29th April 2022

Secular Wedding Readings: “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” by Louis De Bernieres

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Welcome back to our weekly wedding readings segment. This is where we source and share some of our favourite texts perfect for weddings. This week we are focusing on secular wedding readings. We try and include a variety of ideas so that there is a reading suggestion for every kind of speech at every kind of wedding!

However, if you are looking for a reading suggestion for a specific event, please feel free to leave us a comment. We would love to help you source one.


Secular Wedding Readings: “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” by Louis De Bernieres

Louis de Bernières is an English novelist. His most famous work, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin is set during the Second World War. The novel explores the romance between an Italian army captain and a local physician’s daughter against the backdrop of a bloody occupation. The novel is widely celebrated as one of the best British novels of all time. It is famous for passages about love such as this one.


Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. No, don’t blush, I am telling you some truths. That is just being “in love,” which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.


Why We Love It

This is one of our favourite secular wedding readings. In just a few words, de Bernières sums up the journey from infatuation, to passion, to love. This reading is perfect for a couple who have been together a long time. It works best for people who truly understand what it is to choose to love another person every day.

This is one of the best secular wedding readings to incorporate into wedding speeches. It is guaranteed to get the tears flowing.

If you like this reading, keep your eyes peeled next week and every week from here on out. We will share more secular wedding readings as well as texts about joy, children, religion, and more.