This children's picture book about friendship is a surprisingly great ceremony reading

October 10 2013 | Guest post by Kerry

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 2.06.12 PMI knew I wanted a reading included in our ceremony. Nothing too long. Nothing too sappy. Nothing too clichéd. And I wanted to find something that would allow my two oldest and dearest friends to participate in our ceremony.

I searched the Internet and Offbeat Bride (of course!) and I saw many really great suggestions, but nothing jumped out at me and said THIS IS IT!

Then I remembered a children's picture book that I loved as a kid. I loved it as an adult too and had bought it for many friends who had children. I couldn't find my copy and had to order a new one. The book is called Rosie and Michael by Judith Viorst. I was anxious waiting for it to come in the mail. I needed to read it again to determine if it would work the way I wanted it to! I was thrilled to discover IT'S PERFECT! I only had to edit out a few scenes — the rest works like gangbusters.

Rosie and Michael are best friends and the book is told from their point of view. In our ceremony, my best girl Jen will read the part of Rosie and my best guy Raymond will read the part of Michael. I have no doubt our guests will be entertained and touched by this reading. Even though the story is about being best friends, the sentiments translate perfectly to how Manny and I feel about our marriage. Here it is:

Rosie is my friend. She likes me when I'm dopey and not just when I'm smart. I worry a lot about pythons, and she understands. My toes point in and my shoulders droop, and there's hair growing out of my ears. But Rosie says I look good. She is my friend.

Michael is my friend. He likes me when I'm grouchy and not just when I'm nice. I worry a lot about werewolves, and he understands. There's freckles growing all over me, except on my eyeballs and teeth. But Michael says I look good. He is my friend.

When my parakeet died, I called Rosie. When my bike got swiped, I called Rosie. When I cut my head and the blood came gushing out, as soon as the blood stopped gushing, I called Rosie. She is my friend.

When my dog ran away, I called Michael. When my bike got swiped, I called Michael. When I broke my wrist and the bone was sticking out, as soon as they stuck it back in, I called Michael. He is my friend.

It wouldn't matter if two billion people said she robbed a bank, if Rosie told me she didn't, I'd believe her.

Even though his fingerprints were found all over the dagger, if Michael said, "I'm innocent," I'd believe him.

If Rosie told me a secret and people hit me and bit me, I wouldn't tell what Rosie's secret was. And then if people twisted my arm and kicked me in the shins, I still wouldn't tell what Rosie's secret was. And then if people said, "Speak up, or we'll throw you in this quicksand," Rosie would forgive me for telling her secret.

If Michael told me a secret and people clonked me and bopped me, I wouldn't tell what Michaels' secret was. And then if people bent back my fingers and wrestled me to the ground, I still wouldn't tell what Michael's secret was. And then if people said, "Speak up, or we'll feed you to these piranhas," Michael would forgive me for telling his secret.

Just because I call her a gorilla face, doesn't mean that Rosie's not my friend.

Just because I call him a banana head, doesn't mean that Michael's not my friend.

Sometimes I get on the diving board and decide that I've changed my mind. But Rosie wouldn't laugh. She is my friend.

Sometimes I'm climbing up a tree and decide that I'd rather climb down. But Michael wouldn't laugh. He is my friend.

Rosie is my friend. When she honest and truly wanted to know if she walked like a kangaroo, I honestly told her.

Michael is my friend. When he honest and truly wanted to know if his feet were smelling stinky, I honestly told him.

Rosie would try to save me if there was a tidal wave. She'd hunt for me if kidnappers stole me away. And if I was never found again, she could have my Instamatic. She is my friend.

Michael would try to save me if a lion attacked. He'd catch me if I jumped from a burning house. And if by mistake he missed the catch, he could have my stamp collection. He is my friend.

I'd never get my tonsils out if Rosie didn't too.

I'd never move to China without Michael.

I'd give her my last piece of chalk.

I'd give him my last Chiclet.

Rosie is…

Michael is…

[TOGETHER] My friend.

  1. There seems to have been a sudden appearance of some kind of allergen in my living room and now my eyes are watering. Because of the allergen.

    52 agree
    • Thank you so much for this link to I like You. It is amazing. Our wedding is on July 5 and this is now in serious contention about what should be said!

      1 agrees
  2. That's adorable! Would anyone consider changing the names of rosie and micheal to the bride and grooms? or some of the words here and there to make it match them?

    • Honestly, I never would have considered changing the names or any of the words (except for editing it down for length, which I did do) because I would not like to disrespect the book's author in any way. It was our idea that our ceremony reading just has to contain sentiments that echo our own feelings on love which this does. It would be different if we were adapting something for our vows, but this is just for the reading.

      2 agree
  3. Is the quoted portion above the whole book, or the abridged version you used for your ceremony? Either way, it's adorable!

    • The quoted portion is what we used and it is slightly abridged. There were a few more sections that didn't quite work for marriage. But it was a minor edit. We now keep a copy of the book on our coffee table at home to always remind us of our wedding!

  4. I hate to rain on the parade, but unless you have written permission from the publisher or the book was written before 1926, this is a pretty flagrant copyright violation. Quoting almost the entire book here goes way past fair use or personal use.

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