Reading lists

Literary wedding readings

Looking for an unusual reading for a partnership ceremony or wedding? Search no further: we bring you alternative readings from novelists and poets to beguile and enchant loved ones, family and friends

Portrait of a Marriage

Vita Sackville-West

It was just then, however, that I first met Harold. He arrived late at a small dinner-party before a play, very young and alive and charming, and the first remark I ever heard him make was, ‘What fun’, when he was asked by his hostess to act as host. Everything was fun to his energy, vitality, and buoyancy. I liked his irrepressible brown curls his laughing eyes, his charming smile, and his boyishness. But we didn’t become particular friends. I think he looked on me as more of a child than I actually was, and as for myself I never thought about people, especially men, under a very personal aspect unless they made quite definitive friendly advances to me first; even then I think one wonders sometimes what people are driving at.

I was eighteen then and he was twenty-three.

Any Woman

Katharine Tynan

I am the pillars of the house;

The keystone of the arch am I.

Take me away, and roof and wall

Would fall to ruin utterly.


I am the fire upon the hearth,

I am the light of the good sun,

I am the heat that warms the earth,

Which else were colder than a stone.


At me the children warm their hands;

I am their light of love alive.

Without me cold the hearthstone stands,

Nor could the precious children thrive.


I am the twist that holds together

The children in its sacred ring,

Their knot of love, from whose close tether

No lost child goes a-wandering.


I am the house from floor to roof,

I deck the walls, the board I spread;

I spin the curtains, warp and woof,

And shake the down to be their bed.


I am their wall against all danger,

Their door against the wind and snow.

Thou Whom a woman laid in a manger,

Take me not till the children grow!

A Dictionary of Modern English Usage, 1926

H. W. Fowler

wed is a poetic or rhetorical synonym for marry, & the established past & p.p. is wedded; but it is noticeable that the need of brevity in newspaper headings is bringing into trivial use both the verb instead of marry (DUKE WEDS ACTRESS), & the short instead of the long p.p. (SUICIDE OF WED PAIR); see INCONGRUOUS VOCABULARY; here is a chance for sub-editors to do language a service if they will.

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