After much research and contemplation, I have compiled a list of what I think are the best adventure wedding readings for those couples looking for a nod to their next great adventure together… which is of course marriage!
These can also be incorporated into wedding vows for the adventurous couple!
Related Post: 25 Nerdy Wedding Readings for Unique Ceremonies
I’ve chosen readings that either explicitly talk about adventuring together, or that speak on this theme in a more subtle way. I tried to include some unique, less common ‘adventure’ wedding readings in this list, as well as many adventure love quotes interspersed throughout!
Before you read, you might want to download my FREE 10-Page Wedding Ceremony Guide on creating your own personalized wedding ceremony (complete with a sample script, readings, and vows!). You can get it here along with the Wayfaring Weddings newsletter! 🙂
PRO-TIP: After your wedding, keep your readings and vows (and maybe the whole ceremony script!) bound together in a cute binder that you can treasure forever in your home. I personally recommend checking out prices for artistic 3-ring planner binders on Amazon.
#1 – Our Great Adventure
We are today still dizzy with the astonishment of love.
We are surrounded by affection – by smiles and kindliness,
By flowers and music and gifts and celebration.
Yet they enclose a silence
Where we are close with one another.
My eyes see only you.
I hear nothing but the words
We speak to one another
This is the day we start our life together.
This is our new beginning.
“Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.”J.K. Rowling
#2 – The Last Battle
“And as He spoke, He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”
— C.S. Lewis (Chronicles of Narnia, #7)
#3 – “I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love…”
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain!I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, every day,and if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
— Oriah Mountain Dreamer
“Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.”Jack Kerouac
#4 – The Love of God
The love of God, unutterable and perfect,
Flows into a pure soul…
The way that light rushes into a transparent object.
The more love that it finds, the more it gives itself;
So that, as we become clear and open,
The more complete the joy of loving is.
And the more souls who resonate together,
The greater the intensity of their love,
For mirror-like, each soul reflects the other.
– Dante Alighieri
#5 – The Meaning of Marriage
The meaning of marriage begins in the giving of words. We cannot join ourselves to one another without giving our word. And this must be an unconditional giving, for in joining ourselves to one another we join ourselves to the unknown. We can join one another only by joining the unknown. We must not be misled by the procedures of experimental thought: in life, in the world, we are never given two known results to choose between, but only one result that we choose without knowing what it is.
Because the condition of marriage is worldly and its meaning communal, no one party to it can be solely in charge. What you alone think it ought to be, it is not going to be. Where you alone think you want it to go, it is not going to go. It is going where the two of you — and marriage, time, life, history, and the world — will take it. You do not know the road; you have committed your life to a way.
In marriage as in poetry, the given word implies the acceptance of a form that is never entirely of one’s own making. When understood seriously enough, a form is a way of accepting and of living within the limits of creaturely life. We live only one life, and die only one death. A marriage cannot include everybody, because the reach of responsibility is short. A poem cannot be about everything, for the reach of attention and insight is short.
– Poet and environmental activist Wendell Berry
“I have always knownKenneth Rexroth, One Hundred Poems from the Japanese
That at last I would
Take this road, but yesterday
I did not know that it would be today.”
#6 – The Country of Marriage
“…our life reminds me of a forest
in which there is a graceful clearing
and in that opening a house,
an orchard and garden,
comfortable shades, and flowers,
red and yellow in the sun,
a pattern made in the light
for the light to return to.
The forest is mostly dark,
its ways to be made a new
day after day,
the dark richer than the light
and more blessed,
provided we stay brave
enough to keep on going in.”
#7 – “Can one have love?”
“Can one have love? If we could, love would need to be a thing, a substance that one can have, own, possess. The truth is, there is no such thing as “love.” “Love” is abstraction, perhaps a goddess or an alien being, although nobody has ever seen this goddess. In reality, there exists only the act of loving. To love is a productive activity. It implies caring for, knowing, responding, affirming, enjoying: the person, the tree, the painting, the idea. It means bringing to life, increasing his/her/its aliveness. It is a process, self-renewing and self-increasing…
To say “I have a great love for you” is meaningless. Love is not a thing that one can have, but a process, an inner activity that one is the subject of, I can love, I can be in love, but in love I have… nothing. In fact, the less I have, the more I can love.”
-Erich Fromm, From To Have or To Be
“There is no remedy for love but to love more.”Henry David Thoreau
#8 – Gift from the Sea
“When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity – in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.”
-Anne Morrow Lindbergh, From Gift From the Sea
“”Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward at the same direction.”Antoine de Saint-Exupery
#9 – Song of the Open Road
The road is before us!
It is safe—I have tried it—my own feet have tried it well—be not detained!
Let the paper remain on the desk unwritten, and the book on the shelf unopened!
Let the tools remain in the workshop! let the money remain unearned!
Let the school stand! mind not the cry of the teacher!
Let the preacher preach in his pulpit! let the lawyer plead in the court, and the judge expound the law.
Camerado, I give you my hand!
I give you my love more precious than money,
I give you myself before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?
– Walt Whitman
“The minute I heard my first love story,Mawlana Jalal-al-Din Rumi
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.
They’re in each other all along.”
#10 – Patagonia
I said perhaps Patagonia, and pictured
a peninsula, wide enough
for a couple of ladderback chairs
to wobble on at high tide. I thought
of us in breathless cold, facing
a horizon round as a coin, looped
in a cat’s cradle strung by gulls
from sea to sun. I planned to wait
till the waves had bored themselves
to sleep, till the last clinging barnacles,
growing worried in the hush, had
paddled off in tiny coracles, till
those restless birds, your actor’s hands,
had dropped slack into your lap,
until you’d turned, at last, to me.
When I spoke of Patagonia, I meant
skies all empty aching blue. I meant
years. I meant all of them with you.
“Here?Eugene O’Neill, Quiet Song in Time of Chaos
Where is here?
But you understand.
In my heart
Within your heart
#11 – On Marriage
Then Almitra spoke again and said, And
what of Marriage, master?
And he answered saying:
You were born together, and together you
shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white
wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the
silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance
Love one another, but make not a bond
Let it rather be a moving sea between
the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from
Give one another of your bread but eat
not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous,
but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone
though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each
For only the hand of Life can contain
And stand together yet not too near
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow
not in each other’s shadow.
“No one else, Love, will sleep in my dreams. You will go,Pablo Neruda
we will go together, over the waters of time.
No one else will travel through the shadows with me,
only you, evergreen, ever sun, ever moon.”
#12 – Friendship
Such love I cannot analyse;
It does not rest in lips or eyes,
Neither in kisses nor caress.
Partly, I know, it’s gentleness
And understanding in one word
Or in brief letters. It’s preserved
By trust and by respect and awe.
These are the words I’m feeling for.
Two people, yes, two lasting friends.
The giving comes, the taking ends
There is no measure for such things.
For this all Nature slows and sings.
– Elizabeth Jennings
“Two separate beings, in different circumstances, face to face in freedom and seeking justification of their existence through one another, will always live an adventure full of risk and promise.”Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
#13 – Tell Me
Tell me where you go
When you look faraway,
I find I am too slow
To catch your mood. I hear
The slow and far-off sea
And waves that beat a shore
That could be trying to
Call us toward our end,
make us hurry through
This little space of dark.
Yet love can stretch it wide.
Each life means so much work
You are my wealth, my pride.
The good side of me, see
That you stay by my side
Two roots of one great tree.
#14 – A Lovely Song For Jackson
If I were a seaweed at the bottom of the sea,
I’d find you, you’d find me.
Fishes would see us and shake their heads
Approvingly from their submarine beds.
Crabs and sea horses would bid us glad cry,
And sea anemone smile us by.
Sea gulls alone would wing and make moan,
Wondering, wondering, where we had gone.
If I were an angel and lost in the sun,
You would be there, and you would be one.
Birds that flew high enough would find us and sing
Gladder to find us than for anything,
And clouds would be proud of us, light everywhere
Would clothe us gold gaily, for dear and for fair.
Trees stretching skyward would see us and smile,
And all over heaven we’d laugh for a while.
Only the fishes would search and make moan,
Wondering, wondering, where we had gone.
– V.R. Lang
“No matter what transpires between us, in this life or in any other, I will be with you always. You really are my soul mate. We have traveled together before, and we will travel together again.”Diane Rinella
#15 – Passage from Love in the Time of Cholera
“She clung to her husband. And it was just at the time when he needed her most, because he suffered the disadvantage of being ten years ahead of her as he stumbled alone through the mists of old age, with the even greater disadvantage of being a man and weaker than she was. In the end they knew each other so well that by the time they had been married for thirty years they were like a single divided being, and they felt uncomfortable at the frequency with which they guessed each other’s thoughts without intending to, or the ridiculous accident of one of them anticipating in public what the other was going to say.
Together they had overcome the daily incomprehension, the instantaneous hatred, the reciprocal nastiness and fabulous flashes of glory in the conjugal conspiracy. It was the time when they loved each other best, without hurry or excess, when both were most conscious of and grateful for their incredible victories over adversity. Life would still present them with other mortal trials, of course, but that no longer mattered: they were on the other shore.”
― Gabriel García Márquez, From Love in the Time of Cholera
#16 – The Confirmation
Yes, yours, my love, is the right human face.
I in my mind had waited for this long,
Seeing the false and searching for the true,
Then found you as a traveller finds a place
Of welcome suddenly amid the wrong
Valleys and rocks and twisting roads. But you,
What shall I call you? A fountain in a waste,
A well of water in a country dry,
Or anything that’s honest and good, an eye
That makes the whole world seem bright. Your open heart,
Simple with giving, gives the primal deed,
The first good world, the blossom, the blowing seed,
The hearth, the steadfast land, the wandering sea.
Not beautiful or rare in every part.
But like yourself, as they were meant to be.
– Edwin Muir
“We are travelers on a cosmic journey, stardust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.”Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
#17 – My Wife
Trusty, dusky, vivid, true,
With eyes of gold and bramble-dew,
Steel-true and blade-straight,
The great artificer
Made my mate.
Honour, anger, valour, fire;
A love that life could never tire,
Death quench or evil stir,
The mighty master
Gave to her.
Teacher, tender, comrade, wife,
A fellow-farer true through life,
Heart-whole and soul-free
The august father
Gave to me.
– Robert Louis Stevenson
“Love, like everything else in life, should be a discovery, an adventure, and like most adventures, you don’t know you’re having one until you’re right in the middle of it.”E.A. Bucchianeri
#18 – “Love should run out to meet love…”
“Love should run out to meet love with open arms. Indeed, the ideal story is that of two people who go into love step for step, with a fluttered consciousness, like a pair of children venturing together into a dark room. From the first moment when they see each other, with a pang of curiosity, through stage after stage of growing pleasure and embarrassment, they can read the expression of their own trouble in each other’s eyes. There is here no declaration properly so called; the feeling is so plainly shared, that as soon as the man knows what it is in his own heart, he is sure of what it is in the woman’s.”
-Robert Louis Stevenson, From Virginibus Puerisque
“They who travel the rocky road together arrive in paradise undivided.”Karey White
#19 – Not Love Perhaps
This is not Love, perhaps,
Love that lays down its life,
that many waters cannot quench,
nor the floods drown,
But something written in lighter ink,
said in a lower tone, something, perhaps, especially our own.
A need, at times, to be together and talk,
And then the finding we can walk
More firmly through dark narrow places,
And meet more easily nightmare faces;
A need to reach out, sometimes, hand to hand,
And then find Earth less like an alien land;
A need for alliance to defeat
The whisperers at the corner of the street.
A need for inns on roads, islands in seas,
Halts for discoveries to be shared,
Maps checked, notes compared;
A need, at times, of each for each,
Direct as the need of throat and tongue for speech.
– Arthur Seymour John Tessimond
“But I love your feetPablo Neruda
only because they walked
upon the earth and upon
the wind and upon the waters,
until they found me.”
#20 – The Master Speed
No speed of wind or water rushing by
But you have speed far greater. You can climb
Back up a stream of radiance to the sky,
And back through history up the stream of time.
And you were given this swiftness, not for haste
Nor chiefly that you may go where you will,
But in the rush of everything to waste,
That you may have the power of standing still-
Off any still or moving thing you say.
Two such as you with such a master speed
Cannot be parted nor be swept away
From one another once you are agreed
That life is only life forevermore
Together wing to wing and oar to oar.
– Robert Frost
“And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again- to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.”Pico Iyer
#21 – Here’s another poem…
Here’s another poem,
like all others before and after,
dedicated to you.
There isn’t anything left to be said
but I will spend my life
trying to put you into words.
You who is every goodness,
Your love is a better fate for me
than anything I could wish for.
If you are a part of me,
then you’re the best part.
And if you’re separate from me,
then you are my destination.
But I’ve become a weary traveller,
let us never be apart.
― Kamand Kojouri
#22 – A Marriage
A marriage makes of two fractional lives a whole;
It gives two purposeless lives a work,
And doubles the strength of each to perform it.
It gives to two questioning natures a reason for living
And something to live for.
It will give new gladness to the sunshine,
A new fragrance to the flowers, a new beauty to the earth
And a new mystery to life.
– Mark Twain
#23 – Hinterhof
Stay near to me and I’ll stay near to you —
As near as you are dear to me will do,
Near as the rainbow to the rain,
The west wind to the windowpane,
As fire to the hearth, as dawn to dew.
Stay true to me and I’ll stay true to you —
As true as you are new to me will do,
New as the rainbow in the spray,
Utterly new in every way,
New in the way that what you say is true.
Stay near to me, stay true to me. I’ll stay
As near, as true to you as heart could pray.
Heart never hoped that one might be
Half of the things you are to me —
The dawn, the fire, the rainbow and the day.
– James Fenton
“and then every once in a while, you remember to pull up and look at your partner, your life partner, really look at the one who travels down the lonely road right by your side, and you realize how much you are in this together.”Harlan Coben
#24 – I Would Live in Your Love
I would live in your love as the sea-grasses live in the sea,
Borne up by each wave as it passes, drawn down by each wave that recedes;
I would empty my soul of the dreams that have gathered in me,
I would beat with your heart as it beats, I would follow your soul as it leads.
– Sara Teasdale
#25 – These I Can Promise
I cannot promise you a life of sunshine;
I cannot promise riches, wealth, or gold;
I cannot promise you an easy pathway
That leads away from change or growing old.
But I can promise all my heart’s devotion;
A smile to chase away your tears of sorrow;
A love that’s ever true and ever growing;
A hand to hold in yours through each tomorrow.
– Mark Twain
“What we find in a soulmate is not something wild to tame, but something wild to run with.”Robert Brault
#26 – Reply
I cannot swear with any certainty
That I will always feel as I do now,
Loving you with the same fierce ecstasy,
Needing the same our lips upon my brow.
Nor can I promise stars forever bright,
Or vow green leaves will never turn to gold.
I cannot see beyond this present night
To say what promises the dawn may hold.
And yet, I know my heart must follow you
High up to hilltops, low through vales of tears,
Through golden days and days of somber hue.
And love will only deepen with the years,
Becoming sun and shadow, wind and rain,
Wine that grows mellow, bread that will sustain.
-Naomi Long Madgett
#27 – Love’s Insight
Take me, accept me, love me as I am;
Love me with my disordered wayward past;
Love me with all the lusts that hold me fast
In bonds of sensuality and shame.
Love me as flesh and blood, not the ideal
Which vainly you imagine me to be;
Love me, the mixed up creature that you see;
Love not the man you dream of but the real.
And yet they err who say that love is blind.
Beneath my earthly, sordid self your love
Discerns capacities which rise above
The futile passions of my carnal mind.
Love is creative. Your love brings to birth
God’s image in the earthiest of earth.
– Robert Winnett
#28 – I’ll Still Be Loving You
I’ll still be loving you.
When your hair has turned to winter and your teeth are in a plate,
When your getter up and go
has gone to stop and wait
I’ll still be loving you.
When your attributes have shifted
beyond the bounds of grace,
I’ll count your many blessings,
not the wrinkles in your face
I’ll still be loving you.
When the crackle in your voice
matches that within your knee
and the times are getting frequent
that you don’t remember me
I’ll still be loving you.
Growing old is not a sin,
it’s something we all do.
I hope you’ll always understand –
I’ll still be loving you.
– C. David Hay
#29 – Love is…
Love is feeling cold in the back of vans
Love is a fanclub with only two fans
Love is walking holding paintstained hands
Love is fish and chips on winter nights
Love is blankets full of strange delights
Love is when you don’t put out the light
Love is the presents in Christmas shops
Love is when you’re feeling Top of the Pops
Love is what happens when the music stops
Love is white panties lying all forlorn
Love is pink nightdresses still slightly warm
Love is when you have to leave at dawn
Love is you and love is me
Love is prison and love is free
Love’s what’s there when you are away from me
– Adrian Henri
“Tell him he was my greatest adventure. Tell him I love him.”Fisher Amelie
#30 – Unlimited Friendliness
This is what should be done by the man and woman who are wise, who seek the good, and who know the meaning of the place of peace.
Let them be fervent, upright, and sincere, without conceit of self, easily contented and joyous, free of cares; let them not be submerged by the things of the world; let them not take upon themselves the burden of worldly goods; let their senses be controlled; let them be wise but not puffed up, and let them not desire great possessions even for their families. Let them do nothing that is mean or that the wise would reprove.
May all beings be happy and at their ease. May they be joyous and live in safety.
All beings, whether weal or strong—omitting none—in high, middle, or low realms of existence, small or great, visible or invisible, near or far away, born or to be born: may all beings be happy and at their ease.
Let none deceive another, or despise any being in any state. Let none by anger or ill-will wish harm to another.
Even as a mother watches over and protects her only child, so with a boundless mind should one cherish all living beings, radiating friendliness over the entire world, above, below, and all around without limit. So let them cultivate a boundless good will toward the entire world, unlimited, free from ill-will or enmity.
Standing or walking, sitting or lying down, during all their waking hours, let them establish this mindfulness of good will, which is the highest state.
Abandoning vain discussions, having a clear vision, free from sense appetites, those who are perfect will never again know rebirth.
-From the Buddhist scriptures
That’s all! I hope you enjoyed reading these readings and were able to find one (or more) that you loved! If not, please check out my other posts on the topic of wedding readings:
- 30 Wedding Readings from Song Lyrics
- 30 Traditional Wedding Readings For Your Big Day
- 25 Nerdy Wedding Readings for Unique Ceremonies
- 25 Romantic Wedding Readings from Movies and TV