14 gorgeous alternative reads for a cool and unique civil wedding ceremony


One of the trickier things about choosing a civil ceremony is the fact that you have to design pretty much everything yourself. The only parts that you really what needs to be done are the vows and the signing of the register – the legal stuff basically – so if you don’t create a longer ceremony, it’ll all be over in the blink of an eye.

But it’s not that bad – because you can do the ceremony for as many of the two of you as you want. There is a wonderful possibility to add wonderful readings of classical literature, poetry or even song lyrics.

As a guide, you will seek to insert three or four readings between your music, the lighting of the candles and the vows.

So here are our absolute favorites for a meaningful, not cheesy (trust us, we had to sift some shit!) Ceremony that your guests will feel privileged to be a part of.

1. Let me put it this way by Simon Armitage

Let me put it like this:

if you came to pose

your sleeping head

against my arm or my sleeve,

and if my arm is dead,

or if I had to take leave

at midnight, I should rather

cut it from the seam or seam

than to make a scene

or bring you.


How does that sound?

2. Scaffolding by Seamus Heaney

Masons, when they start on a building, take care of
test the scaffolding;

Make sure that the boards do not slip in high traffic areas,

Attach all ladders, tighten bolted joints.

And yet it all falls apart when the job is done

Showing off safe and solid stone walls.

So if, my dear, sometimes there seems to be

Old bridges are breaking between you and me

Never scared. We can drop the scaffolding

Confident that we have built our wall.

3. The love of Roy Croft

I love you

Not just for what you are,

But for what I am

When I am with you.

I love you,

Not only for what

You made you

But why

You make me.

I love you

For the part of me

That you bring out;

I love you

To put your hand

In my crowded heart

And by the way

All the stupid and weak things

That you can’t help

Seeing faintly there,

And to shoot
In the light

All the great deals

That no one else had watched

Far enough to find

I love you because you

help me to do

From the wood of my life

Not a tavern

But a temple.

Out of work

From my daily life

Not a reproach

But a song.

I love you

Because you did

More than any creed

Could have done

To do me good.

And more than any fate

Could have done

To make me happy.

You did it

Without touching,

Without a word,

Without sign.

You did it

By being yourself.

Maybe this is it

Being a friend means,

After all.

4. From the mandolin of Captain Corelli by Louis De Bernières

Love is fleeting madness,

it bursts like volcanoes then subsides.

And when it calms down, you have to make a decision.

You have to determine if your roots have become so intertwined that it is inconceivable that you will ever be parted. Because that’s love.

Love is not shortness of breath, it is not
excitement is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion.
It’s just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what
stay when being in love is consumed, and it is both an art
and a happy accident.

Those who really love have roots
which grow towards each other underground, and, when all the pretty
the flowers have fallen from their branches, they discover they are one
tree and not two.

5. Bob Marley’s Not Perfect

He’s not perfect. Neither are you, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, makes you think twice, and if he admits being human and making mistakes, hold on to him and give him as much as you can.

He’s not going to quote poetry, he doesn’t think about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, or wait for more than he can give. Do not analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, scream when he makes you angry, and miss him when he’s not around.

Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there is always a perfect guy for you.

6. Love Should by Moby

The morning sun is soft and gentle on your eyes

Oh my love you always leave me surprised

I feel my heart is starting to burst

With all my love for you

I know how it rains

I know how it flows

I never could feel this way

For anyone except you

7. Close All Night by Elizabeth Bishop

Close close all night

lovers keep.

They turn together

in their sleep,

close like two papers

in a book

which read

in the dark.

Everyone knows everything

the other knows


from head to toes.

8. Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith

People are like cities: we all have alleys and gardens and secret roofs and places where daisies grow between cracks in the sidewalks, but most of the time all we let ourselves see is a glimpse of the map. postage of a horizon or a polished square.

Love allows you to find those hidden places in another person, even the ones they didn’t know were there, even the ones they wouldn’t have thought of calling themselves beautiful. “

9. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

The future belongs even more to hearts than to minds. Love is the only thing that can occupy and fill eternity. In the infinite, the inexhaustible is required.

Love participates in the soul itself. It is of the same nature. Like her, it is the divine spark; like her, she is incorruptible, indivisible, imperishable. It is a point of fire that exists in us, which is immortal and infinite, that nothing can confine, and that nothing can extinguish. We feel it burning to the marrow of our bones, and we see it radiating deep in the sky.

10. I’ll be there from Steven Curtis Chapman

Tomorrow morning if you wake up
And the sun does not appear
I … I will be there
If in the dark we lose sight of love
Hold my hand and don’t be afraid
Because I … I will be there

I will be there
When you want to shut up
When you need to say what you mean
I will listen
And i will be there
When laughter turns to tears
By winning, losing and trying
We will be together
Because i will be here

Tomorrow morning if you wake up
And the future is not clear
I … I will be there
As sure as the seasons are made for a change
Our lives are made for years
So I’ll … I’ll be there

I will be there
And you can cry on my shoulder
When the mirror tells us we’re older
i will hold you
And i will be there
To see you grow in beauty
And tell you all the things that you mean to me
i will be there, hummm

I’ll be true to the promise I made
To you and to the One who gave you to me

And as sure as the seasons are made for a change
Our lives are made for years
So I’ll … I’ll be there
We will be together
I will be there

11. On the love of Thomas Kempis

Love is a mighty power,

a large and complete good.

Love alone lightens all burdens and softens difficult places.
He endures all trials as if it were nothing, and makes
any sweet and acceptable bitterness.

Nothing is sweeter than love
Nothing stronger,
Nothing higher,
Nothing wider,
Nothing more pleasant,
Nothing more complete or better in heaven or on earth; for love is born of God.

Love flies, runs and jumps for joy.
It is free and without constraint.
Love knows no limits, but ardently transcends all limits.
Love feels no burden, ignores toil,
tries things beyond his strength.

Love sees nothing as impossible,
for he feels capable of accomplishing all things.
It’s strange and effective,
while those who lack love vanish and fail.

Love is not fickle and sentimental,
nor is it all about vanities.
Like a living flame and a fiery torch,
he climbs and surely overcomes all obstacles.

12. The bridge over eternity by Richard Bach

A soul mate is someone who has locks suitable for our keys and keys suitable for our locks. When we feel secure enough to open the locks, our true selves come out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we claim to be.

Each reveals the best of the other. No matter what is wrong around us, with that person we are safe in our own paradise. Our soul mate is someone who shares our deepest desires, our sense of direction. When we’re two balloons and together our direction is upward, there’s a good chance we’ve found the right fit. Our soul mate is the one who gives life to life.

13. I love you by Sandol Stoddard

I love you and I know why.
I love you because you are a good person to love.
I love you because when I tell you something special you know it’s special
And you remember it for a very long time.
You say, ‘Do you remember when you said something special to me?’
And we both remember

When I think that something is important
you think it’s important too
We have good ideas
When I say something funny you laugh
I think I’m funny and you think I’m funny too

… And I love you because when I feel sad
You don’t always comfort me right away
Sometimes it’s better to be sad …
I love you because if I’m mad at you
So you’re mad at me too
It’s horrible when the other person isn’t …

I love you because I don’t know why but
Everything that happens is more pleasant with you
I don’t remember when I didn’t love you
It must have been lonely then
I love you because because because
I forget why I love you but I do.

14. I want to be yours by John Cooper Clarke

I want to be your vacuum cleaner
breathe your dust
I want to be your Ford Cortina
i will never rust
If you like your coffee hot
let me be your coffee maker
You call the shots
I want to be with you

I want to be your raincoat
for those frequent rainy days
I want to be your dream boat
when you want to sail
Let me be your teddy bear
take me anywhere with you
I do not care
I want to be with you

I want to be your electric meter
I will not miss
I want to be the electric heater
you will be cold without
I want to be your fixing lotion
hold your hair with deep devotion
Deep like the deep Atlantic Ocean
this is how deep my devotion is

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