The book, designed for anyone involved in wedding planning, offers over a hundred carefully chosen Shakespeare quotes organized by speakers (e.g., the couple, father of the bride), occasions (e.g., vows, toasts), and meanings. It aims to enhance the wedding experience by providing meaningful and well-contextualized quotes. The content suggests incorporating Shakespearean lines in proposals, vows, sonnet readings during the ceremony, and even at the reception to add a touch of eloquence to the event. Additionally, it provides tips on delivering these lines effectively, urging readers to avoid merely reading from a paper for a more memorable performance.
William Shakespeare wrote some of the most romantic lines the world has ever known. What better way to celebrate a wedding than with a generous helping of his timeless wisdom? No one speaks to eternal happiness and everlasting love like Shakespeare, whose words ring just as true today as they did four hundred years ago. This book is far more than just a plain list of quotes you’ve no doubt heard before. Over one hundred selections have been chosen specifically for their usefulness at a wedding, organized by who might say them (the happy couple, the father of the bride, or even the guests themselves), when to say them (at the altar, at the reception, as a toast) and even what they mean (when it’s not obvious). It’s much easier for the best man to deliver a toast when he knows what he’s saying and is not just reading from an index card he copied off the internet, no matter how cool and romantic it sounds.
Who is this book for?
I believe very much that life is better with Shakespeare in it. This book is written for anyone taking part in the planning of a wedding that feels the same way. Bride and groom, their parents, toast-making members of the wedding party, and well-wishing wedding guests, you are all welcome and encouraged to take what you may from the lines assembled here and use them as you will. May the wedding be all the more memorable for it.
Proposals and Vows
On this, the happiest day of your life, you need some words to express what you’re feeling. Shakespeare’s got you covered. Maybe you’ve got the guts to grab the microphone and proclaim your undying devotion to your beloved right there in front of everybody by using Shakespeare in your vows. Or maybe you’re not so much with speaking in public and are just looking for a little something to toast each other over champagne. Maybe you haven’t even popped the question yet and are looking for a few good lines for when you get down on one knee. Whatever the case, Shakespeare’s there for you. Nobody, but nobody, says, “I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you,” like the Immortal Bard.
One obvious opportunity for a selection from Shakespeare is to use it as a reading during the ceremony. If you’ve ever been to a wedding where someone read, “Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments,” this is a good example. That is Sonnet #116. The sonnets are particularly favored for this purpose since they stand alone, requiring no context to appreciate. You don’t need to provide your audience with enormous amounts of background information, character descriptions or plot outlines to read a sonnet. The fourteen lines of any one of these sonnets will provide its own context.
At the Reception
Finally, here are a few quotes that refer more to the event itself than the people. Even for Shakespeare, a wedding was a time of much eating, music and dancing! These could be used somewhere in the decorations or even spoken as a welcome to guests and an official start to the festivities once the wedding party has arrived.
Tips for Reciting Shakespeare
So you’ve got your lines picked out. You know what you’ll say and when you’ll say it. Now what? Whatever you do, whether it’s your wedding or your friends’, whether you’re about to tackle a full sonnet or just a line or two, please do not take a piece of paper out of your pocket and just read what’s on the page! Shakespeare only provided the words. It’s up to you to deliver a memorable performance. Here are some tips for knocking it out of the park.