Not afraid of your scars: Ceremony readings for second marriages

February 1 | bijouxandbits  
Photos by: Vera Pash Photo
Readings for second weddings
Taking the plunge again! Photo by Vera Pash Photo

We're familiar with planning second marriages in these parts (our own Megan is doing it right now!), and let me tell you, it's not easy finding wedding readings for second marriages. Maybe it's feeling like you have to downplay it and thus avoiding it in the ceremony? But acknowledging that this isn't your first rodeo in the marriage game is nothing to hide and something to celebrate. You found love again and you're ready to party about it!

Let's find you some awesome readings, poems, and song lyrics for your second marriage.

Feel free to dig into our readings archives to find more (and less specific) weddings readings for your ceremony. And check out our full second marriage archive for advice and tips for getting on that saddle again.

Mouthful of Forevers by Clementine von Radics

I am not the first person you loved.
You are not the first person I looked at
with a mouthful of forevers. We
have both known loss like the sharp edges
of a knife. We have both lived with lips
more scar tissue than skin. Our love came
unannounced in the middle of the night.
Our love came when we’d given up
on asking love to come. I think
that has to be part
of its miracle.

This is how we heal.
I will kiss you like forgiveness. You
will hold me like I’m hope. Our arms
will bandage and we will press promises
between us like flowers in a book.
I will write sonnets to the salt of sweat
on your skin. I will write novels to the scar
of your nose. I will write a dictionary
of all the words I have used trying
to describe the way it feels to have finally,
finally found you.

And I will not be afraid
of your scars.

I know sometimes
it’s still hard to let me see you
in all your cracked perfection,
but please know:
whether it’s the days you burn
more brilliant than the sun
or the nights you collapse into my lap
your body broken into a thousand questions,
you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
I will love you when you are a still day.
I will love you when you are a hurricane.

Wishes On Second Marriage by Shishir

Life has given you this new chance.
Your positive thoughts now must enhance.
It's time to be more responsible.
Progress only then will be possible.
It's the result of your past good deeds.
Remove from your life all useless weeds.
A good life partner will give you courage.
Success will be at your door throughout the ages.
She will enlarge your beautiful family,
And the boat of your life will sail very easily.
My good wishes will always be with you,
And happiness will come in a break-less queue.

Songs about second love

"The Second Time Around" by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van (sung by Frank Sinatra)

Love is lovelier the second time around
Just as wonderful with both feet on the ground
It's that second time you hear your love song sung
Makes you think perhaps that love, like youth, is wasted on the young

Love's more comfortable the second time you fall
Like a friendly home the second time you call
Who can say what brought us to this miracle we've found?
There are those who'll bet love comes but once, and yet
I'm oh, so glad we met the second time around

Who can say what brought us to this miracle we've found?
There are those who'll bet love comes but once, and yet
I'm oh, so glad we met the second time around

"Scars And All" by Jeff Carson

I was living hard and fast
Running from my past
On the day that I ran into you
Life had taken its toll
I was staggered by the blows
I'd been through all I could go through

There was scars on my heart
Where love had left its mark
Wounds that I still carried from the fall
Oh but your love built a bridge
Where I'd put up a wall
And you loved me scars and all

With so many flaws
I still wondered what you saw
That made you believe in me
I was no one's hero
Didn't even come close
But you saw something no one else could see

There was scars on my heart
Where love had left its mark
Wounds that I still carried from the fall
Oh, but your love built a bridge
Where I'd put up a wall
And you loved me scars and all

You loved me scars and all

"I'd Love To Be Your Last" by Gretchen Wilson

If I had it my way, this would be the first time
That I made love
And I would be the first girl that your hands touched
But we've both done our share of livin'
Taking chances we've been given
I've never been too big on looking back
I don't care if I'm your first love,
But I'd love to be your last

If I could do it over I'd have waited for this moment
So I could give my heart to you unbroken
But if our mistakes brought us together
Does it really matter whether
We were saints or sinners in the past?
I don't care if I'm your first love,
But I'd love to be your last

All I know is what I see when I look at you
And what I see when I look at you
And all I see is what I'm feeling down inside
And all I'm feeling is this feeling
That I've finally got it right
When I wake up tomorrow I'm gonna wrap my arms around you
And thank my lucky stars I found you
Cause I know your heart has so much more than anyone has
Touched before, and nothing matter more to me than that
I don't care if I'm your first love,
But I'd love to be your last

If you're marrying the same person again!

Second Time Love by Joyce Hemsley

Falling in love with you again,
Calling in dreams, for one sweet kiss,
Strolling along down "memory" lane,
Rolling on waves of magical bliss.

Evening is here, the rain has gone,
Gleaming stars cluster high above,
Leaving soon, for a new honeymoon,
Believing in "second time love."

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  1. I really like these! They're an elegant way to acknowledge and respect the fact that second marriages are just as special and meaningful as first ones, and sometimes moreso! My fiance was previously married, and if his mom knew about it (long story) I'd totally try to find a way to fit into the ceremony how my mom described divorces: "mulligans". (She played a lot of golf)

  2. I wonder if anyone has suggestions for non-barfy readings for a vow renewal/anniversary celebration. I've been looking and haven't found anything yet. Next year we celebrate 30 years together!

    • I love the poem Litany by Billy Collins. I think it could do well for a couple married for a long time because it involves knowing your loved one, still knowing oneself, not expecting one person to be everything, and keeping a good sense of humor.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56Iq3PbSWZY / http://www.lyrikline.org/en/poems/litany-7640

      Litany
      You are the bread and the knife,
      The crystal goblet and the wine…
      -Jacques Crickillon

      You are the bread and the knife,
      the crystal goblet and the wine.
      You are the dew on the morning grass
      and the burning wheel of the sun.
      You are the white apron of the baker,
      and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.

      However, you are not the wind in the orchard,
      the plums on the counter,
      or the house of cards.
      And you are certainly not the pine-scented air.
      There is just no way that you are the pine-scented air.

      It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,
      maybe even the pigeon on the general's head,
      but you are not even close
      to being the field of cornflowers at dusk.

      And a quick look in the mirror will show
      that you are neither the boots in the corner
      nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.

      It might interest you to know,
      speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,
      that I am the sound of rain on the roof.

      I also happen to be the shooting star,
      the evening paper blowing down an alley
      and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.

      I am also the moon in the trees
      and the blind woman's tea cup.
      But don't worry, I'm not the bread and the knife.
      You are still the bread and the knife.
      You will always be the bread and the knife,
      not to mention the crystal goblet and–somehow–the wine.

  3. These are very nice, but I laughed aloud at the inclusion of Oscar Wilde. I adore his work, but dude was a selfish terrible husband – definitely not anyone to evoke on a wedding day. He cheated on and abandoned his wife and sons, then stiffed them while he wined and dined his buddies. When rich, he mostly ignored his family. Whenever he blew his fortune on fancy hotels and sex workers (pretty regularly), he wrote his wife nasty letters demanding she send him the little money she got from her relatives to raise their children. He's a very quotable guy, but I'd leave him out of any wedding ceremony.
    Source: The Complete Letters of Oscar Wilde Hardcover – December 1, 2000
    by Oscar Wilde (Author), Merlin Holland (Editor), Rupert Hart-Davis (Editor)

    1 agrees
    • Totally hear your concerns on Oscar Wilde, but I will say that folks evoke all sorts of potentially problematic content on their wedding days. Maybe the most obvious example that springs to mind is Game of Thrones wedding references, but I know there are a million other things… there's some song that everyone loves to play at weddings that's totally inappropriate. I can't remember what it is now…

      • For that matter, I think we could totally say the same sort of things about Shakespeare. There's significant evidence that he wrote not one of his sonnets to his wife, and yet we hold them up as paragons of love poems–and several of them are! And I suspect that many people will read these sonnets at their own weddings for centuries to come! For me, so long as "I'll Be Watching You" doesn't come into it, we're all good…

        • I always feel like it's nice to be aware of something's back-story. And then you can decide if that ruins it for you or not. For example, I probably wouldn't use a Chris Brown song, even though I love that dancing processional people did.
          But, we are doing our first dance to a Sinatra song even though Sinatra had 4 marriages (and a lot of mess) and Trump just used a different Sinatra song for his first dances at the inaugural balls…. I don't want people to associate our first dance with either of those things.
          My fiance and I talked about choosing a song from a different artist, but he and his family have always loved Sinatra and he has sung Sinatra songs to me since the beginning of our relationship. So we're sticking with it.

          1 agrees
      • I went to a wedding fair last year, and while we were there one of the DJ's advertising his service played (I kid you not) "I Will Survive", "Band of Gold", and "Piece of my Heart" (and one other very specific wedding night heartbreak song I can't remember, but my OH does). Like, I can see putting on I Will Survive as a good tune, but there's only so many break up songs you can play before the crowd realise you're trolling them.

  4. "I will love you when you are a still day.
    I will love you when you are a hurricane."

    This first poem cracked my heart open. This is a reading for second marriages, sure, but it's also an anthem for every marriage.

  5. These could even be appropriate for a first marriage when you think about it. My husband and I found each other after both coming out of long term relationships that did not end well. We weren't the first people that the other loved, but I think we were the first who accepted each other for exactly how we are. That common hurt of our quirks NOT being embraced by our exes was actually something that brought us closer together.

    1 agrees
  6. Both my fiance and I are young widowers (when I say young, I am in my late twenties and he is in his early thirties, so kind of young). I've been on the hunt for how to recognize the two people we still love while loving each other in a new and exciting way. I'm adding these to the list, and if anyone else from the wonderful community has ideas, I would love to listen.

    1 agrees

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