Let these suggestions from Scottish humanist celebrants serve as a jumping-off point in your quest for finding your perfect reading

George McLean at Fuze Ceremonies picks ‘Marriage – Anon’

“I just love how this poem so cleverly describes what a marriage is going to be like. It’s always fun to watch the guests’ reactions while I read it one out, as almost all the married couples in the room will be nodding in agreement – and of course the last sentence is just so funny and definitely lightens the mood in the ceremony room even more.”

Marriage is about giving and taking
And forging and forsaking
Kissing and loving and pushing and shoving
Caring and sharing and screaming and swearing
About being together whatever the weather
About being driven to the end of your tether
About sweetness and kindness
And wisdom and blindness
It’s about being strong when you’re feeling quite weak
It’s about saying nothing when you’re dying to speak
It’s about being wrong when you know you are right
It’s about giving in, before there’s a fight
It’s about you two living as cheaply as one
(you can give us a call, if you know how that’s done!)
Never heeding advice that was always well meant
Never counting the cost until it’s all spent
And for you two today it’s about to begin
And for all of the effort you both have to put in
Some days filled with joy, and some days with sadness
Too late, you’ll discover that marriage is MADNESS!

Tasha the Celebrant picks ‘Union’ by Robert Fulghum

“One of my favourite ‘traditional’ readings is ‘Union’ by Robert Fulghum – probably because it doesn’t feel typically ‘traditional’, as it’s so accessible (the language is easy to understand) and it’s so relatable. It’s a really lovely one for a close friend or family member to read for you.”

Here’s a sample:

“Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same. For after today you shall say to the world – This is my husband. This is my wife.”

Craig Flowers at Independent Humanist Ceremonies picks ‘These I Can Promise’ by Mark Twain

“I always feel that the best readings are ones that have been written by someone close to the couple, but not everyone is fortunate enough to know someone who can do that! So, this is one that I really enjoy. I always prefer the quirkier ones!”

“I cannot promise you a life of sunshine;
I cannot promise riches, wealth or gold;
I cannot promise you an easy pathway
That leads away from change or growing old.
But I can promise all my heart’s devotion
A smile to chase away your tears of sorrow;
A love that’s ever true and ever growing;
A hand to hold in yours through each tomorrow.”

Celebrant Kate Strachan at Humanist Society Scotland picks ‘How Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog’ by Taylor Mali

“It’s great for dog lovers and light-hearted enough to raise a smile.”

Here’s a sample:

Sometimes love just wants to go out for a nice long walk. Because love loves exercise. It will run you around the block and leave you panting, breathless. Pull you in different directions at once, or wind itself around and around you until you’re all wound up and you cannot move. But love makes you meet people wherever you go. People who have nothing in common but love stop 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.

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