimly lit, preserved forever like wondrous diatoms, are our moments of loving and being liked.

* * * * *

A Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

A good relationship has a pattern like a dance, and is built on some of the same rules. The partners do not need to hold on tightly, because they move confidently in the same pattern, intricate but gay, and swift and free, like a country dance of Mozart's. To touch heavily would be to arrest the pattern and freeze the movement, to check the endlessly changing beauty of its unfolding. There is no place here for the possessive clutch, the clinging arm, the heavy hand; only the barest touch in passing. Now arm in arm, now face to face, now back to back - it does not matter which. Because they know they are partners moving to the same rhythm, creating a pattern together, and being invisibly nourished by it. The joy of such a pattern is not only the joy of creation or the joy of participation; it is also the joy of living in the moment. Lightness of touch and living in the moment are intertwined.  

* * * * *

Double Love Song by Thomas Whitebread

Open your heart, as if you could,
Let me come into it like fire,
And let me know it as dry wood,
Pretend your being is desire.

Then turn to sandstone, as you can
And let me flow like water through
Your pores toward air, where I began
As if your earth were all of you.


* * * * *

(To My Wife 1959) T.S.Eliot

To whom I owe the leaping delight
That quickens my senses in our waking time
And the rhythm that governs the repose of sleeping time,
The breathing in unison

Of lives whose bodies smell of each other
Who think the same thoughts without need of speech
And babble the same speech without the need of meaning
No peevish winter wind shall chill
No sullen tropic sun shall wither
The roses in the rose-garden which is ours and ours only.

But this dedication is for others to read:
These are private words addressed to you in public.


somewhere I have never traveled ee cummings

somewhere i have never traveled, gladly beyond

any experience, your eyes have their silence:

in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,

or which i cannot touch because they are too near


your slightest look will easily unclose me

though i have closed myself as fingers,

you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens

(touching skillfully, mysteriously) her first rose


or if your wish be to close me, i and

my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,

as when the heart of this flower imagines

the snow carefully everywhere descending;


nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals

the power of your intense fragility: whose texture

compels me with the color of its countries,

rendering death and forever with each breathing


(i do not know what it is about you that closes

and opens; only something in me understands

the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)

nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands



i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)

 i carry your heart with me(i carry it in

my heart)i am never without It (anywhere

i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done

by only me is your doing,my darling)

                                    i fear

no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet )i want

no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)

and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you

 here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows

higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

 i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart

love is more thicker than forget

love is more thicker than forget
more thinner than recall
more seldom than a wave is wet
more frequent than to fail
it is most mad and moonly
and less it shall unbe
than all the sea which only
is deeper than the sea
love is less always than to win
less never than alive
less bigger than the least begin
less littler than forgive
it is more sane and sunly
and more it cannot die
than all the sky which only
is higher than the sky   

* * * * *

The Confirmation By Edwin Muir

Yes, yours, my love, is the right human face.
I in my mind had waited for this long,
Seeing the false and searching for the true,
Then found you as a traveler finds a place
Of welcome suddenly amid the wrong
Valleys and rocks and twisting roads. But you,
What shall I call you? A fountain in a waste,
A well of water in a country dry,
Or anything that's honest and good, an eye
That makes the whole world bright. Your open heart,
Simple with giving, gives the primal deed,
The first good world, the blossom, the blowing seed,
The hearth, the steadfast land, the wandering sea.
Not beautiful or rare in every part.
But like yourself, as they were meant to be.

* * * * *
by James Lawson

Not from pride, but from humility
As mortals with human weaknesses
and strengths
You stand alone today
and promise faith.
Your faith you find as you live,
Each moment consecrated to
A search for Truth
And for that Good
Whose presence you have deeply felt.
From this time, until
the time you must rejoin the
earth from which you came,
Love the love in you that underlies
your actions.
and with each other,
share your wonder at the beauty
that you find
as Man and Wife

* * * * *

Poem XIII from Chamber Music by James Joyce

Go seek her out all courteously,
And say I come,
Wind of spices whose song is ever
O hurry over the dark lands
And run upon the sea
For seas and land shall not divide us
My love and me.
Now, wind, of your good courtesy
I pray you go,
And come into the garden
And sit at her window;
Singing: The bridal wind is blowing
For Love is at his noon;
And soon will your love be with you,
Soon, O soon.

* * * * *
"The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" by Delmore Schwartz
Come live with me and be my wife,
We'll seek the peaks and pits of life
And run the gauntlet of the heart
On mountains or the depths of art.
We'll do the most that thinking can
Against emotion's Ghenghis Khan.
And we will play on Hallowe'en
Like all souls on the silver screen,
Or at a masked ball ask for fun
Dancing dressed as monk and nun.
We'll ride a solemn music's boat
When humors cough in breast and throat.
When snow comes like a sailing fleet
We'll skate a ballet in the street,
Though poor as saints or rocks, immense
Our chatter's rich irreverence.
And sometimes speak of endless death
To quicken ever conscious breath.
If one becomes too serious,
The other can bring down the house
With jokes which seem hilarious
About the self's pretentious Ows.

I'll be your room-mate and your hoax,
The scapeghost of your gentle jokes.
Like Moliere's bourgeois gentleman,
You may discover you have been
Speaking blank verse all your life,
And hence you must become my wife.
For you will know of metaphors,
If I say aeroplanes are bores.
If these excursions seem to you
Interesting as a rendezvous,
Rich as cake and revenue,
Handsome as hope and as untrue,
And full of travel's points of view,
Vivid as red and fresh as dew,
Come live with me and try my life,
And be my night, my warmth, my wife.



Dance Me To The End Of Love by Leonard Cohen

Dance Me To The End Of Love by Leonard Cohen
Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic
'til I'm gathered safely in

Lift me like an olive branch
and be my homeward dove

Dance me to the end of love

Oh let me see your beauty
when the witnesses are gone

Let me feel you moving like they do in Babylon
Show me slowly what I only know the limits of
Dance me to the end of love

Dance me to the wedding now,
dance me on and on

Dance me very tenderly and dance me very long
We're both of us beneath our love,
we're both of us above

Dance me to the end of love

Dance me to the children
who are asking to be born

Dance me through the curtains
that our kisses have outworn

Raise a tent of shelter now,
though every thread is torn

Dance me to the end of love

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic
till I'm gathered safely in

Touch me with your naked hand
or touch me with your glove

Dance me to the end of love.




1 Corinthians, 13.

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all that I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

A Wedding Reading from The Buddhist Scriptures
The Buddha's sermon at Rajagaha; verses 19-22

19 "Do not deceive, do not despise each other anywhere. Do not be angry nor bear secret resentments; for as a mother will risk her life and watches over her child, so boundless be your love to all, so tender, kind and mild.

20 Cherish good will right and left, early and late, and without hindrance, without stint, be free of hate and envy, while standing and walking and sitting down, what ever you have in mind, the rule of life that is always best is to be loving-kind.

21 Gifts are great, founding temples is meritorious, meditations and religious exercises pacify the heart, comprehension of the truth leads to Nirvana, but greater than all is lovingkindness.

22 As the light of the moon is 16 times stronger than the light of all the stars, so lovingkindness is 16 times more efficacious in liberating the heart than all other religious accomplishments taken together."

From" The Gospel of the Buddha" Paul Carus, 1915, Open court Publishing source:"The Mahavagga" Sacred books of the East. Oxford, 1881-82

It is the union of you and me, Rabindranath Tagore (translated by Indu Dutt)

It is for the union of you and me
That there is light in the sky.
It is for the union of you and me
That the earth is decked in dusky green.
It is for the union of you and me
That night sits motionless with the world in her arms;
Dawn appears opening the eastern door
With sweet murmurs in her voice.
The boat of hope sails along the currents of
Eternity that union,
Flowers of the ages are being gathered together
For its welcoming ritual.

It is for the union of you and me
that this heart of mine, in the garb of a bride,
has proceeded from birth to birth
upon the surface of this ever-turning world
to choose the beloved.

 * * * * *

A prayer for a wedding11/29/63  by Joel Oppenheimer

because everyone knows exactly what’s good for another

because very few see

because a man and a woman may just possibly look at each other

because in the insanity of human relationships there still may come a time we say: yes, yes

because a man or a woman can do anything he or she pleases

because you can reach any point in your life saying: now, I want this

because eventually it occurs we want each other, we want to know watch other, even stupidly, even uglily

because there is at best a simple need in two people to try and reach some simple ground

because that simple ground is not so simple

because we are human beings gathered together whether we like it or not

because we are human beings reaching out to touch

because sometimes we grow….


We ask a blessing on this marriage

We ask that some simplicity be allowed

We ask happiness

We ask that this couple be known for what it is…

And that the light shine upon it

We ask a blessing for this marriage.”


 (note that many other poems may also be used as blessings)

Traditional Irish folklore Wedding Vows

Oh woman (man) loved by me,
mayst thou give me they heart,
they soul
and body. Amen

Promise between a bride and groom

Bride:To wed me, your promise I must be certain of,
so that we may live out our lives
in sweet contentment, love.

Groom: Here is my hand to hold with you,
to bind us for life
so that I'll grow old with you

From an old Irish poem

My love is no short year's sentence.
It is grief lodged under the skin,
Strength pushed beyond its bounds;
The four quarters of the world,
The highest point of heaven.

It is A heart breaking or
Battle with a ghost,
Outrunning the sky or
Courting an echo.
So is my love, my passion & my devotion
To him (her) to whom I give them.

Irish Blessing for a bride to her groom and vice versa:

You are the star of each night,
You are the brightness of every morning,
You are the story of each guest,
You are the report of every land.
No evil shall befall you, on hill nor bank,
In field or valley, on mountain or in glen.
Neither above, nor below, neither in sea,
Nor on shore,
In skies above, nor in the depths.
You are the kernel of my heart,
You are the face of my sun,
You are the harp of my music,
You are the crown of my company.

Celtic Traditional Vow 1

I honour your gods
I drink at your well
I bring an undefended heart to our meeting place
I have no cherished outcome
I will not negotiate by withholding
I am not subject to disappointment.

Celtic Traditional Vow 2

You cannot possess me for I belong to myself
But while we both wish it,
I give you that which is mine to give.

You cannot command me for I am a free person.
But I shall serve you in those ways you require
And the honeycomb will taste sweeter coming from my hand.

I pledge to you that yours will be the name I cry aloud in the night.
and the eyes into which I smile in the morning.

I pledge to you the first bite from my meat.
And the first drink from my cup.

I pledge to you my living, and my dying, equally in your care.
And tell no strangers our grievances.
This is my wedding vow to you
This is a marriage of equals.


BLESSING, by Gertrude Nelsen

May every blessing and grace be yours
May your love grow stronger and deeper with each passing year.
May joy and delight fill your home
May daily problems not vex you unduly
nor the desire for earthly possessions dominate you

May you have true friends to stay by you in joy and sorrow
And if children bless you, may they return your love many times over.
With wise and generous hearts
May you help all to come to you in need of comfort
and may you reach a ripe age together
content for having lived a life of goodness and worth

Traditional Inuit Wedding Vow

You are my husband/wife
My feet shall run because of you.
My feet dance because of you.
My eyes see because of you.
My mind thinks because of you.
And I shall love because of you.

* * * * *
Song of the
Open Road, Walt Whitman

Listen, I will be honest with you ...
I do not offer the old smooth prizes
But offer rough new prizes

These are the days that must happen to you:

You shall not heap up what is called riches,
You shall scatter with lavish hand

all that you earn or achieve.

However sweet the laid up stores,
However convenient the dwelling, 
   you shall not remain there.

However sheltered the port,

However calm the waters, 
   you shall not anchor there.

However welcome the hospitality that welcomes you,
   you are permitted to receive it but a little while.

Afoot and lighthearted, take to the open road
Healthy, free, the world before you

The long brown path before you, 
Leading wherever you choose.

Say only to one another:
         (may be used as a vow)

Camerado, I give you my hand!
I give you my love more precious than money; 
I give you myself before preaching and law:
Will you give me yourself?
Will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?"

 * * * * *

from The Twelve Gifts in Marriage by Charlene Costanzo


May you look for what is good in each other.
May you respect each other’s differences.
May you make time each day for moments of play.
Every day, may you be grateful.
May you show that you care when you come and go.
May you choose to love even when you feel unloving.
May you touch tenderly, speak kindly, and listen with attention.
May you be quick to say “I am sorry” as well as “I forgive.”
May life’s sorrows bring you closer together.
May troubles strengthen your commitment.
Again and again, may you renew your dreams.
And may you share your love with the world.
Living happily ever after is not the end of a fairy tale. It is the
common purpose that all life seeks.


 * * * * *



May the sun bring you new energies by day;
May the moon softly restore you by night.
May the rain wash away any worries you may have
And the breeze blow new strength into your being.

And all the days of your life,
May you walk gently through the world
And know its beauty.

Now you will feel not the rain, for each will shelter the other.
Now you will feel not cold, for each will warm the other.
Now you will feel not solitude, for each will company the other.
Now you are two persons, but both will lead one life.
When you go to your dwelling to enter into the days of your life,
May your days be good and long upon the earth.


May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields
And may the hand of a friend always be near.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

May God be with you and bless you:
May you see your children's children.
May you be poor in misfortune, Rich in blessings.
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.

May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home
May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you

This article by Mary Beaty, Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

Wedding links