Your very own wedding reading
If you want a reading that no one will have heard before and that fits you like a glove, then, I can write something just for you. Contact me if this is something you would like to include in your package.
This first poem is called Something Changes and it was written for a child to read at her mum's wedding. The poem grew from the way she and her brothers lived together as a family with her mum's partner and his children, and reflected all the wonderful aspects of a blended family - perfectly imperfectly, secure in the love of their parents and very happy that they were finally getting married!
With a few small tweaks (e.g. using the words 'your' instead of 'our' and 'you' instead of 'we') it can be edited to be read by any of your wedding guests.
Today is the day that we've planned for a while
We've watched, and we've hoped
And we've waited
We've found our own way to merge altogether
But we're still our own people
And we will be
We'll play and we'll laugh, and we'll sulk and we'll joke
But with roots in your love
We've the strength
of an oak.
From today, from tomorrow and each day anew,
Something changes the moment
You both say
For we're now something else, something precious and strong
And we're joined as the family
This next poem is called Homecoming and it was written for a couple who said that when they found each other, it felt like coming home. They were apart due to work at times and so I wanted to highlight how when we have found the right person, we can feel as though they are the steady touchstone amidst the chaos.
When the world awakes joy in us,
It is your laughter I want to feel against my cheek.
When the morning arrives with sorrow
It is your forehead I will stroke. Your face I will hold.
When the blue cotton of night softens our day,
It is into your sleep I want to sink.
When the furious rain beats rice at our windows,
It is your safe return I await.
When the world spinning makes us dizzy,
It is your hand I will take.
And as changes delight and surround us,
And your love seems all I have known
I have found, in you, my place. My home.
I wrote this next, light-hearted one for a couple who had always said they would never get married, despite the constant questions from friends and family. I loved that they spent years saying 'no' to everyone while secretly hoping that one day, they would! It's called (aptly) We Don't Need to Get Married.
We Don't Need to Get Married
We don't need to get married, it's just for 'the do'
And the parents are happy that we're seeing things through.
It's nice to dress up 'cause we often forget
How well we scrub up (just don't think of the debt)
And we all love a party; we've not danced in an age
And the kids can be bridesmaids - what the hell is a paige?
It'll stop them all asking, 'Are you tying the knot'?
So, we might as well do it, I still think you're hot.
And I get a slight worry when I think of the vow
That tells me to 'honour'. Not sure I know how.
But if I'm to do it, there is just no one else
That I'd like to be with me as they ring out those bells.
Because my forever is wrapped up in you,
I'd be thrilled if you say you'll stay part of our crew.
Every row, every kiss, every takeaway tea,
Each binge watch, each big shop, each Air BnB.
We're right for each other, so maybe they're right
Because you're the one who turns darkness to light.
So shall we get married and create our own blend
'Cause I know you're my soulmate, and I'm yours 'til the end.
This next poem, Your Eyes, was written for a couple of school sweethearts who had stayed together (more or less!) through teenage years, and on through 'grown-up' life, with car, pets, mortgage, jobs, children, holidays and all that those things bring. I love the fact that the cells in the back of our eyes never change our whole life, and so the cells in your eyes that you viewed each other with when you first met, are the same that you use to look at each other with today: They haven't changed and never will.
Your eyes tell the story of bashful smiles
and first hellos;
of awkward dates
and weak-kneed euphoria
measured in heartbeats.
Your eyes tell the story of the first touch of lips;
of tearful partings
and glorious reunions;
of promises, first whispered
and then shouted in the rain.
Your eyes tell the story of growing
and growing up together;
of sunsets and snow[
of sorrow and dreams,
the “let’s do this” and jumping straight ins.
Your eyes tell the story of time taken
to understand and forget;
of falling in love, and failing in love again
of becoming and planning;
of overwhelming breathless thrills
and “well get through this together”s.
Your eyes tell the story of the years
written by you
that leads to now, to here
To the story of two people
two rings, two promises
and the beginning of a golden season
that starts with
Sometimes love comes all of a sudden with fireworks and magic, and hits in a blaze of wonder. Often, though, love creeps up on us slowly and quietly as two people build a life together step by step. This is what inspired the next piece, and was especially written for a couple who had started as friends, helping each other through the daily joys and struggles until they realised that something had changed.
No Planets Collided in the Making of this Love
No planets collided in the making of this love.
No stars aligned.
No meteors shrieked across a wish-laden sky.
Only two people
Climbing a mountain of life
Holding out a hand when one fell behind
Shining with pride when one forged ahead
and finding that there was space for two to climb in unison
Building togetherness on the level places of quiet moments
of take-away decisions, rainy day coffees,
Online forms and lost keys.
Amidst specks of dazzling joy-rained bliss
and unexpected kisses in the softness of sleep
Reaching the heights they could never reach alone
Until all around them, the stars came out
Illuminating their love.
Not everyone meets the partner at exactly the right moment. Life has a habit of messing up our perfect timelines and so often love stories have little hiccups along the way - detours that take us away from the person we should be with. This is the case for many of us, in fact. All those earlier experiences, though, give a richness to our lives and to our stories and just like in all the best jokes, with love timing really is everything! This poem does rhyme, too. See if you can spot it!
Every comedian says
Timing is everything
Get that wrong and the joke falls flat
The space between seconds
Grows and an empty room fills
With uncomfortable recovery chatter.
For us, a punchline that
Slotted into place did not come
Nicely presented and ready to share
The timing for us came
With different meandering stories
That seemed to place us both elsewhere
But our timing was right
In each wrong turn
There were spaces where love quietly took seed.
Every missed opportunity
Each ‘we’ll just be friends’
Built the words and the courage we needed.
So when the right timing
Came, with its open hand
We could fall into our rhythm of yes.
And our punchline
Was clear and joyous then
With no more second guessing.
We travelled those years
To the place we stand now
With our metre, at last, in harmony.
To find the conclusion
Of a story of us.
The perfect punchline of you and me.
Some of the couples I have written and conducted weddings for have experienced loss of someone close to them, and as they plan their wedding, which at its heart is a true celebration, they want to acknowledge their decision to embrace a new chapter without forgetting the person who is no longer with them and the part they played in their life. This piece aims to capture this, and also highlights the importance of not missing new love as it comes along.
I will ask the question
Is it too soon?
Too soon to blink awake with the kiss
Of sunlight warm as honey on my cheek
Too soon to venture into the green, glistening earth
Away from the shadows of loss
Too soon to inhabit my own skin
Feet planted, sure and hopeful
On soft moss
Too soon to open my palm to a love
That will fit in my hand
With the warmth of a summertime stone
And will blow through my hair with whispers of tomorrow
Too soon to look back and see the distance I have travelled
And the gratitude I leave inked
On my skin, on my bones on my soul
Of love’s echo.
Too soon to move from remembrance
From candles lit with tears
To glowing pools of devotion.
To say out loud: I exist. I am loved. I love.
I will risk too soon, for you.
But I will not risk