Officiant Lisa Francesca has literally written the book on how to plan the perfect ceremony, so when she offered to share her favorite passages she adores for the big day, we were all ears. Here, the best readings chosen by the author of The Wedding Officiant's Guide: How to Write and Conduct a Perfect Ceremony.

"The Art of Marriage" by Wilferd A. Peterson


Romantics at heart. The author of this poem was married to his wife for 58 years, so there's no doubt he knows what he's talking about when it comes to marriage.


The little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say "I love you" at least once a day.

It is never going to sleep angry. It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon, it should continue through all the years.

It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives. It is standing together facing the world. It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family. It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.

It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have wings of an angel. It is not looking for perfection in each other.

It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow. It is finding room for the things of the spirit. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal. It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.

"Comfort Together" by Dinah Maria Craik


Best friends. If the relationship you have with your significant other is that of a content and secure friendship, this poem might be the wedding reading for you. It's not as drawn-out as most readings, but its brevity is completely refreshing.


Oh the comfort-

the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person,

having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words,

but pouring them all right out

just as they are

chaff and grain together,

certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them-keep what is worth keeping,

and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.

"To My Dear and Loving Husband" by Anne Bradstreet


A passionate wife-to-be. If you want to express your love boldly and freely, this poem will do just the trick. And the best part is that it rhymes from beginning to end.


If ever two were one, then surely we.

If ever man were lov'd by wife, then thee.

If ever wife was happy in a man, Compare with me, ye women, if you can.

I prize thy love more than the whole Mines of gold

Or all the riches that the East doth hold,

My love is such that Rivers cannot quench,

Nor ought but love from thee, give recompense.

Thy love is such I can no way repay.

The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.

Then while we live, in love let's so presever,

That when we live no more, we may live ever.

Excerpts from "Song of the Open Road" by Walt Whitman


Adventurous and unconventional souls. This poem celebrates the beginning of a journey, which is exactly what some may perceive a marriage to be.


Listen! I will be honest with you

I do not offer the old smooth prizes, but offer rough new prizes.

These are the days that must happen to you:

You shall not heap up what is called riches,

You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve."

"Afoot and lighthearted, take to the open road,

Healthy, free, the world before you,

The long brown path before you leading wherever you choose."

"Camerado, I give you my hand!

I give you my love more precious than money,

I give you myself before preaching or law;

Will you give me yourself? Will you come travel with me?

Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?"

See More Wedding Ceremony Reading Ideas for Your Big Day


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