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Food Wedding Reading

Dear Hounds: I am getting married in a month or so, and my fiancee and I are searching for a food/cooking/eating-related wedding reading and are having some trouble. Can you help?

A reading that expresses the importance of food in a beautiful or humorous way would be sufficient; a reading that also alludes to marriage or to love would be an added bonus. Any recommendations are greatly appreciated.

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  1. I have nothing that comes to immediate mind other than the Swedish Chef playing basketball with the chicken muppets, so I will instead suggest that you might get some literary suggestions from the crew at Kitchen Arts and Letters on Lexington. Nach the owner and everyone else so completely care and know about about their 10,000 titles. Indeed many of the works in the place have nothing to do with a recipe, just the concept of the joy of food and wine (if you drink), cultural history, and overall society. And love, of course. Believe me, they could completely get into helping you search.

    When I was going to make a eulogy for my beloved grandmother, a woman of so many amazing things, I knew I needed to find a poem. So, I asked a poet friend who steered me to another poet's anthology and there was the perfect work. I bet that the pros at Kitchen Arts will be able to steer you to anything from Beard to a poet who just wanted to eat a sandwich on a Welsh moor. Just as long as you don't show Mr. Creosote exploding on the big screen you should be fine with the inlaws.

    Happy hunting for readings and happy life to you both.

      1. or maybe this from Hindu wedding vow?

        “Let us take the first steps to provide for our household a nourishing diet, avoiding foods injurious to healthy living. Let us take the second step to develop physical, mental, and spiritual strength. Let us take the third step to increase our wealth by righteous means and proper use. Let us take the fourth step to acquire knowledge, happiness, and harmony by mutual love and trust. Let us take the fifth step so that we will be blessed with strong, virtuous children. Let us take the sixth step for self-restraint and longevity. Let us take the seventh step and be true companions and remain lifelong partners by this wedlock.”

        Afterwards, the wedding vows traditionally include the following speech:
        “We have taken the Seven Steps. You have become mine forever. Yes, we have become partners. I have become yours. Hereafter, I cannot live without you. Do not live without me. Let us share the joys. We are word and meaning, united. You are though and I am sound. May the night be honey-sweet for us and the heavens be honey-sweet for us. May the plants be honey-sweet for us; may the sun be all honey for us; may the cows yield us honey-sweet milk. As the heavens are stable, as the earth is stable, as the mountains are stable, as the whole universe is stable, so may our unions be permanently settled.”

        1. Thanks for these great suggestions so far. Perhaps I should provide a bit more information. The ceremony is basically secular, with some Jewish elements. I'm hesitant to use any religious text that is not Jewish, and all-in-all I'd probably rather not use a religious text.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mhoffman

            Song of Solomon is Old Testament.

          2. I'll keep trying???

            The Love Cook
            by Ron Padgett

            Let me cook you some dinner.
            Sit down and take off your shoes
            and socks and in fact the rest
            of your clothes, have a daquiri,
            turn on some music and dance
            around the house, inside and out,
            it’s night and the neighbors
            are sleeping, those dolts, and
            the stars are shining bright,
            and I’ve got the burners lit
            for you, you hungry thing.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Siobhan

              I like that poem! Perhaps a bit racy for purpose at hand, however. It's awkward enough seeing all those old relatives as it is.

              And yes, please keep trying if you're willing!

            2. my first thought was "Valentine" by Carol Ann Duffy...until i remembered the "lethal" line at the end...

              Not a red rose or a satin heart.

              I give you an onion.
              It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.
              It promises light
              like the careful undressing of love.

              It will blind you with tears
              like a lover.
              It will make your reflection
              a wobbling photo of grief.

              I am trying to be truthful.

              Not a cute card or a kissogram.

              I give you an onion.
              Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,
              possessive and faithful
              as we are,
              for as long as we are.

              Take it.
              Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding-ring,
              if you like.

              Its scent will cling to your fingers,
              cling to your knife.

              ok, so myabe not so much :)

              Pablo Neruda has written some great food-centric poetry, though i'm not sure it's what you're looking for...but you should be able to Google them pretty easily.

              best of luck with your search, and mazel tov!

              1. Hey, all. As so often happens in life, asking for help has led me to find a solution on my own. Here is what we've decided to use as our food-related reading. It's an excerpt from the introduction to Volume One of Mastering the Art of French Cooking:


                Pay close attention to what you are doing while you work, for precision in small details can make the difference between passable cooking and fine food. If a recipe says, "cover casserole and regulate heat so liquid simmers very slowly," "heat the butter until its foam begins to subside," or "beat the hot sauce into the egg yolks by driblets," follow it. You may be slow and clumsy at first, but with practice you will pick up speed and style.

                Allow you self plenty of time. Most dishes can be assembled, or started, or partially cooked in advance. If you are not an old campaigner, do not plan more than one long or complicated recipe for a meal or you will wear yourself out and derive not pleasure form your efforts.

                If food is to be baked or broiled, be sure your oven is hot before the dish goes in. Otherwise soufflés will not rise, piecrusts will collapse, and gratinéed dishes will overcook before they brown.

                A pot saver is a self-hampering cook. Use all the pans, bowls, and equipment you need, but soak them in water as soon as you are through with them, Clean up after yourself frequently to avoid confusion.

                Train yourself to use your hands and fingers; they are wonderful instruments. Train yourself to handle hot foods; this will save time. Keep your knives sharp.

                Above all, have a good time.

                5 Replies
                  1. re: Cathy

                    mhoffman: How about talking about how one's bashert can be comparing to finding that one special "ingredient" and go from there. Improvise. Hatzlacha (power to ya), girl! Love to hear good news 'bout my peeps!

                  2. re: mhoffman

                    Hello! I am now also looking for a secular reading about food that I could use in my own wedding coming up this August. I really like yours, mhoffman. Did you ever come across any others that were equal contenders?

                    I'm looking for something that deals with food and love - how food brings people together. Any suggestions welcome! It could be a passage from a movie/book/song/poem .. anything.

                    If anyone else has any suggestions, I'm all ears.


                    1. re: cathycanada

                      I would highly recommend following goodhealthgourmet's suggestion of looking up Neruda's poetry. Ode to Wine comes to mind as being quite like what you're thinking of.

                      1. re: cathycanada

                        "Cooking is caring. Cooking is love. Cooking is respect." -- Michel Richard

                    2. Just please tell me that you are not going to send photographs of your meals home from your honeymoon.

                      1. mhoff- thank you for this post. I'm attending a wedding celebration this weekend- the partners were married in a civil ceremony in DC last month- and this would be a wonderful thing to incorporate into their gift. just perfect.
                        I wish you the best on your wedding day and a lifetime of happy marriage days.

                        1. Anything from Portnoy's Complaint.

                          1. Ina Garten has some great thoughts about family in the introduction to Barefoot Contessa Family Style.