Hello Bridal Musings readers! Claire here, no longer a ‘Real Bride‘ really, more the new Mrs McGowran! (that still sounds like someone's talking about Marko's granny!)

I'll be sharing lots of pictures and tales from our wedding in a few weeks, but I figured I'd pop back before then with some of the details I didn't share before the wedding (we had to keep some surprises for our guests!)

One of those things was our ceremony readings.

Ideas for Wedding Ceremony Readings | NavyBlur Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog

A preview snap of our day by NavyBlur Photography

Cool, fun, or unique ceremony readings can be really hard to find, the same ones just keep coming up again and again.

Because we were making up our own, non-religious ceremony, with our friend officiating, it was so important to us to have readings that really meant something to us and weren't just filled with cliches.

Only one of our readings was the kind of ‘typical wedding reading', but even that one held a lot of sentiment for us. The others were found by looking, and googling, a little outside the box.

Rather than simply searching for ‘wedding readings', look to your favourite movies, musicians, books, artists, and speakers, and something inspirational, authentic, funny, or romantic won't be too far away.

Here are the readings we chose, maybe one of them will mean something to you and your other half.

Confetti Toss | Photo by Gary Boylan | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog

Spot the newlyweds – a confetti toss snap from our ceremony by our friend Gary Boylan.

Love Is Friendship Caught Fire by Laura Hendricks

Our friend Naomi read this, so beautifully. ‘Love is Friendship Caught Fire' was actually a quote I saved when we first got engaged, so I was pretty elated to discover it was a full poem.

We changed it slightly at the end, to fit in better with the feel of our ceremony.

Love is friendship caught fire; it is quiet, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times.

It settles for less than perfection, and makes allowances for human weaknesses. Love is content with the present, hopes for the future, and does not brood over the past.

It is the day-in and day-out chronicles of irritations, problems, compromises, small disappointments, big victories, and working toward common goals.

If you have love in your life, any kind of love, it can make up for a great many things you lack.

If you do not have it, no matter what else there is, it is not enough.

Love is friendship caught fire. 

Romantic Ceremony Reading Ideas | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog

Photo by Stefano Santucci via Bridal Musings

An Excerpt from the Up Screenplay

This was the big tear-jerker. Up is one of Marko and my favourite films. For us, Carl & Ellie's love is serious #relationshipgoals. So much so, we gave each of our guests an Ellie badge at the start of our ceremony, to symbolise them all being in ‘our club' now.

I found this reading while looking at the screenwriter's notes for the animator, so these words were never actually said in the film, but were depicted in the images instead. It was, aptly, read by our screenwriter friend, Fla.

Carl sighs. He managed to bring the house to the falls, but Ellie never made it.
He closes the book. But as he does, Carl sees something he hadn’t before.
The blank pages at the end are no longer blank.

A Wedding Photo of the two of them. On a picnic. Celebrating birthdays. Another and another…

Carl’s face warms. Ellie lived the life she wanted: she saw adventure in everyday life.

A photo of the two of them sitting side by side, together, in their chairs.
Beneath it, Ellie had written:

Photo by Studio 1208 via Bridal Musings

Finnegan the Moose From Humans of New York

I shared this one with you guys in our ceremony post, it was a lovely late addition for us. We had already finalised our ceremony, and then I came across this on the Humans of New York Facebook page, and knew we had to have it.

Thankfully Marko agreed, and our swell friend Claire read it perfectly.

One night she asked me to tell her a bedtime story. And I started telling her this long story about Finnegan the Moose.

Finnegan was a very dignified moose. But one day a crazy goose named Reginald came and sat on his head.

Reginald was a very exciting goose. She was always making bold proclamations, and suggesting crazy adventures, and her tongue was always hanging out of her mouth.

Finnegan would always do whatever Reginald suggested. And he’d pretend that he understood her even when she didn’t make sense.

Because before Reginald landed on his head, Finnegan’s life was a little boring. It wasn’t a bad life. It was a normal moose life.

He just hadn’t met his best friend yet. And he didn’t even know she was out there.


Photo by Maui Maka Photography via Bridal Musings

And the one that got away…

So there's a funny story behind this one. A year ago, I found a piece of writing that I thought was perfect for a wedding reading. It was so romantic and also played on Marko's background in physics.

I saved it on my desktop, and figured I'd go back to it when the time came to plan our ceremony. But when the time came, I couldn't find it, anywhere. I searched every folder on my laptop, looked up the words I could remember and the themes behind it, but it was gone.

I was pretty gutted.

We chose other readings and moved on with the planning.


Photo by Kasia Bacq Photography via Bridal Musings

Then the week before the wedding, we exchanged wedding gifts. Marko got me a lasercut piece by one of my favourite artists, Rob Ryan. 

I unwrapped it, and there it was. The poem!

A total coincidence. Turns out it had been sitting on my desktop the whole time, but as an image, and I was looking for a word doc (it was even my desktop background for a while!).

Marko had come across it independently looking at Rob Ryan's work and bought it for me. Pretty sweet, right?

Sadly, it was too late to add it to the ceremony. Not to worry though, we can always use it for our second wedding!

Stars and planets are held in place by the power of gravity and the atom's tiny nucleus cannot live without its fellow protons and neutrons! A leaf cannot survive away from its tree just as much as the tree needs the soil in which it lives. When the part becomes separated from the whole it withers and dies.

If everything in the universe is connected to each other then why not us too?'

Wedding Ceremony Readings | Rob Ryan Studio | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog

Laser Print by Rob Ryan Studio.

I'm realising now, there's a real theme of friendship in our readings, and that sums up Marko and I, and the vibe of our wedding pretty well.

We'd just love it if our ceremony readings inspire yours – so please do let us know if they do!

Stay tuned for our full wedding posts soon!

Read back over the rest of my Real Bride Diaries