Wedding Readings From Literature – Wedding Wednesday

Wedding Wednesday is a feature I created here to chronicle my wedding planning journey until August 17, 2012 when I get married! I’ll also be featuring fun bookish weddings and cute ideas I find around the blogosphere.

Jeez, you guys. I haven’t done a Wedding Wednesday in a while! I’ve doing a lot of random parts of the wedding planning lately and one of those is picking out readings for the ceremony. I always keep a notebook of quotes that I like from books I read or poems I come across.  Since I’m not having a bookish wedding myself (since obviously Will does not share this passion of mine), I do want to incorporate it in subtle ways and I think that a reading from a book I love would be great! I also put some shorter “love” quotes from books in here, even if they aren’t long enough for a reading, to maybe incorporate them into things like the program or something like that. The ones with asterisks are ones I’m really considering for the wedding!

* Great Expectations, Charles Dickens

“Once for all, I knew to my sorrow, often and often, if not always, that I loved her against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be.  Once for all; I loved her none the less because I knew it, and it had no more influence in restraining me, than if I had devoutly believed her to be human perfection.”  

*Sonnet 17

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, secretly, 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 know no other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you; so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.

The moment I heard my first love story I began seeking you,
not realizing the search was useless.
Lovers don’t meet somewhere along the way.
They’re in one another’s souls from the beginning.

I have for the first time found what I can truly love – I have found you. You are my sympathy – my better self—my good angel—I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my center and spring of life, wraps my existence about you—and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one. –

                  The Velveteen Rabbit ” by Margery Williams

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

“I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”

 

 The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

“Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.”

Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins

“The highest function of love is that it makes the loved one a unique and irreplaceable being.


Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever

There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.”

The Amber Spyglass)
by Philip Pullman

 

 “I will love you forever; whatever happens. Till I die and after I die, and when I find my way out of the land of the dead, I’ll drift about forever, all my atoms, till I find you again… I’ll be looking for you, every moment, every single moment. And when we do find each other again, we’ll cling together so tight that nothing and no one’ll ever tear us apart. Every atom of me and every atom of you… We’ll live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pine trees and in clouds and in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams… And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me, we’ll be joined so tight…” 

*Everything Is Illuminated: A Novel
by Jonathan Safran Foer

“If there is no love in the world, we will make a new world, and we will give it walls, and we will furnish it with soft, red interiors, from the inside out, and give it a knocker that resonates like a diamond falling to a jeweller’s felt so that we should never hear it. Love me, because love doesn’t exist, and I have tried everything that does.”

So which one is YOUR favorite? What other passages from books do you think would make a great reading for a wedding? Do share! I’m looking for more!

Can’t get enough of bookish weddings or planning a book themed wedding yourself?  Check out bookish Save the Dates or realistic bookish ideas for your wedding.

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 28 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating gelato, listening to music with oversized headphones and teaching her niece how to be as awesome as she is.

Comments

  1. Farrah Penn says:

    AHHHHH JAMIE. That passage from VELVETEEN never fails to make me tear up. Or cry. Both of which I'm doing now. The Dickens one, though, has to be my personal favorite :)

  2. Nina Reed says:

    I LOVE this post! I considered some of the same while I was still planning my wedding (we cancelled – felt like a waste of money since we're already married:P), but this is the reading I was going to use. It is not a traditional love reading, but it still brings tears to my eyes. Add the fact that my husband and I only ever met because he had Harry Potter listed as his favorite books in his online dating profile, and yeah – this is the one:

    "There is a room in the Department of Mysteries," interrupted Dumbledore, "that is kept locked at all times. It contains a force that is at once more wonderful and more terrible than death, than human intelligence, than forces of nature. It is also, perhaps, the most mysterious of the many subjects for study that reside there. It is the power held within that room that you possess in such quantities and which Voldemort has not at all. That power took you to save Sirius tonight. That power also saved you from possession by Voldemort, because he could not bear to reside in a body so full of the force he detests. In the end, it mattered not that you could not close your mind. It was your heart that saved you."

  3. Gabrielle Carolina says:

    That passage from Velveteen is one of the first things you read in my book, so obviously I have some tender affection for it, but the quote from Klauss's novel is just… ah, so breathtaking. *Happy sigh noises of amorous delight*

    G.C.

  4. Sash and Em says:

    I love love LOVE this post. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside and also want to cry (happy tears)!

  5. Sharon (Fictionally Inclined) says:

    Oh, so many things I love in this post. Neruda! The Truth About Forever! Pride and Prejudice! Jane Eyre! And I adore that passage from Great Expectations. Lovely. ♥

  6. Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) says:

    Oh gracious I was going to comment, but I'm having a moment from The Amber Spyglass. I'll be back after I'm done WEEPING.

    • I’m right there with you! One of the saddest happy endings EVER! Tears pouring down my face every time I read it.

      But I do love nearly every quote above and below :)

  7. Amy @ Tripping Over Books says:

    YO!! This is so lovely! Pablo Neruda's poem is one of my VERY FAVORITE poems. It's just so swoony! *SIGH*
    Also, one of my friends from library school got married recently, and while she didn't have any readings at her ceremony, she did put some passages into her program, and the quote from The Velveteen Rabbit was one of them. It was PERFCT. She also used the "real or not real" quote from Mockingjay.
    Whatever you choose, these are all bee-you-tee-ful. <333

  8. Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) says:

    Okay, I can see through my tears now. There's a teeny tiny part of The Lover's Dictionary that I love so much. "…That someone like me could find someone like you — it renders me wordless…" It comes from the dumbfounded definition. I wrote it down in my little notebook.

    All of these are very very precious quotes. I'd have to figure out how to work them all in! But myself, being a fangirl of TLD, I'd have my tiny snippet on the front of my program or on a gift tag or something, because in that part of the book, he was so speechless that he could find someone that could love him or even like him back.

  9. I love this post and I think it is a purely wonderful way to incorporate books into your wedding! My favorites will have to be Sonnet 17, Jane Eyre, and of course The Truth About Forever but no matter what you pick, I think it will be lovely!

  10. Kelsey@TheLostBookReports says:

    Ok I DIED and I might use this in my wedding!! Something I have been struggling with is My want to incorporate books, into my wedding while still be staying true to my theme and Also, cause then My Fiance will insist his love of Zombies be including (trust me he isn't joking, it took a full year to get him to compromise on having the zombie cake as a grooms cake and not our wedding cake) and another thing is wanting to include people in the wedding by doing readings, but I didn't want the typical stuff you hear at almost every wedding.

    Point is, this is Genius!!!!

  11. Can I cheat and say I love them all? This is a wonderful post. Like you, I enjoy collecting quotes from the books I read – and this sounds like a wonderful way to incorporate your love for reading into your wedding.

    Okay, I've decided to not cheat and pick a favorite… And it's Sonnet 17 :)

  12. Love these! The reading from my outdoor wedding…

    e.e. cummings: “i thank You God for most this amazing”

    i thank You God for most this amazing
    day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
    and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
    which is natural which is infinite which is yes

    (i who have died am alive again today,
    and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
    day of life and love and wings; and of the gay
    great happening illimitably earth)

    how should tasting touching hearing seeing
    breathing any – lifted from the no
    of all nothing – human merely being
    doubt imaginable You?

    (now the ears of my ears awake
    and now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

    • I used this one to, and my sister, who read it, gave us a framed copy of it printed beautifully that now hangs in our home and makes us happy every time we look at it.

  13. OMG. e.e. cummings is one of my favorites! HOW in the world did I not think of him! One of my faves is I Carry Your Heart. THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS! *flails* must go break open my book of e.e. cummings poems!!

  14. I love this post! I love that you included The Amber Spyglass, it is one of my favourites and soooo overlooked. Just in case you are interested, one of my favourite poems that always comes back to me is Edwin Morgan, 'When You Go'

    When you go,
    if you go,
    And I should want to die,
    there's nothing I'd be saved by
    more than the time
    you fell asleep in my arms
    in a trust so gentle
    I let the darkening room
    drink up the evening, till
    rest, or the new rain
    lightly roused you awake.
    I asked if you heard the rain in your dream
    and half dreaming still you only said, I love you.

  15. LianneLavoie says:

    Oh my goodness, that quote from The Amber Spyglass just brought me right back and almost had me crying again. The ending of that book seriously almost killed me. :P

  16. The Rumi quote is my favorite, I'd say, but I think the Jane Eyre quote would be perfect for a wedding!

    The Sonnet 17 quote is truly something, though. The language is so beautiful!

    So those three get my vote, for what it's worth :)

  17. My favorite is Sarah Dessen's! Short, sweet, and exact. It's one of my favorite quotes and would be perfect for your wedding!

  18. My friend who recently got married used the one from Velveteen Rabbit. I love it! This is a wonderful post. I really like them all.

  19. Catherine Coffman says:

    This is such a cute idea!!! I love the Velveteen Rabbit one!

  20. dangerousobservations.com says:

    I am in a Neruda mood as of late, I think that his writings are brill. But the Jane Eyre is perfection. Oh I like them all in so many ways!

  21. Estelle @ RBR says:

    These are some great options. In fact, I wish I would have seen this last year when I was writing my own wedding ceremony. I think we ended up using a Keats poem and a few songs instead of something from a book? Is it terrible that I don't remember? I love that Everything is Illuminated quote. I think you are off to a great start! :)

  22. Gabrielle_ says:

    My favorite are "Jane Eyre" and "Pride & Prejudice". I love this author and I love the XIX century <3

  23. Meg @ A Bookish Affair says:

    We made the Neruda one a part of our wedding! I love it!

  24. This is such a fun idea. I think my favorite is the one from Pride & Prejudice. Congrats on your upcoming wedding. :)

  25. What a lovely post :-)Hard to choose one but maybe a suggestion could be to use some of the smaller quotes as table names?
    Good luck with the wedding!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Hi, I am getting married 5days before you and came across your blog when searching for readings. I really like the Velveteen Rabbit piece! Thanks for the inspiration! I am also dying to know if you picked the dress you shared because it is the one I am wearing!

  27. I DID! Yay for having the same dress!!

  28. jcarp209 says:

    i love your wedding wednesdays. I got married two years ago and had a dog book themed wedding. My hubby and I met through our love of dogs. I am a elementary school librarian so I love to read. Hence books and dogs. Here's an idea that my guests loved. We had a free library book give away table. It was part of the favors. I collected books for about a year and then set up a table so that people could just take one that they fancied. I only had 2 books left mainly because they fell behind the table and no one saw them. Just a tip. Hope things are coming together. Thanks for the posts I love them.

  29. My husband and I had this read at our wedding.

    “…In marriage the point is not to achieve a rapid union by tearing down and toppling all boundaries. Rather, in a good marriage each person appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude and thus shows him the greatest faith he can bestow. The being together of two human beings is an impossibility; where it nonetheless seems to be present it is a limitation, a mutual agreement that robs one or both parts of their fullest freedom and development. Yet once it is recognized that even among the closest people there can remain infinite distances, a wonderful coexistence can develop once they succeed in loving the vastness between them that afford them the possibility of seeing each other in their full gestalt before a vast sky!

    For this reason the following has to be the measure for one’s rejection or choice: whether one wishes to stand guard at another person’s solitude and whether one is inclined to position this same person at the gates of one’s own depth of whose existence he learns only through what issues forth from this great darkness, clad in festive garb.”

    Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters on Life, p. 36.
    Trans. Ulrich Baer.

  30. These readings would be fabulous as part of table decor. I.E.

    naming a table “The Amber Spyglass Table” and having the quote on the back of the menus for that table/something equally awesome.

  31. How sweet The Velveteen Rabbit excerpt was! Paulo Celho’s book The Alchemist deals a lot with explaining love. One of my favorites from the book reads:
    “One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.”

  32. Anonymous says:

    So I saw this through Pintrest and just thought I’d share a short favorite love quote of my own.
    “Love is many things, none of them logical.”
    From The Princess Bride

  33. I like the Rumi one. Another favorite of mine is from Albert Camus’ book The Plague:

    “And he knew, also, what the old man was thinking as his tears flowed, and he, Rieux, thought it too: that a loveless world is a dead world, and always there comes an hour when one is weary of prisons, of one’s work, and of devotion to duty, and all one craves for is a loved face, the warmth and wonder of a loving heart.”

  34. So I just found this through Pinterest, and what a wonderful list! I started crying as soon as I read the Velveteen Rabbit quote, and I was almost sobbing by the end of the Amber Spyglass quote. I am going to try to find a way to work one (or both) of these into my wedding. The only problem is the mess I know I’ll be then – if they make me so emotional on a Tuesday, what will I do on my wedding day??? Hehe!

  35. I LOVE the velveteen rabbit it’s making me rethink the one I have picked out:

    The Invitation, by Oriah Mountain Dreamer 
    It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.

    I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your hearts longing.

    It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking a fool for love,
    for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.

    It doesn’t interest me what planets are square in your moon.

    I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow,
    if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed down from fear of further pain.

    I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving, to hide it, fade it, or fix it.

    I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human.

    It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true.

    I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true yourself;
    if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. I want to know if you can be faithful and therefore trustworthy.

    I want to know if you can see beauty even when it is not pretty every day, and if you can source your life on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the moon in God’s presence.

    It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.

    I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for the children.

    It doesn’t interest me who you know, or how you came here.

    I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

    It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.

    I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

    I want to know if you can be alone with yourself, and if you truly like the company you keep in empty moments.

  36. “We are all a little weird and Life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”

    -Dr. Suess

  37. Cassidy says:

    Poetry: Sonnet XLIII, Elizabeth Barrett Browning

    How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
    I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
    My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
    For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
    I love thee to the level of everyday’s
    Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
    I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
    I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
    I love thee with the passion put to use
    In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
    I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
    With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath,
    Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God choose,
    I shall but love thee better after death.

    And…Literature: From Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
    …he’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same…. If all else perished and he remained, I should still continue to be, and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a might stranger…. He’s always, always in my mind; not as a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.

    And…Literature: From From This Day Forward, Steve and Cokie Roberts
    Marriage is serious business and hard work. It’s not just becoming roommates, it’s becoming soul mates; it’s not just signing a license, it’s sharing a life. That explains our title. The words in the marriage ceremony “from this day forward” are scary. At the moment a couple exchanges those vows, they can never know what they really mean, what hills and valleys stretch out in front of them in the years ahead. But if you take the words seriously, there’s no going back. There’s only the future, unlimited and unknowable, and the promise to make the journey together.

    I love those and the one from Jane Eyre which will be used in my wedding. I was reading it for the millionth time when I met my fiancé.

  38. Tabatha says:

    We have the same wedding date!! I have the same issue as you do, my soon to be hubby doesn’t share my love of books. I love these readings though, they would be great! Thank you!

  39. Thank you for sharing. Here’s my favorite:
    Sonnets from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)
    XIV.
    If thou must love me, let it be for nought
    Except for love’s sake only. Do not say
    ‘I love her for her smile—her look—her way
    Of speaking gently,—for a trick of thought
    That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
    A sense of pleasant ease on such a day’—
    For these things in themselves, Belovèd, may
    Be changed, or change for thee,—and love, so wrought,
    May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
    Thine own dear pity’s wiping my cheeks dry,—
    A creature might forget to weep, who bore
    Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
    But love me for love’s sake, that evermore
    Thou mayst love on, through love’s eternity.
    ~~~~and~~~~~
    XLIII.
    How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
    I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
    My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
    For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
    I love thee to the level of everyday’s
    Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
    I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
    I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
    I love thee with a passion put to use
    In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
    I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
    With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath,
    Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God choose,
    I shall but love thee better after death.

  40. These are lovely! I have two favorites, myself. One is a little more spiritual and the second is just plain gorgeous:

    “ I will give you this, my love, and I will not bargain or barter any longer. I will love you, as sure as He has loved me. I will discover what I can discover and though you remain a mystery, save God’s own knowledge, what I disclose of you I will keep in the warmest chamber of my heart, the very chamber where God has stowed Himself in me. And I will do this to my death, and to death it may bring me. I will love you like God, because of God, mighted by the power of God. I will stop expecting your love, demanding you love, trading for your love, gaming for your love. I will simply love. I am giving myself to you, and tomorrow I will do it again. I suppose the clock itself will wear thin its time before I am ended at this altar of dying and dying again. God risked Himself on me. I will risk myself on you. And together, we will learn to love, and perhaps then, and only then, understand this gravity that drew Him, unto us.” – Donald Miller, “Blue Like Jazz”

    “You are the known way leading always to the unknown,
    and you are the known place to which the unknown is always
    leading me back. More blessed in you than I know,
    I possess nothing worthy to give you, nothing
    not belittled by my saying that I possess it.
    Even an hour of love is a moral predicament, a blessing
    a man may be hard up to be worthy of. He can only
    accept it, as a plant accepts from all the bounty of the light
    enough to live, and then accepts the dark,
    passing unencumbered back to the earth, as I
    have fallen tine and again from the great strength
    of my desire, helpless, into your arms.”
    -from “The Country of Marriage”, Wendell Berry

  41. Milanna says:

    This is my favourite!

    ” 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 its you are whatever 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.”

  42. Oh My lord!!! I can’t believe you have a Pullman quote on here– I’m in love with that man’s writing!!

  43. Natalie Taylor says:

    This is one of my favorites…

    Samuel M. Johnson: Lovers on a Park Bench

    The day with its cares and perplexities is ended and the night is now upon us. The night should be a time of peace and tranquility, a time to relax and be calm. We have need of a soothing story to banish the disturbing thoughts of the day, to set at rest our troubled minds, and put at ease our ruffled spirits.

    And what sort of story shall we hear? Ah, it will be a familiar story, a story that is so very, very old, and yet it is so new. It is the old, old story of love.

    Two lovers sat on a park bench, with their bodies touching each other, holding hands in the moonlight.

    There was silence between them. So profound was their love for each other, they needed no words to express it. And so they sat in silence, on a park bench, with their bodies touching, holding hands in the moonlight.

    Finally she spoke. “Do you love me, John?” she asked. “You know I love you, darling,” he replied. “I love you more than tongue can tell. You are the light of my life, my sun, moon and stars. You are my everything. Without you I have no reason for being.”

    Again there was silence as the two lovers sat on a park bench, their bodies touching, holding hands in the moonlight. Once more she spoke. “How much do you love me, John?” she asked. He answered: “How much do I love you? Count the stars in the sky. Measure the waters of the oceans with a teaspoon. Number the grains of sand on the sea shore. Impossible, you say.”

    “Yes and it is just as impossible for me to say how much I love you.”

    “My love for you is higher than the heavens, deeper than Hades, and broader than the earth. It has no limits, no bounds. Everything must have an ending except my love for you.”

    There was more of silence as the two lovers sat on a park bench with their bodies touching, holding hands in the moonlight.

    Once more her voice was heard. “Kiss me, John,” she implored. And leaning over, he pressed his lips warmly to hers in fervent osculation.

  44. Kirstyn says:

    Oh wow! I love Sonnet 17 by Pablo Neruda! I wouldn’t have thought to read it at a wedding. That’s a great idea. I think I may ask a friend to to do that if I start planning a wedding anytime soon, haha (: Thanks for the idea!

  45. This is beautiful!!! I did this at our wedding….there was a quote in one of Jan Karon’s books of the Mitford Series….I had it put in our programs and I used part of it in our vows. I just loved how it all came together! I absolutely love your choices….any of them would be wonderful!

  46. I like the Amber Spyglass one the best. It’s so powerful and emotional. It’s really great if you feel like you want to communicate an eternal love. I also really like the Jane Eyre one too

  47. melinda says:

    When we married 26 years ago, we had this read at our wedding. It is still true today.
    True love’s the gift which God has given
    To man alone beneath the heaven:
    It is not fantasy’s hot fire,
    Whose wishes, soon as granted, fly;
    It liveth not in fierce desire,
    With dead desire it doth not die;
    It is the secret sympathy,
    The silver link, the silken tie,
    Which heart to heart, and mind to mind
    In body and in soul can bind.

  48. Beverly M says:

    “He’s always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.”
    Emily Bronte

  49. My favorite, even if you aren’t religious has always been I Corinthians 13:4-8

    SONNET CXVI (116) (I know, I know, this has to be the most inevitable suggestion to everyone, from everyone, but I’m severely sentimental)
    By 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.
    Oh, no! it is an ever-fixed mark
    That looks on tempests.. and is never shaken.
    It is the star to every wandering bark
    Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
    Love is not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
    Within his bending sickle’s compass come.
    Love alters not with 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.

    Unending Love
    ~Rabindranath Tagore

    I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times…
    In life after life, in age after age, forever.
    My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs,
    That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms,
    In life after life, in age after age, forever.

    Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, it’s age old pain,
    It’s ancient tale of being apart or together.
    As I stare on and on into the past, in the end you emerge,
    Clad in the light of a pole-star, piercing the darkness of time.
    You become an image of what is remembered forever.

    You and I have floated here on the stream that brings from the fount.
    At the heart of time, love of one for another.
    We have played along side millions of lovers,
    Shared in the same shy sweetness of meeting,
    the distressful tears of farewell,
    Old love but in shapes that renew and renew forever.

    Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in you
    The love of all man’s days both past and forever:
    Universal joy, universal sorrow, universal life.
    The memories of all loves merging with this one love of ours -
    And the songs of every poet past and forever.

  50. I love this one from 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 last parting?”

    And I’ll be using this (highly edited) bit from “The Beatrice Letters” by Lemony Snicket:

    “I will love you as a thief loves a gallery and as a crow loves a murder. I will love you as a drawer loves a secret compartment, and as a secret compartment loves a secret, and as a secret loves to make a person gasp, and as a gasping person loves a glass of brandy to calm their nerves, and as a glass of brandy loves to shatter on the floor, and as the noise of glass shattering loves to make someone else gasp, and as someone else gasping loves a nearby desk to lean against, even if leaning against it presses a lever that loves to open a drawer and reveal a secret compartment. I will love you until all such compartments are discovered and opened, and until all the secrets have gone gasping into the world. I will love you until all the codes and hearts have been broken and until every anagram and egg has been unscrambled.

    I will love you as we grow older, which has just happened, and has happened again, and happened several days ago, continuously, and then several years before that, and will continue to happen as the spinning hands of every clock and the flipping pages of every calendar mark the passage of time, except for the clocks that people have forgotten to wind and the calendars that people have forgotten to place in a highly visible area. I will love you with no regard to the actions of our enemies or the jealousies of actors. I will love you no matter what is served in the world’s cafeterias or what game is played at each and every recess. I will love you no matter how many mistakes I make when trying to reduce fractions, and no matter how difficult it is to memorize the periodic table. I will love you if I never see you again, and I will love you if I see you every Tuesday. I will love you as a cufflink loves to drop from its shirt and explore the party for itself and as a pair of white gloves loves to slip delicately into the punchbowl. I will love you as the taxi loves the muddy splash of a puddle and as a library loves the patient tick of a clock. I will love you if you drop your raincoat on the floor instead of hanging it up.  I will love you as the dark spot loves the leopard, as the leech loves the ankle of a wader and as a corpse loves the beak of the vulture. I will love you as the doctor loves his sickest patient and a lake loves its thirstiest swimmer. I will love you as a starfish loves a coral reef and as a kudzu loves trees, even if the oceans turn to sawdust and the trees fall in the forest without anyone around to hear them.”

  51. I’m sure you have your ideas picked by now. Where was this post when I was planning my wedding? I labored over my choices. Here is what my husband and I settled on for our wedding a year ago:

    “Wedding Toast” by Richard Wilbur
    St. John tells how, at Cana’s wedding feast,
    The water-pots poured wine in such amount
    That by his sober count
    There were a hundred gallons at the least.

    It made no earthly sense, unless to show
    How whatsoever love elects to bless
    Brims to a sweet excess
    That can without depletion overflow.

    Which is to say that what love sees is true;
    That this world’s fullness is not made but found.
    Life hungers to abound
    And pour its plenty out for such as you.

    Now, if your loves will lend an ear to mine,
    I toast you both, good son and dear new daughter.
    May you not lack for water,
    And may that water smack of Cana’s wine.

    And an excerpt from Paulo Coehlo’s The Alchemist

    “When he looked into her eyes, he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke – the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love. Something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert. What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing. Because when you know the language, it’s easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether it’s in the middle of the desert or in some great city. And when two such people encounter each other, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one’s dreams would have no meaning.”

    Best wishes for a special day and a happy life together!

  52. Here is a website that I found full of quotes from Nicholas Sparks books. Talk about some romance. This man surely knows a love story. I have attached the website in case you are interested. I know we are cutting it close to your wedding date, so it may not do you any good.

    http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/2345.Nicholas_Sparks

    Katy

  53. My husband and I read our favorite poem together at our wedding ceremony, since feeling is first by e. e. cummings. I have this one memorized, of course. :)

    since feeling is first
    who pays any attention
    to the syntax of things
    will never wholly kiss you;

    wholly to be a fool
    while Spring is in the world

    my blood approves,
    and kisses are a better fate
    than wisdom
    lady i swear by all flowers. Don’t cry
    - the best gesture of my brain is less than
    your eyelids’ flutter which says

    we are for each other; then
    laugh, leaning back in my arms
    for life’s not a paragraph

    And death i think is no parenthesis

  54. Beautiful quotes. Thank you.
    Here is another:
    “Then they walked home together in the dusk, crowned the king and queen in the bridal realm of love, along winding paths fringed with the sweetest flowers that ever bloomed, and over haunted meadows where winds of hope and memory blew.” Anne of the Island, L.M. Montgomery

  55. Starbudds says:

    I stumbled upon your website from pinterest and loved it! I got married last September and we had a book themed wedding! Our save the dates were bookmarks, invitations were books (they were 5×7 cards with a blue cover and “pages” on the inside) and my DIY center pieces were books and table names were our favorite books!

  56. I love all of these quotes. I’m going to do something similar to this at my wedding. As soon as I get a fiance lol. I am going to have quotes/ song lyrics for the table numbers ! I love quotes because they can explain exactly how your feeling!

    Thank

  57. I haven’t laid eyes on The Velveteen Rabbit in years and years, and when I started reading that passage, it came right back to me. And the Great Expectations; THAT is how romantic love should always be.

    But what about Pooh?

  58. What about Captian Corenelles mandolin?

  59. This is My Favorite from the 1970′s!

    Love or Infatuation

    Infatuation is instant desire. It is one set of glands calling to another.
    Love is a friendship that has caught fire. It takes root and grows, one day at a time.

    Infatuation is marked by a feeling of insecurity. You are excited and eager, but not genuinely happy. There are nagging doubts, unanswered questions, little bits and places about your beloved that you would just as soon not examine too closely.

    It might spoil the dream.

    Love is quiet understanding and the mature acceptance of imperfection. It is real. It gives you strength and grows beyond you to bolster your beloved. You are warmed by his/her presence even when he/she is away. Miles do not separate you. You want him/her nearer, but near or far, you know he/she is yours and you can wait.

    Infatuation says, “We must get married right away! I can’t risk losing you!”
    Love says, “Be patient. Do not panic. Plan your future with confidence.”

    Infatuation has an element of sexual excitement. Whenever you are together, you hope it will end in intimacy.
    Love is the maturation of friendship. You must be friends before you can be lovers.

    Infatuation lacks confidence. When he/she is away you wonder if he/she is cheating. Sometimes you check.

    Love means trust. You are calm, secure and unthreatened. Your beloved feels that also and that makes them even more trustworthy.

    Infatuation might lead you to do things you will regret later, but love never will.

    Love is elevating. It makes you look up. It makes you think up. It lifts you up.

    It makes you a better person.

    –Ann Landers

  60. In The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry, any quote (in French or English) from the fox who teaches the prince the importance and how special love is, should work well for a wedding reading. If you get the chance, it is a short childrens novel, but it so beautiful and truly amazing, and The Fox’s chapter is so heartwarming and a real tear tugger. I found some french translations, i put them on top of their corresponding English translation. So heare are just a few good ones:

    “I am looking for friends. What does that mean — tame?”

    “It is an act too often neglected,” said the fox. “It means to establish ties.”

    “To establish ties?”

    “Just that,” said the fox. “To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world….”

    “People have forgotten this truth,” the fox said. “But you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose.”

    Les hommes ont oublié cette vérité, dit le renard. Mais tu ne dois pas l’oublier. Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.
    “Men have forgotten this truth,” said the fox. “But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.”

    Voici mon secret. Il est très simple: on ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.
    Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

    “A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.”

    All men have stars, but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems… But all these stars are silent. You-You alone will have stars as no one else has them… In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars will be laughing when you look at the sky at night..You, only you, will have stars that can laugh! And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me… You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure… It will be as if, in place of the stars, I had given you a great number of little bells that knew how to laugh”

  61. Great compilation :) here’s one that I really like, from Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery:

    “I have a dream,” he said slowly. “I persist in dreaming it, although it has often seemed to me that it could never come true. I dream of a home with a hearth fire in it, a cat and a dog, the footsteps of friends — and you!”

  62. Where’s the bit from Stardust?

  63. I’ve been wanting to use Sonnet 17 by Pablo Neruda as my chosen wedding reading (still a few years off) for a while now. But I also love this quote from The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green: “I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly and then all at once.” A little short, but it’s perfect.

  64. My favorite part about the quotes you chose is that Jonathan Safran Foer and Nicole Krauss met and married each other after their (very similar) books were published :)

  65. Oh, I love that you included The Amber Spyglass!

  66. My fiance and I are having two readings. One from literature because I am a reading teacher and a serious bookwork and one from history because my fiance is a huge history buff.

    from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by 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 promises 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.”

    And a love letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams (December 23, 1782)
    My Dearest Friend,
    …should I draw you the picture of my Heart, it would be what I hope you still would Love; tho it contained nothing new; the early possession you obtained there; and the absolute power you have ever maintained over it; leaves not the smallest space unoccupied. I look back to the early days of our acquaintance; and Friendship, as to the days of Love and Innocence; and with an indescribable pleasure I have seen near a score of years roll over our Heads, with an affection heightened and improved by time — nor have the dreary years of absence in the smallest degree effaced from my mind the Image of the dear untitled man to whom I gave my Heart…

  67. Carmen Dorilda says:

    Me encanta esta pagina!!!! Oh my God, what a beautiful page …

  68. Just found your blog recently and I adore it. This post in particular is so wonderful! I’m getting married in October and looking for fun ways to incorporate bookish-ness :) I loved the Pride and Prejudice quote and I really loved the Amber Spyglass one… it’s so achingly sad and romantic at the same time! Can’t wait to explore your blog archive more!

  69. Oh, wow. These are gorgeous! Such great ideas and I love the Emily Bronte one in the comments.

    My other favourite is from Pride and Prejudice when Mr Darcy says, “I love you. And I never wish to be parted from you from this day on.”

    That seems pretty appropriate to me :)

  70. Maryanna says:

    Oh my goodness, I love all of these! I also love this quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald:
    “I fell in love with her courage, her sincerity, and her flaming self respect. And it’s these things I’d believe in, even if the whole world indulged in wild suspicions that she wasn’t all she should be. I love her, and that is the beginning of everything.”

  71. WOOO :) Great Post…. I am on a mission to find good literary quotes and readings!!

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  1. [...] & more!  Check it out! If you want some lovey-dovey, squishy quotes — check out my wedding readings from literature post with [...]

  2. [...] out this blog we found of beautiful wedding readings from [...]

  3. [...] This list compiled by Senor & Senora Paper Goods allows any couple to easily look through multiple options for wedding readings. The quotes mentioned on the blog range from Shakespeare to The Velveteen Rabbit. Other places to look for excerpts to read are from novels by Jane Austen and Mark Twain. There are also excellent choices to pick from over at The Perpetual Page-Turner. [...]

  4. [...] out there from real weddings and work some of it into your vows. Classic literature has some lovely passages that may inspire you as well. If you need examples for different faiths and denominations, check [...]

  5. […] borrow from the proven writers? There are endless passages about love and marriage from literature. Perpetual Page Turner.com has a few suggestions on her […]

  6. […] If you are looking for longer readings from literature for a wedding ceremony, Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner has an awesome list. […]

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