Scripture to Read at Weddings

by dustytoes

A Christian wedding ceremony will include at least one scripture verse from the Bible, but how do you decide which one?

Church weddings, and vow renewal ceremonies, usually include references to scripture For many reasons couples may be at a loss when it comes to choosing Bible verses to include at their marriage. Whether the problem is that there are just too many to choose from, or you don't know where to begin, let me get you started with some ideas.

Most people may be familiar with the traditional "Love is patient, love is kind" verse from the book of Corinthians, which is commonly used. It's definitely a good one, but if you feel like breaking out of the mold, I've searched the Bible for appropriate quotes, long and short, and with various themes.

The Bible is Full of Scriptures About Love

Words from the book of Corinthians traditionally are used most often.

Wedding scripture from the bibleThe most used scripture at wedding ceremonies, or wording included on wedding invitations has traditionally been the verses from the book of First Corinthians.  The entire section which included four verses speaks of the qualities of love. 

It says in part that love is patient, kind, and truthful.  It always protects, hopes and perseveres. (NIV) 

These are powerful words concerning love and it's no wonder they are so popular with couples. 

To read the entire set of verses, look up 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8.

If you go back just a few verses when you get to the book of 1 Corinthians 13, there is another set of verses that speak of how useless our efforts are if we "have not love".   Those words begin at chapter 13, verses one through three.

The books of first John and second John, in the New Testament, also contain scripture pertaining to love.  In 1 John chapter 3, verse 18 we are told to put our love into actions.  And further on in chapter four there is more about loving one another

1 John 4:10-12  (paraphrase) This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us .....since God loved us, we ought to love one another.  ... if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

1 John 4:18  There is no fear in love. 

Scripture on Wedding Invitations

This blue floral design has two lines of scripture at the top... customize it with your own favorite verse.
Christian Wedding Invitation
Christian Wedding Invitation

Woman Created as Man's Helper

Times have changed and although the Bible says that woman was created as a helper for man, these days I think we all agree that the helping part is mutual!

In Genesis 2:18 God sees that man is alone and wants to create a helper suitable for him.  After Adam named all the birds and beasts, he put Adam to sleep and created woman from one of his ribs.  Then he presented Adam with her, and he said, "This is the bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh" and named her 'woman'.

Genesis 2:24 is a popular scripture read at marriage ceremonies.  "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh."

Vow Renewal Ceremony Invitations

White Hydrangea Petals on Periwinkle Blue Paper
Re-commitment ceremony
Re-commitment ceremony

Scripture Seating Charts, "Love is Patient"

Put your favorite verse at the top of a 24 x 36 inch seating chart.
Love is Patient Seating Chart
Love is Patient Seating Chart

Scripture To Read For an Outdoor Wedding Ceremony

Nature and creation related readings work well when you are surrounded by the great outdoors.

cross on mountains

The Bible is full of scripture pertaining to nature and creation. Including a verse or two about the beauty of this world shouldn't be difficult to find.

One scripture that references the majesty of God is found in Acts 17 beginning with verse 24. Beginning with the statement that "God made the world and everything in it" and that "he does not live in temples built by hands". This would be a beautiful reading for a wedding set in a garden or by the sea.

Read on in this scripture and it says that God predetermined the exact time and place where a man should live. Any couple feeling that it was their "destiny" to be together could also include that part.

More examples to include:

Psalm 8: 3-9 speaks of the majesty of the earth and asks, "what is man that you are mindful of him..".  

Psalm 19 (the work of his hands), Isaiah 40: 26 (stars)

 (Photo credit: Pixabay)

Song of Songs Contains Passionate Verses

The Song of Songs is a good place to find inspiration for your handwritten vows too.

heart of loveAnyone who is familiar with the section of the bible called Song of Songs, also known as the Song of Solomon, knows that it speaks of love and lovers.  Although it is short, it is quite a descriptive book as two lovers pour out words of longing and desire for one another.

Most of it may not be exactly what you are looking for in your church reading, but I think it could inspire you if you plan to compose your own wedding vows.

Two sections of verses from the Song of Songs would be beautiful and appropriate for the wedding ceremony.  The first is in chapter 2, verses 10-13 which speaks of what I would consider to be reference to a new beginning.   To paraphrase: Come with me, winter has passed, the rains are over and the season of singing has come.

In chapter 8, verses 6 and 7 there is a beautiful reference to the strength and power of love.  It says in part, that love "is as strong as death" and that "it burns like a blazing fire".

You may want to consider these verses to add to a wedding invitation or program if not to be used for a reading.

Stickers to use as envelope seals for a Christian marriage.

Sizes are 3 or 1.5 inches, and I suggest buying the larger size.
1 Corinthians 13
1 Corinthians 13

Will Someone Read From the Bible at Your Wedding Ceremony?

Either the officiant or a relative or friend can read scripture as part of the ceremony.

Church Wedding Ceremony Programs With Scripture

Use the scripture example, or change it to your favorite verse.
Pink Roses, Folded Wedding Program
Pink Roses, Folded Wedding Program
Catholic Church Wedding Program
Catholic Church Wedding Program

Celebrate True Love

This scripture is perfect for the couple who feels like they've found their one true love.  And what engaged couple doesn't feel like that?

Depending on which Bible translation used, either it's the bride speaking, as in this version "I found him whom my soul loves" (English Standard).  But for a more general wording to include either or both the bride and groom, "I found the one whom I love with all my heart", from the Common English Bible, would do.

Variations on this beautiful line of verse in the book of the bible "Song of Songs" can be found at the site

Asking for Guidance

As Christian couples get married, and plan a future together, they will rely on God for guidance throughout their life journey.  

Psalm 25: 1-14 is a prayer for guidance and pardon.  "Show me your me in your truth and teach me,.." it says in part, and goes on to say that the man who fears the Lord will be instructed "in the way chosen for him".    Leading a life that includes God means that "he will spend his days in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the land."

(The NIV Study Bible)


A Reminder of God's Strength

Throughout the Bible, people are reminded of their place in this world.  God knows that we will need to count on his strength to get us through tough times.  Every family will have difficulties and couple's may want to read scripture at their ceremony relating to this supernatural strength.

Isaiah 40: 20-31 speaks of God the Creator who "gives strength to the weary" and "those who hope in the Lord" will "soar on wings like eagles".

Which Bible Version to Use?

There are an abundance of bible translations, be sure to choose the one with wording that you like best.

Bibles variety of translations

The Bible has been translated, mostly for easier reading, into a large variety of versions.  The one I have referenced for writing this page is the NIV, or "New International Version".

There are many others that are written similarly, but with a large variety of wording for the same scripture. 

The King James Version is the first version of scripture and will include words such as "thine" "hath" and "thou".  If you prefer the old type wording this is the book to use.  Or you can go completely the other way and use "The Message" with paraphrased wording in a contemporary style.  This one was interpreted by Eugene H. Peterson and reads more like a book, with no verse numbers to interrupt the unique wording.

Make sure that your preferred version is used to read from for the wedding ceremony.

Examples of Wording Differences in Bible Translations

The old English style varies significantly from the new, contemporary translation.

first corinthians scripture for weddings

You should both decide on which version of the Bible to read from.  The wording will not always be alike.

At the end of the most used wedding scripture in First Corinthians there is one line which sums it up: "Love never fails".  That is what will be read from the NIV and NKJ bibles. (And probably others as well.  Not all are listed here.)

However, if your Pastor or Priest reads from the original King James Bible he will say, "Charity never faileth". In fact, that version of the Bible will not mention love in the previous verses, but uses the word "charity" in it's place. Or should I say, that the translation from the original has been changed to "love".

A much more modern version of this same line can be found in The Message bible. There, the wording of that last sentence is, "Love never dies".

Husband and Wife

The wife of noble character.

Chapter thirty-one in the book of Proverbs contains a lengthy description of "The Wife of Noble Character".  In the NIV version that is the title.  In The Message it is titled, "Hymn to a Good Wife".

The entire book is dedicated to teaching and giving instruction to the young, and especially young men.  Many of the verses are short and include instruction in what is good as opposed to what is not.  It's a book of wise teachings and is linked with King Solomon who had asked God for the gift of wisdom.

The wife young men should seek is wise, giving, intelligent, clever, creative, resourceful, and supportive.  She can handle pretty much any situation that comes her way.  She is truly a gift to any lucky man.

Since the book is geared toward the young man, the epilogue describing this type of wife can be expected.  Without using the entire selection, a couple may want to highlight certain verses to include in a reading.  Choose the ones that specifically speak to the two of you!

A Lifetime Commitment

These verses have strong words of faithfulness to each other.

These bits of scripture will profess a lifetime commitment to each other.

The first is found in the book of Ruth and although it is Ruth speaking to her mother-in-law, Naomi, the words show the deep devotion and lifetime commitment she feels. 

"Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” Ruth1:16 & 17

For the full verse, read Ruth 1: 16 & 17.

A more traditionally read passage comes from Mark 10: 6-9 which includes the words "what God has joined together, let man not separate".


Scripture With Advice For the Christian Couple

A young couple, just starting out, may choose scripture containing reminders of what is most important in life.


forest mountain nature

The couple who will look to God for inspiration and guidance throughout their married life may want to include a favorite verse about the topics listed below.

Riches and wealth:  Psalm 49:16-20 "...riches without understanding".                        

Guidance: Psalm 25: 4&5 " hope is in you all day long."

Trust in the Lord: Proverbs 3: 5&6 "....lean not on your own understanding."

Strength and Hope: Isaiah 40: 28-31 "....soar on wings like eagles."

Christian living: Romans 12: 9-21

(Photo credit: Pixabay)


Scripture With Meaning

Choosing one or two favorite scriptures to share should be enough.

God's word guides your life and you want to give credit to the Lord on this special day, but in doing so you won't want to go overboard with the references to Bible scripture.

The scripture you choose to use at the wedding should mean something to both of you.  In choosing one or two favorite verses, you will easily be able to get your point across.  Grabbing any old verse for the sake of adding one just prolongs the ceremony. 

Remember that some guests may not feel as strongly about their faith as you do and they won't want to feel like they are being preached to.  If you can't narrow it down to just one or two verses, consider adding printed scripture to your wedding invitations and / or program.

If you don't know where to begin, search the book of Psalms and Song of Songs, in the Old Testament.  For advice on living a Godly life, find helpful passages in many of the books in the New Testament.

Short and Sweet Verses to Share or Have the Pastor Read

All verses are from the NIV Bible.

"I have loved you with an everlasting love." Jeremiah 31:3

"Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart".  Proverbs 3:3

"Everything is possible for him who believes." Mark 9:23

"We live by faith, not by sight." 2 Corinthians 5:7

"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love for I have put my trust in you." Psalm 143:8

"Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."  1Thessalonians 5:16


Updated: 10/01/2023, dustytoes
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BrendaReeves on 07/24/2012

I won't be getting married again. I love living alone. But if I was, I would use these beautiful versus.

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