Alternative Ceremony Readings
Drew and I decided that we wanted to include a few special people in our ceremony by asking them to share a reading with our guests. One of the reading selections was easy, Oh the Places You'll Go from Dr. Seuss. Drew's family read this story every school year and it was included in his twin sister's wedding ceremony so this was a clear winner from the get-go.
The entire book is pretty lengthy so we've asked his sister to read only a short portion of the full poem.
Oh the Places You'll Go
“Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away! You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the couple who’ll decide where to go.
You’ll look up and down streets. Look ‘em over with care. About some you will say, “We don’t choose to go there.” With your heads full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down, any not-so-good street.
And you may not find any you’ll want to go down. In that case, of course, you’ll head straight out of town. It’s opener there in the wide open air, Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you. And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along. You’ll start happening too. OH! THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!
The second reading was hard for us to select and we went back and forth between a few options before deciding on an excerpt from “Instructions” By Neil Giaiman.
Remember your name
Do not lose hope — what you seek will be found.
Trust those that you have helped to help you in their turn.
Trust your heart, and trust your story.
When you come back, return the way you came.
Favors will be returned, debts be repaid.
Do not forget your manners.
Do not look back.
When you reach the little house, the place your journey started, you will recognize it, although it will seam much smaller then you remember.
Walk up the path, and through the garden gate you never saw before but once.
And then go home. Or make a home.
When I started looking for Alternative Ceremony Readings (as in not a bible verse or ee cummings) many of the options were repeated everywhere I looked so I started looking for my favorite authors and poets and seeing what other writings they might have that would suit us better than the Velveteen Rabbit. There were lots of options I really loved that were too long or obscure for anyone else to enjoy but I've included a few of my other favorites below.
An Awesome Book of Love
If I was a dinosaur and you were a jet
Theres a good chance that we'd of never met.
If I was a river and you were the sky
If I was down low and you were up high
Or if I was an apple and you were a sunday
If you were a wednesday and I was a monday
If you were spring seasons and I was the fall
We might never have gotten together at all
But we aren't all of those things
You're you and I'm me
And we're together as together can be
And you know I'm aglow with a smile on my face
When I wonder what magic you'll make of this place
Of this town, of this world,
You'll transform your surroundings
That spirit inside you is truly astounding
And when I'm beside you
I'm leaping and bounding
So proud I can hardly contain my heart pounding
I love you
I love you in so many ways
Over thousands of years
Over billions of days…
How Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog – Taylor Mali
First of all, it’s a big responsibility, especially in a city like New York. So think long and hard before deciding on love. On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security: when you’re walking down the street late at night and you have a leash on love ain’t no one going to mess with you.
Love doesn’t like being left alone for long. But come home and love is always happy to see you. It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life, but you can never be mad at love for long.
Is love good all the time? No! No! Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.
Sometimes love just wants to go for a nice long walk. It runs you around the block and leaves you panting. It pulls you in several different directions at once, or winds around and around you until you’re all wound up and can’t 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.
Excerpt from 100 love sonnets – Pablo Neruda
I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz, or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off. I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul. I love you as the plant that never blooms but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers; thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance, risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body. I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other way than this: Where “I” does not exist, nor “You”, so close that your hand on my chest is my hand, so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.