Readings From Our Wedding

September 09, 2012 · By Sloane Davidson, Founder and CEO, Hello Neighbor

I (we) really worked hard at making our wedding customized to us. We wanted lots of touch points throughout the ceremony and reception and actually throughout the whole weekend that our friends and family would love and easily identify as "very Sloane and Taylor." Yes, like the hashtag #STWedding!

One of the hardest parts was finding what readings we wanted for the ceremony. I read through some of my favorite books from our bookshelf, I flipped through poetry books, and of course I looked online (thanks Quora). I'm going to write a separate post about how to find the best readings for YOU, but I wanted to share first the readings we selected to best represent us, our friends who were reading them, and ultimately convey the right tone for our overall wedding ceremony.

Here are the 5 that we made the final cut.

George Bernard Shaw You are my inspiration and my folly. You are my light across the sea, my million nameless joys, and my day's wage. You are my divinity, my madness, my selfishness, my transfiguration and purification. You are my rapscallionly fellow vagabond, my tempter and star.

Selection by Eric Fromm

Love is not simply a relationship to a specific person; It is an attitude; an orientation of character, which determines the relatedness of a person to the world as a whole, not toward one "object" of love. If a person loves only one other person and is indifferent to the rest of his fellow person, this love is not love but a selfish attachment, or an enlarged egotism. If you truly love one person, you love all persons, you love the world, you love life. If you can say to somebody else, "I love you" you must be able to say, "I love through you the world, I love in you also myself.

To Love is Not to Possess by James Kavanaugh

To love is not to possess, To own or imprison, Nor to lose one's self in another. Love is to join and separate, To walk alone and together, To find a laughing freedom That lonely isolation does not permit. It is finally to be able To be who we really are No longer clinging in childish dependency Nor docilely living separate lives in silence, It is to be perfectly one's self And perfectly joined in permanent commitment To another--and to one's inner self. Love only endures when it moves like waves, Receding and returning gently or passionately, Or moving lovingly like the tide In the moon's own predictable harmony, Because finally, despite a child's scars Or an adult's deepest wounds, They are openly free to be Who they really are--and always secretly were, In the very core of their being Where true and lasting love can alone abide.

Excerpt from "The Bridge Across Forever" by Richard Bach

A soul mate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we're pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we're safe in our own paradise. Our soul mate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we're two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we've found the right person. Our soul mate is the one who makes life come to life.

The Irrational Season By Madeleine L'Engle

But ultimately there comes a moment when a decision must be made. Ultimately two people who love each other must ask themselves how much they hope for as their love grows and deepens, and how much risk they are willing to take. It is indeed a fearful gamble. Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created, so that, together we become a new creature.

To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take.If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation. It takes a lifetime to learn another person. When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling, and which implies such risk that it is often rejected.