Wedding readings are one of the most soul- (and internet!) searching things you will choose for your wedding ceremony so I am back to try and make it a bit easier for you. I have been researching alternative readings (because they are my favourite!).
If you type “alternative wedding readings” into Google (other search engines are available) I can almost guarantee you will be met with something by Edward Monkton. Now, there are other readings by him that I believe are more popular but my favourite is Love Monkey which one of our readers, Michelle, had read at her wedding.
Love Monkey by Edward Monkton
It was once custom that every monkey would carve for himself a wooden heart. And the heart that love monkey carved was the most beautiful of all. Its contours were soft and rounded, like an ancient pebble sculpted by the oceans. Its surface was smooth and shiny like liquid silk, and it shone as bright as a ruby in the desert sun. “Take your hearts with you wherever you go,” said their teacher. “Nurture them as a mother nurtures her new-born baby. For when you want to give of yourself fully, your heart is the only true gift you will have.”
That night, Love Monkey had a dream. He dreamt of a monkey whose smile lit up his sole like sunshine. He held out his heart to her, so radiant, so splendid and so new. She took him in her arms and he felt truly, perfectly, at peace. When Love Monkey awoke he resolved that, from that day forward,he would search for his Dream Monkey until he could stand before her and give to her his perfect heart.
He travelled through deserts…and climbed over mountains. He trekked across forests…and sailed many oceans. Love Monkey looked after his heart as best he could, but the storms that he endured on his travels chipped away at its surface and each new adventure reshaped it. By the time he arrived on the last distant shore, his heart was so changed by the patina of time that it barely resembled his old heart at all.
And then, he saw her. Standing before him, as radiant and as beautiful as the sunshine, was his Dream Monkey. At first the cold not speak. But then, from somewhere deep inside himself, he found a voice. “I have travelled the world over to find you, and to give you my heart,” he said.“But now that I am finally with you, I see how foolish I have been. You are so beautiful, so perfect. And my heart that was once smooth, so bright and so new is now not something that I could even bring myself to show you,” and he turned to go. “Let me see it,” said Dream Monkey. She took his heart and held it up to the light. “Nothing to me is more beautiful. Every fissure tells a story. Every blemish makes you more real. All my life I have been waiting for a heart like this; a heart that speaks the truth.” “Come here,” she said. “I have something for you too.” In her hand was a tiny golden heart. It was as worn and as scratched as Love Monkey’s own…and it was the most precious thing that he had ever seen.
Love Monkey put his arms around her and they held each other for a long, long time. “I shall treasure this heart for as long as I live,” said Dream Monkey, running her fingers over its ridged and dimpled surface. Then they looked into each other’s eyes and, feeling the joy of truth in their souls for the first time, they began to laugh. And often they sit together still, holding each other’s hearts in their warm hands, lifting them to the light…and laughing. Always laughing.
If Edward Monkton isn’t for you, and I know he isn’t for everybody, there are many more alternative readings out there. I really like this one from Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom:
Excerpt from Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom
“Still,” Morrie said, “there are a few rules I know to be true about love and marriage: If you don’t respect the other person, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble. If you don’t know how to compromise, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble. If you can’t talk openly about what goes on between you, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble. And if you don’t have a common set of values in life, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble. Your values must be alike.
“And the biggest one of those values, Mitch?”
“Your belief in the importance of your marriage.”
He sniffed, then closed his eyes for a moment.
“Personally,” he sighed, his eyes still closed, “I think marriage is a very important thing to do, and you’re missing a lot if you don’t try it.”
He ended the subject by quoting a poem he believed in like a prayer: “Love each other or perish.”
Sex And The City
Back when I was a single lady there was one thing I could not do without – my Sex And The City box set! (Don’t worry, I still have it!) Then the film came out and featured quite heavily a book called Love Letters of Great Men.
I’m pretty sure all you SATC ladies will remember those words “Ever thine, ever mine, ever ours” sigh. Unfortunately the story behind those words is a sad one, but if you loved Carrie and Big then you may just want to use them anyway. Here is the letter by Ludwig Van Beethoven:
Though still in bed, my thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved, now and then joyfully, then sadly, waiting to learn whether or not fate will hear us … Yes, I am resolved to wander so long away from you until I can fly to your arms and say that I am really at home with you, and can send my soul enwrapped in you into the land of spirits … No one else can ever possess my heart – never – never – Oh God, why must one be parted from one whom one so loves … Your love makes me at once the happiest and the unhappiest of men … My angel, I have just been told that the mailcoach goes every day – therefore I must close at once so that you may receive the letter at once … Be calm – love me – today – yesterday – what tearful longings for you – you – you – my life – my all – farewell. Oh continue to love me – never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved. Ever thine, Ever mine, Ever ours.
His hello was the end of her endings. Her laugh was their first step down the aisle. His hand would be hers to hold forever. His forever was as simple as her smile. He said she was what was missing. She said instantly she knew. She was a question to be answered. And his answer was “I do”
I wish I’d thought to have that one!
For movie lovers, comedy/Adam Sandler fans in particular, I have heard of this being used as a first dance song before but it could also be used as a reading (providing you can say the words without singing them!), it is the song Adam Sandler’s character sings to Drew Barrymore’s in The Wedding Singer:
I wanna grow old with you sang by Adam Sandler:
I wanna make you smile,
Whenever you’re sad.
Carry you around when your arthritis is bad.
All I wanna do,
Is grow old with you.
I’ll get you medicine,
When your tummy aches.
Build you a fire if the furnace breaks.
Oh it could be so nice,
Growin’ old with you.
I’ll miss you, kiss you,
Give you my coat when you are cold.
Need you, feed you.
Even let you hold the remote control.
So let me do the dishes in our kitchen sink.
Put you to bed when you’ve had too much to drink.
Oh I could be the man,
Who grows old with you.
I wanna grow old with you.
Or if you prefer books to films there is this lovely quote from Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
“You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving. The great acts of love are done by those who are habitually performing small acts of kindness. We pardon to the extent that we love. Love is knowing that even when you are alone, you will never be lonely again. & great happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved. Loved for ourselves. & even loved in spite of ourselves.”
But if you still haven’t seen a reading that resonates with you, don’t panic! The other Cwtch girls and myself will be back with more for you! In the meantime if any of you lovely readers have any special readings you would like to share, please leave them in the comments box below :)