Non-standard wedding readings
April 15, 2007 10:53 AM   Subscribe

Wedding Readings: As the wedding draws closer, we need to find some interesting readings to have at the (register office) ceremony. The internet seems chock full of bog standard sentimental nonsense, but we want something light hearted, amusing, witty, fun.

Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Monty Python, all of that sort of thing is good. Or just generally amusing, laugh out loud stuff that we could use for a short reading.

Any good suggestions?
posted by gaby to Society & Culture (17 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
love is a place
& through this place of
love move
(with brightness of peace)
all places

yes is a world
& in this world of
yes live
(skilfully curled)
all worlds
[e.e. cummings]

Short but sweet. ;)
posted by miss lynnster at 11:42 AM on April 15, 2007 [5 favorites]

Or you could do the Parrot Sketch.
posted by miss lynnster at 11:43 AM on April 15, 2007

Classic: "Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togethaw today. Mawwiage, that bwessed awangement, thad dweam within a dweam..."

You must pronounce the w's.
posted by casarkos at 11:55 AM on April 15, 2007 [2 favorites]

skip to the end ... man and wife, say man and wife
posted by jannw at 12:07 PM on April 15, 2007

There are some great ideas in previous AskMe questions, for example here and here.

I also found some delightful things in this thread over at the Indiebride forums. There's a lot of schmaltz to wade through to find the quirky gems, but they're there. I'll see if I can remember any...
posted by miagaille at 12:18 PM on April 15, 2007

How about some Ogden Nash?

Tin Wedding Whistle:
Though you know it anyhow
Listen to me, darling, now,

Proving what I need not prove
How I know I love you, love.

Near and far, near and far,
I am happy where you are;

Likewise I have never larnt
How to be it where you aren't.

Far and wide, far and wide,
I can walk with you beside;

Furthermore, I tell you what,
I sit and sulk where you are not.

Visitors remark my frown
Where you're upstairs and I am down,

Yes, and I'm afraid I pout
When I'm indoors and you are out;

But how contentedly I view
Any room containing you.

In fact I care not where you be,
Just as long as it's with me.

In all your absences I glimpse
Fire and flood and trolls and imps.

Is your train a minute slothful?
I goad the stationmaster wrothful.

When with friends to bridge you drive
I never know if you're alive,

And when you linger late in shops
I long to telephone the cops.

Yet how worth the waiting for,
To see you coming through the door.

Somehow, I can be complacent
Never but with you adjacent.

Near and far, near and far,
I am happy where you are;

Likewise I have never larnt
How to be it where you aren't.

Then grudge me not my fond endeavor,
To hold you in my sight forever;

Let none, not even you, disparage
Such valid reason for a marriage.

I Do, I Will, I Have:
How wise I am to have instructed the butler
to instruct the first footman to instruct the second
footman to instruct the doorman to order my carriage;
I am about to volunteer a definition of marriage.
Just as I know that there are two Hagens, Walter and Copen,
I know that marriage is a legal and religious alliance entered
into by a man who can't sleep with the window shut and a
woman who can't sleep with the window open.
Moreover, just as I am unsure of the difference between
flora and fauna and flotsam and jetsam,
I am quite sure that marriage is the alliance of two people
one of whom never remembers birthdays and the other
never forgetsam,
And he refuses to believe there is a leak in the water pipe or
the gas pipe and she is convinced she is about to asphyxiate
or drown,
And she says Quick get up and get my hairbrushes off the
windowsill, it's raining in, and he replies Oh they're all right,

it's only raining straight down.
That is why marriage is so much more interesting than divorce,
Because it's the only known example of the happy meeting of
the immovable object and the irresistible force.
So I hope husbands and wives will continue to debate and
combat over everything debatable and combatable,
Because I believe a little incompatibility is the spice of life,
particularly if he has income and she is pattable.
posted by miagaille at 12:23 PM on April 15, 2007 [5 favorites]

More Odgen Nash...

To My Valentine:
More than a catbird hates a cat,
Or a criminal hates a clue,
Or the Axis hates the United States,
That's how much I love you.

I love you more than a duck can swim,
And more than a grapefruit squirts,
I love you more than a gin rummy is a bore,
And more than a toothache hurts.

As a shipwrecked sailor hates the sea,
Or a juggler hates a shove,
As a hostess detests unexpected guests,
That's how much you I love.

I love you more than a wasp can sting,
And more than the subway jerks,
I love you as much as a beggar needs a crutch,
And more than a hangnail irks.

I swear to you by the stars above,
And below, if such there be,
As the High Court loathes perjurious oathes,
That's how you're loved by me.
posted by miagaille at 12:30 PM on April 15, 2007 [7 favorites]

We used the "Glory of Love" (theme from Karate Kid 2) by Peter Cetera - as read by one of our friends who is an actor. It was brilliant.
posted by eggerspretty at 12:34 PM on April 15, 2007

I went to a wedding where the bride and groom read from portions of a Supreme Court ruling concerning gay marriage. The thing is that the rulings says, in rather poetic words, what marriage is and is not... something like "not a economic union, but the agreement of two people to live their lives together, share companionship, etc." It was actually very sweet and a bit of a jab to the court, somehow.
posted by whitewall at 1:00 PM on April 15, 2007 [4 favorites]

And of course, it's always good to somehow work in "Nobody puts baby in a corner" at some point.
posted by miss lynnster at 3:07 PM on April 15, 2007

We used "For an Amorous Lady," by Theodore Roethke, in our ceremony:

The pensive gnu, the staid aardvark, accept caresses in the dark;
The Bear, equipped with paw and snout would rather take than dish it out.
But snakes, both poisonous and garter, In love are never known to barter.
The worm, though dank, is sensitive. His noble nature bids him give.
But you my dearest have a soul, encompassing fish, flesh and foul.
When amorous art we would pursue, You can with pleasure, bill or coo.
You are, in truth, one in a million. At once mammalian and reptilian.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 3:20 PM on April 15, 2007 [2 favorites]

I read that some rock journalist had "The Book of Love" (link is to some guy's version, not the original) sung at his wedding. I thought that was tremendous. What a wedding song.
posted by Methylviolet at 4:38 PM on April 15, 2007

There's definitely some good stuff in The Thousand Nights and One Night. (Disclaimer - a reading from this at my wedding).
posted by singingfish at 5:28 PM on April 15, 2007

My one regret about my wedding is that I didn't think of this reading until over a year later - the speech the snake gives in The Little Prince about becoming tame:

"Nothing is perfect," sighed the fox. But he came back to his idea. "My life's very monotonous," he said. "I hunt chickens; men hunt me. All chickens are just alike, and all the men are just alike. And in consequence, I am a little bored. But if you tame me, it'll be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that'll be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat…"

The fox gazed at the little prince, for a long time. "Please—tame me!" he said.

"I want to, very much," the little prince replied. "But I've not much time. I've friends to discover, and a great many things to understand."

"One only understands the things that one tames," said the fox.

posted by joannemerriam at 5:43 PM on April 15, 2007

-snake +fox (weird typo)
posted by joannemerriam at 5:44 PM on April 15, 2007

"Love Song: I and Thou"

Nothing is plumb, level or square:
the studs are bowed, the joists
are shaky by nature, no piece fits
any other piece without a gap
or pinch, and bent nails
dance all over the surfacing
like maggots. By Christ
I am no carpenter. I built
the roof for myself, the walls
for myself, the floors
for myself, and got
hung up in it myself. I
danced with a purple thumb
at this house-warming, drunk
with my prime whiskey: rage.
Oh, I spat rage’s nails
into the frame-up of my work:
it held. It settled plumb,
level, solid, square and true
for that great moment. Then
it screamed and went on through,
skewing as wrong the other way.
God damned it. This is hell,
but I planned it, I sawed it,
I nailed it, and I
will live in it until it kills me.
I can nail my left palm
to the left-hand crosspiece but
I can’t do everything myself.
I need a hand to nail the right,
a help, a love, a you, a wife.

Alan Dugan
posted by anotherpanacea at 6:02 PM on April 15, 2007

Maybe you could do something like this: How to Be a Good Wife (1955) which is likely to be fake -- those that know you will know that it won't be true and find it funny.
posted by parilous at 9:29 AM on April 16, 2007

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