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Wedding readings can touch the soul both for the couple being wed and the friends and family witnessing the union. But some passages may be too traditional or outdated, using archaic marital lingo that simply doesn't appeal to same-sex couples. So, what other options are out there? Here, we ask some wedding experts to share some of their favorite readings.
"Touched By An Angel" by Maya Angelou
"This powerful poem celebrates courage deep within the simple act of love," Kiss the Planner founder Aviva Samuels says.
"We, unaccustomed to courage, exiles from delight, live coiled in shells of loneliness, until love leaves its high holy temple, and comes into our sight, to liberate us into life. Love arrives, and in its train come ecstasies, old memories of pleasure, ancient histories of pain. Yet if we are bold, love strikes away the chains of fear, from our souls. We are weaned from our timidity, In the flush of love's light, we dare be brave, And suddenly we see, that love costs all we are, and will ever be. Yet it is only love, which sets us free."
"Listen to the Mustn'ts" by Shel Silverstein
Bianca Favia, chief creative coordinator of Estera Events suggests, "This reading drives its point home in just a few words and relates to how far equality of same-sex couples has come."
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me...Anything can happen, child. Anything can be."
"Echo" by Carol Ann Duffy
"This powerful poem celebrates courage deep within the simple act of love," Samuels says.
"I think I was searching for treasures or stones, in the clearest of pools, when your face ... when your face, like the moon in a well, where I might wish ... might well wish, for the iced fire of your kiss; only on water my lips, where your face ... where your face was reflected, lovely, not really there when I turned, to look behind at the emptying air ... the emptying air."
"The Art of Marriage" by Wilferd Arlan Peterson
"This measured poem is full of practical yet romantic notions for sustaining love over time," says ordained officiant Bethel L. Nathan.
Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
"A good marriage must be created.
In the art of marriage the little things are the big things...
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say "I love you" at least once a day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted;
the courtship should not end with the honeymoon,
it should continue through all the years."
From Les Miserables
"This dramatic excerpt gives love center stage as it praises the power of devotion simply and stunningly," Randi Martin, chief event planner at Trilogy Event Design says.
"The future belongs to hearts even more than it does to minds.
Love, that is the only thing that can occupy and fill eternity.
In the infinite, the inexhaustible is requisite.
Love participates of the soul itself.
It is of the same nature.
Like it, it is the divine spark;
like it, it is incorruptible, indivisible, imperishable."