23 Non-Religious Wedding Readings From Young Adult And Children's Books
There is something about love in young adult and children's literature. It's immediate. It's that heart-pounding, nervous, butterflies kind of feeling you attribute to being young and in love for the first time. And it can perfectly describe that leap you take when you decide to commit your life to someone, to marry them. Which is why passages from children's and young adult books, whether classic or contemporary, make perfect wedding readings for a whole lot of couples.
If you're going for non-traditional or non-religious wedding readings — no "love is patient, love is kind..." here — you have nearly endless words to choose from. There are song lyrics, poems, or lines from classic novels, but YA and children's lit can capture something a little different for couples that want to pull from those first-love feelings. Some of the greatest love stories of the last few years are from YA — Hazel Grace and Gus from John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, Tris and Four from Veronica Roth's Divergent series, and Finch and Violet from Jennifer Niven's All the Bright Places, among others.
If you're looking for ideas for non-religious wedding reading from YA and children's books, these 23 passages could be a source of inspiration.
1. The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan
"Trying to write about love is ultimately like trying to have a dictionary represent life. No matter how many words there are, there will never be enough."
2. Dangerous Angels by Francesca Lia Block
"Do you know when they say soulmates? Everybody uses it in personal ads. 'Soul mate wanted.' It doesn’t mean too much now. But soulmates –– think about it. When your soul –– whatever that is anyway –– something so alive when you make music or love and so mysteriously hidden most of the rest of the time, so colorful and big but without color or shape –– when your soul finds another soul it can recognize even before the rest of you knows about it. The rest of you just feels sweaty and jumpy at first. And your souls get married without even meaning to –– even if you can’t be together for some reason in real life, your souls just go ahead and make the wedding plans. A soul’s wedding must be too beautiful to even look at. It must be blinding. It must be like all the weddings in the world –– gondolas with canopies of doves, champagne glasses shattering, wings of veils, drums beating, flutes and trumpets, showers of roses. And after that happens you know –– that’s it. This is it."
"If I were to live a thousand years, I would belong to you for all of them. If we were to live a thousand lives, I would want to make you mine in each one."
4. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
"Love: a single word, a wispy thing, a word no bigger or longer than an edge. That’s what it is: an edge, a razor. It draws up through the center of your life, cutting everything in two. Before and after. The rest of the world falls away on either side."
5. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
"One of the strange things about living in the world is that it is only now and then one is quite sure one is going to live forever and ever and ever. One knows it sometimes when one gets up at the tender solemn dawn-time and goes out and stands alone and throws one’s head far back and looks up and up and watches the pale sky slowly changing and flushing and marvelous unknown things happening until the East almost makes one cry out and one’s heart stands still at the strange unchanging majesty of the rising of the sun — which has been happening every morning for thousands and thousands of years. One knows it then for a moment or so. And one knows it sometimes when one stands by oneself in a wood at sunset and the mysterious deep gold stillness slanting though and under the branches seems to be saying slowly again and again something one cannot quite hear, however much one tries. The sometimes the immense quiet of the dark blue at night with millions of stars waiting and watching makes one sure; and sometimes a sound of far-off music makes it true; and sometimes a look in someone’s eye."
6. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
"There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment."
7. 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.'"
8. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
"If my love were an ocean,there would be no more land.If my love were a desert,you would see only sand.If my love were a star-late at night, only light.And if my love could grow wings,I’d be soaring in flight.”
9. All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
"I remember running down a road on my way to a nursery of flowers. I remember her smile and her laugh when I was my best self and she looked at me like I could do no wrong and was whole. I remember how she looked at me the same way even when I wasn’t. I remember her hand in mine and how that felt, as if something and someone belonged to me."
10. Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith
"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."
11. "The Whale and the Seagull" from The Squirrel's Birthday and Other Parties by Toon Tellegan
"They straightened their backs and the whale rested a fin on the sea gull's shoulder, while the seagull draped a wing around the whale's middle. Then they danced, silently and seriously, on the moon-drenched beach, to the sound of the slow surf. Everyone held their breath and thought: 'No one had ever danced like this before.'"
12. Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
"She loved all of the wolves behind her house, but she loved one of them most of all. And this one loved her back. He loved her back so hard that even the things that weren't special about her became special: the way she tapped her pencil on her teeth, the off-key songs she sang in the shower, how when she kissed him he knew it meant forever.
Hers was a memory made up of snapshots: being dragged through the snow by a pack of wolves, first kiss tasting of oranges, saying good-bye behind a cracked windshield. A life made up of promises of what could be: the possibilities contained in a stack of college applications, the thrill of sleeping under a strange roof, the future that lay in Sam's smile. It was a life I didn't want to leave behind. It was a life I didn't want to forget. I wasn't done with it yet. There was so much more to say."
13. Across the Universe by Beth Revis
"And in her smile I see something more beautiful than the stars."
14. Some Things Go Together by Charlotte Zolotow
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.
15. 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…"
16. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
"Sometimes people are beautiful.Not in looks.Not in what they say.Just in what they are."
17. l'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
"'If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?' I opened my mouth to say San Francisco or maybe Madrid—somewhere exotic. But what came out was, 'Here. Right here.'"
18. Your Personal Penguin by Sandra Boynton
I like you a lot.You’re funny and kind.So let me explainWhat I have in mind.
I want to be your personal penguin.I want to walk right by your side.I want to be your personal penguin.I want to travel with you far and wide.
I like you by sandol stoddard: I like you becauseIf you find two four-leaf cloversYou give me oneIf I find fourI give you twoIf we only find threeWe keep on looking.
… I like you because if I am mad at youThen you are mad at me tooIt's awful when the other person isn'tThey are so nice and hoo-hoo you couldjust about punch them in the nose.
… I would go on choosing youAnd you wouldgo on choosing meOver and over again.
19. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
"I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you."
20. The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne
"'If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you.”
21. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
"I never loved you any more than I do, right this second. And I'll never love you any less than I do, right this second."
22. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
"And I guess at that moment that I really did love her. Because there was nothing to gain, and that didn't matter."
23. Allegiant by Veronica Roth
"I fell in love with him. But I don't just stay with him by default as if there's no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day that we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me."
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