Memorial Day is over, which means that wedding season has officially begun. If you're tying the knot this summer and you aren't the mushy type, or if if you're part of someone else's nuptials who doesn't like to get sappy, you might want to try one of these funny non-religious wedding readings at the ceremony instead of a more traditional, romantic reading.
Traditionally, through the ages, wedding ceremonies have been formal, religious events, but things have dramatically changed for today's bride and groom. Couples choose beaches and barns over chapels and cathedrals, white isn't the only color for wedding gowns anymore, and the celebrations themselves even have their own hashtags. Modern weddings have become a lot less rigid and a lot more personalized, and the readings at them should reflect that change.
Instead of bible verses, many couples have turned to the library to find the perfect words for their special day. From children's books to humorous poems, many people are saying "I do" with quotes and passages from literature. So whether you're planning your own wedding or just part of the bridal party, here are 11 funny, nonreligious wedding readings perfect for the couple who knows the key to love is a little laughter.
1. "Pairs of things that go together.Pigeons with parkStars with darkSand with seaand you with me.… Hats with headsPillows with bedsSky with blueand me with you."
— Charlotte Zolotow, Some Things Go Together
2. "More than a catbird hates a cat,Or a criminal hates a clue,Or the Axis hates the United States,That’s how much I love you.I love you more than a duck can swim,And more than a grapefruit squirts,I love you more than a gin rummy is a bore,And more than a toothache hurts.As a shipwrecked sailor hates the sea,Or a juggler hates a shove,As a hostess detests unexpected guests,That’s how much you I love.I love you more than a wasp can sting,And more than the subway jerks,I love you as much as a beggar needs a crutch,And more than a hangnail irks.I swear to you by the stars above,And below, if such there be,As the High Court loathes perjurious oaths,That’s how you’re love by me."
— Ogden Nash, "To My Valentine"
3. The story of a leaf who isn't ready to let go from the tree
And then, high up on an icy branch, a scarlet flash.One more leaf holding tight."You're here?" called the Little Yellow Leaf."I am," said the Little Scarlet Leaf."Like me!" said the Little Yellow Leaf.Neither spoke.Finally… "Will you?" asked the Little Scarlett Leaf."I will!" said the Little Yellow Leaf.And one, two, three, they let go and soared."
— Carin Berger, The Little Yellow Leaf
4. "The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to seaIn a beautiful pea-green boat,They took some honey, and plenty of money,Wrapped up in a five-pound note.The Owl looked up to the stars above,And sang to a small guitar,“O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,What a beautiful Pussy you are,You are,You are!What a beautiful Pussy you are!”
Pussy said to the Owl, “You elegant fowl!How charmingly sweet you sing!O let us be married! too long we have tarried:But what shall we do for a ring?”They sailed away, for a year and a day,To the land where the Bong-Tree growsAnd there in a wood a Piggy-wig stoodWith a ring at the end of his nose,His nose,His nose,With a ring at the end of his nose.
“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shillingYour ring?” Said the Piggy, “I will.”So they took it away, and were married next dayBy the Turkey who lives on the hill.They dined on mince, and slices of quince,Which they ate with a runcible spoon;And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,They danced by the light of the moon,The moon,The moon,They danced by the light of the moon."
— Edward Lear, "The Owl and the Pussy-Cat"
5. "The soldier loves his rifle,The scholar loves his books,The farmer loves his horses,The film star loves her looks.There's love the whole world overWherever you may be;Some lose their rest for gay Mae West,But you're my cup of tea.Some talk of AlexanderAnd some of Fred Astaire,Some like their heroes hairySome like them debonair,Some prefer a curateAnd some an A.D.C.,Some like a tough to treat'em rough,But you're my cup of tea.Some are mad on AiredalesAnd some on Pekinese,On tabby cats or parrotsOr guinea pigs or geese.There are patients in asylumsWho think that they're a tree;I had an ant who loved a plant,But you're my cup of tea.Some have sagging waistlinesAnd some a bulbous noseAnd some a floating kidneyAnd some have hammer toes,Some have tennis elbowAnd some have housemaid's knee,And some I know have got B.O.,But you're my cup of tea.The blackbird loves the earthworm,The adder loves the sun,The polar bear an iceberg,The elephant a bun,The trout enjoys the river,The whale enjoys the sea,And dogs love most an old lamp-post,But you're my cup of tea."
— W.H. Auden, "Foxtrot From a Play"
6. "I love you. Okay? Want it louder? I love you. Spell it out, should I? I ell-oh-vee-ee why-oh-you. Want it backward? You love I."
— William Goldman, The Princess Bride
7. "Yes, I’ll marry you, my dear.And here’s the reason why.So I can push you out of bedWhen the baby starts to cry.And if we hear a knockingAnd it’s creepy and it’s late,I hand you the torch you see,And you investigate.Yes I’ll marry you, my dear,You may not apprehend it,But when the tumble-drier goesIt’s you that has to mend it.You have to face the neighbourShould our labrador attack him,And if a drunkard fondles meIt’s you that has to whack him.Yes, I’ll marry you,You’re virile and you’re lean,My house is like a pigstyYou can help to keep it clean.That sexy little dinnerWhich you served by candlelight,As I do chipolatas,You can cook it every night!!!It’s you who has to work the drillAnd put up curtain track,And when I’ve got PMT it’s you who gets the flak,I do see great advantages,But none of them for you,And so before you see the light,I DO, I DO, I DO!"
— Pam Ayres, "Yes I'll Marry You My Dear"
8. "Congratulations!Today is your day.You're off to Great Places!You're off and away!You have brains in your head.You have feet in your shoes.You can steer yourself any direction you choose.You're on your own. And you know what you know.And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care.About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.And you may not find anyyou'll want to go down.In that case, of course,you'll head straight out of town.It's opener therein the wide open air.Out there things can happenand frequently doto people as brainyand footsy as you.And then things start to happen,don't worry. Don't stew.Just go right along.You'll start happening too."
— Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!
9. "First of all, it’s a big responsibility,especially in a city like New York [change as appropriate]So think long and hard before deciding on love.On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:when you’re walking down the street late at nightand you have a leash on loveain’t no one going to mess with you.Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.Who knows what love could do in its own defense?On cold winter nights, love is warm.It lies between you and lives and breathesand makes funny noises.Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.Love doesn’t like being left alone for long.But come home and love is always happy to see you.It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,but you can never be mad at love for long.Is love good all the time? No! No!Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.Love makes messes.Love leaves you little surprises here and there.Love needs lots of cleaning up after.Sometimes you just want to get love fixed.Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaperand swat love on the nose,not so much to cause pain,just to let love know Don’t you ever do that again!Sometimes love just wants to go for a nice long walk.Because love loves exercise.It runs you around the block and leaves you panting.It pulls you in several different directions at once,or winds around and around youuntil you’re all wound up and can’t move.But love makes you meet people wherever you go.People who have nothing in common but lovestop and talk to each other on the street.Throw things away and love will bring them back,again, and again, and again.But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.And in return, love loves you and never stops."
— Taylor Mali, "Falling In Love Is Like Owning a Dog"
10. "The fierce Dinosaur was trapped inside his cage of ice. Although it was cold he was happy in there. It was, after all, his cage.Then along came the Lovely Other Dinosaur.The Lovely Other Dinosaur melted the Dinosaur’s cage with kind words and loving thoughts.“I like this Dinosaur,” thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur. “Although he is fierce he is also tender and he is funny. He is also quite clever though I will not tell him this for now.”“I like this Lovely Other Dinosaur,” thought the Dinosaur. “She is beautiful and she is different and she smells so nice. She is also a free spirit which is a quality I much admire in a dinosaur.”“But he can be so distant and so peculiar at times,” thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur. “He is also overly fond of things. Are all Dinosaurs so overly fond of things?”“But her mind skips from here to there so quickly,” thought the Dinosaur. “She is also uncommonly keen on shopping. Are all Lovely Other Dinosaurs so uncommonly keen on shopping?”“I will forgive his peculiarity and his concern for things,” thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur, “for they are part of what makes him a richly charactered individual.”“I will forgive her skipping mind and her fondness for shopping,” thought the Dinosaur, “for she fills our life with beautiful thoughts and wonderful surprises. Besides, I am not unkeen on shopping either.”Now the Dinosaur and the Lovely Other Dinosaur are old. Look at them. Together they stand on the hill telling each other stories and feeling the warmth of the sun on their backs.And that, my friends, is how it is with love.Let us all be Dinosaurs and Lovely Other Dinosaurs together. For the sun is warm. And the world is a beautiful place."
— Edward Monkton, A Lovely Love Story
11. "Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life … You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you."
— Neil Gaiman, The Sandman
Images: Ben Rosett, Scott Webb, Tamara Menzi, Nathan Walker, Sweet Ice Cream Photography, Freestocks, Hieu Le/Unsplash