Looking for a French wedding reading
July 21, 2007 4:40 AM   Subscribe

Getting married next week and need a French reading. We're bilingual but our ceremony is all in English. As acknowledgment of the French side of our culture (an as a concession to the French side of the family) we'd like to have a French reading as part of our ceremony. The only problem is that we don't know any appropriate French poetry or other nice words that could be read. The wedding's in a week and I'm starting to freak out a bit, although the worst thing that could happen is we skip the reading (deep breaths....)

A few details:

-we're not religious and prefer no mentions of god/jesus etc...
-our ceremony will be held outdoors in my parents' backyard
-we're not into really sappy love stuff and have decent senses of humor
-we don't want anything terribly long or too short, something that would take 1-2mins to deliver would be fine I think.

Ok, that's it, I hope you can help!
posted by JPDD to Human Relations (10 answers total)
The first thing I thought of was the Romance of the Rose, which is medieval, and French, and I can't find my copy of it to dig up a section for you, for which I am sorry. However, since you guys speak/read French, you can hidey-ho on over to Project Gutenberg if you are so inclined and perhaps find a passage. There may be mention of God/Jesus as this is Medieval lit, but it's also very cool, very historical, very French. Depending upon your choice, you might avoid God/Jesus altogether.
posted by Medieval Maven at 5:26 AM on July 21, 2007

My favorite poet, Verlaine, has several texts in the his recueil Poèmes Saturniens that would make a beautiful short reading. I'm thinking particularly of the poems Initium or Voeu.

Whatever text you choose, you'll definitely need an excellent reader.
posted by kepano at 5:32 AM on July 21, 2007

My sister and brother-in-law had a passage from The Little Prince at their wedding. Actually, it was acted it out with puppets. It was from the chapter where the prince meets the fox. They did it in English, but you could have it in the original French.
posted by teg at 5:37 AM on July 21, 2007

If you can't find anything better, 1 Corinthians 13 (but in French) would be a decent fallback. It's the "love is patient love is kind love has a sexy sexy ass" bit, and it doesn't actually mention God, Jesus, Thor, Captain America, or any other divinity.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:12 AM on July 21, 2007

One thought is "The Hymn of the Universe" by Teilhard de Chardin. "Only love can bring individual beings to their perfect completion, as individuals, by uniting them one with another, because only love takes possession of them and unites them by what lies deepest within them. This is simply a fact of our everyday experience..." I am not sure where you would get the original french from though.

Another fallback bible passage, with no mention of God, is Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no-one to help him up.."
posted by Flood at 7:20 AM on July 21, 2007

If there's a welcome statement being read, you could translate that to French and read it.
posted by ejaned8 at 7:28 AM on July 21, 2007

Passages from Le Petit Prince show up as wedding readings on occasion, most often from conversations between the fox and the Prince, or the rose and the Prince. You can find the full text in both English and French here. Congrats!

On preview - beat by teg, but hopefully my links will be of use
posted by nelleish at 7:33 AM on July 21, 2007

On futher preview - my Little Prince full text link seems to be broken... Sorry! You should be able to find lots of copies locally or online though.
posted by nelleish at 7:35 AM on July 21, 2007

At my brother's wedding with a lovely bilingual woman from Gabon, I read Song of Songs 2:11-13 in both French and English:

10 My lover spoke and said to me,
"Arise, my darling,
my beautiful one, and come with me.

11 See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.

12 Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land.

13 The fig tree forms its early fruit;
the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Arise, come, my darling;
my beautiful one, come with me."
posted by ottereroticist at 9:40 AM on July 21, 2007

The Kvetch boards over at Indiebride have a huge 13-page post called "Can we make a giant ceremony readings repository?", many of which are in other languages, and all of which, with a little time, could be translated into French.

posted by mdonley at 10:16 AM on July 21, 2007

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