Sharron Todd Civil Marriage Celebrant Grafton

Myself or your chosen marriage celebrant can do the reading if you wish. Some couples become overwelmed when searching for a reading, if you wish I can supply a reduced choice of readings, all ones that will suit your ceremony & your day.

The interwoven continuous lines of the Celtic love knot symbolise the eternity of love and the journey of two lovers through life together.

Wedding Readings

Choosing the Reading

AAsAs with the ceremony music, the choice of readings is a very personal one. Couples choose their readings for different reasons. For some the words project a personal message or the work may have sentimental significance. Myself or your chosen Wedding Celebrant can help position your choices within the ceremony programme.

Sources of Inspiration
Readings for a Marriage Ceremony

aLMillennia of literature has endowed us with an expansive selection of material. The bard himself contributes 154 sonnets alone, most of which could be used. The six famous english romantics Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats have contributed much as did their female contempories, Mary Shelley, Anna Laetitia Barbauld, Charlotte Turner Smith, Mary Robinson, Hannah More, Alice Trickey, and Joanna Baillie. Less classical inspiration can be found in the words of the Dali Lama & Mother Theresa. The holy bible, regardless of ones religious convictions is a plentiful source . The new world offers us magnificent writings by the laureattes Washington Irving, Emerson, Thoreau, Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathanial Hawthorne, Walt Whitman, Herman Melville & the capitalisation challenging ee cumings. Patriotic couples can choose from creations by great Ausralian poets such as Ivan Donn Carswell, Gard Dodd, Dame Mary Gilmore, Adam Lindsay Gordon, Alec Derwent Hope, Henry Lawson, Les Murray, Dorothea MacKellar, Chris Manswell, Oodgeroo Noonuccal, Andrew Barton Paterson, Douglas Stewart & Judith Wright.

--- A reading can be the lyrics of a contemporary song or a popular quotation, it can be simply a few words from a child. The best of all come from the pens and hearts of our family & friends, sometimes written especially for the occasion.

Suggested Wedding Ceremony Readings, Poems & Quotations

The list below is a collection of readings, poems & quotations that could be used during a wedding ceremony. This list is my current work in progress (summer 2012), it does contain errors & duplictions, I appologise. When finished it will be a long list that I will make available in more usable forms including an iphone app. Empty cells indicate an unknown author or an untitled work. Where an author is unknown but a source is known, I have listed the source. I welcome suggested additions. I also invite comment on any copyright concerns or observations.


A Happy Couple

A Marriage Blessing

Amazing Grace (Wedding version)

An Irish Wedding Blessing

Apache Marriage Blessing

Apache Wedding Prayer

Apache Wedding Prayer

Art of Marriage

Blessed Are We


Celtic Scottish Prayer

Cherokee Prayer

Dove Poem

Eskimo Love Song

Excerpt from I Ching

Giving and Receiving

God is Love

Hindu Marriage Poem

I am


In A Marriage


Love is the reason

modification from Walt Whitman's Song of the Open Road

My Love

Perfect Love

Quiet Thoughts of the Seasons

Scottish Wedding Prayer

Song Of Solomon 2: 10-13; 8: 6-7

Song of Songs 2:8-10, 14, 16a; 8:6-7a

The Desiderata

The Gift Of Love

The Lord’s Prayer: Traditional Version

The Lord's my Shepherd

The Lords Prayer Modern Version

The Silken Ribbon

There we are one

Time and Love

Traditional Irish Blessing

True Love

Two Lives

We Will Not Wish You Joy

What is Love?

A.B. (Banjo) Paterson

As Long as Your Eyes Are Blue

Adam Lindsay Gordon

Albert Einstein


Alec Derwent Hope

Alfred, Lord Tennyson


Alice Trickey

Andrea Hill

Love Is

Anita Diamant

The Seven Blessings

Anna Laetitia BauBauld

Anne Bradstreet

To My Dear and Loving Husband

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Excerpt from The Gift From The Sea

Bertrand Russell

Best and Most Important

Biblical Quotation

1 Corinthians 13

Biblical Quotation

1 Corinthians 13

Biblical Quotation

1 Corinthians 13

Biblical Quotation

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and 13, J.B. Philips translation

Biblical Quotation

1 John 4: 7-16

Biblical Quotation

Colossians 3: 12-17

Biblical Quotation

Colossians 3:12-14

Biblical Quotation

Ecclesiates 4:9-12

Biblical Quotation


Biblical Quotation

Ephesians 3: 14-21

Biblical Quotation

Genesis 1: 26 - 31

Biblical Quotation

Genesis 2: 18 - 25

Biblical Quotation

Genesis 2:28-24

Biblical Quotation

I John 4:7-19

Biblical Quotation

Jeremiah 31:31-34

Biblical Quotation

John 15: 1-8

Biblical Quotation

John 15: 9-17

Biblical Quotation

John 2: 1-11

Biblical Quotation

Mark 10: 6 - 9

Biblical Quotation

Mark 10:6-9

Biblical Quotation

Matthew 19: 4 - 6

Biblical Quotation

Matthew 5: 13-16

Biblical Quotation

Matthew 5: 3-10

Biblical Quotation

Matthew 7: 24 - 29

Biblical Quotation

Psalm 10

Biblical Quotation

Psalm 128

Biblical Quotation

Psalm 128:1-4

Biblical Quotation

Psalm 23

Biblical Quotation

Psalm 67

Biblical Quotation

Romans 12: 9 - 21

Biblical Quotation

Ruth 1: 16-17

Biblical Quotation

Ruth 1:16-17

Bob Gillman

Bind us together, Lord

Brian Zouch

This Day

Brian Zouch

To A Marriage

Brian Zouch

To My Wife

Brian Zouch

We Will Not Wish you Joy

Brian Wren

As man and woman we were made

Carl Sandburg

Carol D. Bos

Till Death Do Us Part

Carol Haynes

Any Wife or Husband

Charles Wesley

Love divine, all loves excelling

Charlotte Turner Smith

Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall

Goodridge Vs. Department of Health

Chris Manswell

Christina Rossetti

Christopher Marlowe

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

Dalai Lama ~ His Holiness the 14th Dali Lama's Words for the Year 2000
Dame Mary Gilmore

Dante Rosetti

Sudden Light

David Foster and Arthur Janov

The Colour of My Love

Denise Castellucci

Carnal Cerebral Love

Diane Ackerman

A History of Love

Dorothy Colgan


Dorothy Colgan

I Promise

Dorothy F. Gurney

O Perfect Love

e.e. cummings

somewhere i have never travelled

Earnest Hemingway

A Farewell to Arms

Edmund O’Neill

Marriage Joins Two People In The Circle of It’s Love

Edward Lear

The Owl and the Pussy Cat

Eleanor Farjeon

Morning has broken

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How Do I Love Thee

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

If Thou Must Love Me

Emily Dickenson

Hope Is The Thing With Feather

Frank Herbert Sweet

A Tender Message

George Eli

Comfort Together

Gloria Matthew

Marriage is love

Gwen Frostic

A New Beginning

Helen Steiner Rice

The Gift of Friendship

Helen Steiner Rice

The Gift of Lasting Love

Helen Steiner Rice

Where There is Love

Helen Steiner Rice

With God as Your Partner

Henry Francis Lyte

Praise, my soul, the King of heaven

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

A Song For Hiawatha


The Odyssey

Hugh Prather

Notes to Myself

J.B. O’Reilly

A White Rose

J.R.R Tolkien

Roads Go Ever Ever On

J.R.R. Tolkein

The Fellowship of the Ring, 1954, chapter 2

J.R.R. Tolkein

The Two towers, an excerpt from

James Dillet Freeman

Blessing For A Marriage

James Kavanagh To Love is Not to Possess

Jan Struther

Lord of all hopefulness

John Ciardi

Most Like an Arch This Marriage

John Clare

Love Lives

John Donne

The Good-Morrow

John Ford

Bridal Song

John Newton

Amazing Grace

Kahil Gibrain

The Prophet

Kahil Gibran

The Gift of Friendship

Kahil Gibran

The Prophet

Kahil Gibran

The word of Kahlil Gibran

Kahlil Gibran


Kahlil Gilbran

Speak To Us Of Love

Kahlil Gilbran

The Prophet

Kahlil Gilbran

What Of Marriage

Kate Fisher

Now We Are One

Linda Lee Elrod

My Love

Lisa Hoffman

Lord Byron

She Walks In Beauty

Madeleine L'Engle

The Irrational Season

Margery Williams

The Velveteen Rabbit

Mari Nichols-Haining

Why Marriage

Martin Nystrom

As the deer pants for the water

Mary Swenson

In Love Made Visible

Mary Weston Fordham


May Swenson

In Love Made Visible

Maya Angelou

Touched By An Angel

Melissa Jaggard

Love is always

Michael Blumenthal

A Marriage

Mitch Albom

Excerpt from Tuesdays With Morrie

Mother Teressa

Pablo Neruda

Excert from 100 Love Sonnets

Pablo Neruda

Sonnet LXIX

Percy Bysshe Shelly

Love's Philosphy


The Symposium

Rainer Maria Rilke


Raymond J. Baughan

Sound Of Silence

Regina Hill

Foundation Of Marriage

Richard Bach

The Bridge Across Forever

Richard Lovelace

To Althea, From Prison (Last Stanza)

Richard Wilbur

A Wedding Toast

Roads Go Ever Ever On

To Be One With Each Other

Robert Burns

My Luve

Robert Frost

The Master Speed, on the occasion of his daughter’s wedding

Robert Louis Stevenson

Wedding Prayer

Rod McKuen


Roy Croft

On Friendship


Sir Hugh Walpole

The Most Wonderful Of All Things In Life

Sir Philip Sidney

Song from Arcadia

St. Francis of Assis

Susan Polis Schultz

Our Friendship

Susan Polis Schutz

In Love Forever

T.S. Eliot

A Dedication to My Wife

Thomas Kempis

On Love

Thomas Kempris

Love Is A Great Thing

Toni Morrison


W.B. Yeats

He Wishes For Cloths of Heaven

Walt Whitman

Song of the Open Road

Walt Whitman

To A Stranger

Walter Pinder

Everyday you live

Wendell Berry

The Country Of Marriage

Wilferd A. Peterson

The Art Of Marriage

William Carlos Williams

The Ivy Crown

William Penn

Never Marry But For Love

William Shakespeare


William Shakespeare

Love's Labours Lost

William Shakespeare

Sonnet 116

William Shakespeare

Sonnet 18

William Shakespeare

Sonnet 29

Clarence Celebrant Blog

Including Readings in a Wedding Ceremony

Couples may choose to include the use of readings in their wedding ceremony. A reading conveys a personal message to the gathering, it is an opportunity to recognise & involve others. A reading can be a short quote or a complete literary work, it can be read by the marriage celelebrant, the couple themselves, just one of them, children, a family member or good friends. The poem can be a commissioned work read by the author. Carefully chosen readings add an elegant formal touch, they enhance the atmosphere of the day.

tttThe words of the reading are included in the ceremony album, the reader may read from this or from a personal copy, some do the reading from memory. The reading is announced, the author acknowledged & the reader introduced by the marriage celebrant. The Bern Convention, to which Australia is a party, recognises acknowledgment (attribution) as an authors essential moral right. Except for this courtesy no conditions or licensing requirements apply to reading a literary work during a wedding ceremony.