lIt's that time of year again: wedding season! The more of an adult I become, the more my weekends and Facebook feed become filled with wedding photos or engagement announcements. I was recently a bridesmaid in one of my best friend's wedding, and it was filled with literary references — book centerpieces, a stacked book cake, bookmark gifts... Needless to say, it was near perfection. As far as I'm concerned, books and weddings go hand-in-hand together, and if you're in an upcoming wedding, especially one with a bride and groom who adore reading, what better way to send them your love than by reading from a meaningful book?
Writing a Maid of Honor speech is stressful. You want to address how well you know the bride, you'll want to share a funny story or two, and you'll want to relate how incredibly happy you are that she found love — but that's no easy business. If you and the bride-to-be have a strong connection through literature, starting off or ending your speech with a reading from a great book might help you feel less freaked out and more confident.
No matter what you want to focus on — embarrassing stories, heartfelt moments, or a good combo of the two — here are 12 touching and beautifully written readings from books that help make your speech a tear jerker and one to remember:
1. "Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow."
― Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
2. "Two a.m.' He swallowed, then said, 'You know. The person you can call at two a.m. and, no matter what, you can count on them. Even if they're asleep or it's cold or you need to be bailed out of jail...they'll come for you. It's like, the highest level of friendship."
― Sarah Dessen, What Happened to Goodbye
3. "Sam and Patrick looked at me. And I looked at them. And I think they knew. Not anything specific really. They just knew. And I think that's all you can ever ask from a friend."
― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
4. "My mother’s last word to me clanks inside me like an iron bell that someone beats at dinnertime: love, love, love, love, love. … Be brave. Be authentic. Practice saying the word ‘love’ to the people you love so when it matters most to say it, you will. We’re all going to die, Johnny. Hit the iron bell like it’s dinnertime."
— Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things
5. "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...."
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
6. "I wanted to be one of those people who have streaks to maintain, who scorch the ground with their intensity. But for now, at least I knew such people, and they needed me, just like comets need tails."
― John Green, Looking for Alaska
7. "We'll be there, Harry," said Ron"What?""At your Aunt and Uncle's house," said Ron, "And then we'll go with you wherever you're going.""No-" said Harry quickly; he hadn't counted on this, he had meant them to understand that he was undertaking the most dangerous journey alone. "You said it once before," said Hermione quickly, "that there was time to turn back if we wanted to. We've had time, haven't we? We're with you whatever happens."
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
8. "Being in a relationship, that's something you choose. Being friends, that's just something you are. [But] I do pick you. We've been friends too long to pick, but if we could pick, I'd pick you."
― John Green, Will Grayson, Will Grayson
9. "What most people call loving consists of picking out a woman and marrying her. They pick her out, I swear, I’ve seen them. As if you could pick in love, as if it were not a lightning bolt that splits your bones and leaves you staked out in the middle of the courtyard. They probably say that they pick her out because-they-love-her, I think it’s just the opposite. Beatrice wasn’t picked out, Juliet wasn’t picked out. You don’t pick out the rain that soaks you to a skin when you come out of a concert."
― Julio Cortázar, Hopscotch
10. "Love is like a wind stirring the grass beneath trees on a black night,’ he had said. ‘You must not try to make love definite. It is the divine accident of life. If you try to be definite and sure about it and to live beneath the trees, where soft night winds blow, the long hot day of disappointment comes swiftly and the gritty dust from passing wagons gathers upon lips inflamed and made tender by kisses."
― Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio
11. "A soul mate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. Our soul mate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person. Our soul mate is the one who makes life come to life."
— Richard Bach, The Bridge Across Forever
12. "People are like cities: We all have alleys and gardens and secret rooftops and places where daisies sprout between the sidewalk cracks, but most of the time all we let each other see is is a postcard glimpse of a skyline or a polished square. Love lets you find those hidden places in another person, even the ones they didn’t know were there, even the ones they wouldn’t have thought to call beautiful themselves."
— Hilary T Smith, Wide Awake