3rd October 2021

Wedding Readings For WLW: Adrienne Rich

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Welcome to our new weekly segment where we share our best wedding reading ideas. Once a week we will spotlight one of our favourite texts or poems to inspire your wedding readings. That could be a best man speech, maid of honour speech, or simply a chance for you to express your love to your new spouse. This week we will be focusing on wedding readings for WLW.

We will try to include a wide range of readings from the more obscure to well known pieces of writing. It is important to us to be inclusive so we will try and source readings which are appropriate for all kinds of weddings and partnership ceremonies.

If you have a specific event that you are struggling to source a reading for, please leave us a comment and we will do our best to find an appropriate idea for you!

The Reading

Starting off strong we have a gorgeous poem by Adrienne Rich. A lesbian feminist poet from the 50s-70s, Rich was known for her extensive writings on femininity, womanhood and sexuality. She is the perfect poet to choose for a lesbian wedding or any ceremony involving LGBT women.

Our favourite Rich poem for a wedding is from her collection “21 Love Poems”.


Sleeping, turning in turn like planets
rotating in their midnight meadow
a touch is enough to let us know
we’re not alone in the universe
, even in sleep:
the dream-ghosts of two worlds
walking their ghost-towns, almost address each other.
I’ve wakened to your muttered words
spoken light- or dark-years away,

as if my own voice had spoken.
But we have different voices, even in sleep,
and our bodies, so alike, are yet so different

and the past echoing through our bloodstreams
is freighted with different language, different meanings—
though in any chronicle of the world we share
it could be written with new meaning

we were two lovers of one gender,
we were two women of one generation.

Why We love It

Simply entitled “XII”, this poem explores the magnitude of being in love as well as the deeply personal small moments of a relationship. It is one of our favourite wedding readings for WLW because it makes nice references to the experience of being an LGBT woman, but also does not portray queer women as a monolith and illustrates the differences between them.

The poem has themes of togetherness and companionship which is a lovely sentiment for a wedding. It is quietly romantic, and deeply personal.

This poem is ideal to read to your new spouse or partner at your ceremony. The lines referencing a new meaning are a nice metaphor for your fresh nuptials. Furthermore, the theme of a shared world is a lovely image of marriage.

If you like this poem, keep your eyes peeled next Sunday and every Sunday from here on out for more wedding readings for WLW, brides, grooms, MLM, parents of the bride and groom, and the bridal party..