Looking for a beautiful reading for the wedding ceremony, something heartfelt for a speech or wedding toast, or a poem to include in a wedding program? Here's a popular piece known throughout the world called "The Art of Marriage" by Wilferd A. Peterson:  

"The Art Of Marriage"
by Wilferd A. Peterson (longer version)

Compliments Of Erik & Beth Kent, Co-Publishers of NJWedding.com

Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
A good marriage must be created.
In the art of marriage the little things are the big things...

It is never being too old to hold hands.

It is remembering to say "I love you" at least once a day.

It is never going to sleep angry.

It is at no time taking the other for granted;
the courtship should not end with the honeymoon,
it should continue through all the years.

It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.

It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.

It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude
of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.

It is speaking words of appreciation
and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.

It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience,
understanding and a sense of humour.

It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.

It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.

It is finding room for the things of the spirit.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.

It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal,
dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.

It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.

It is discovering what marriage can be, at its best.

- by Wilferd Arlan Peterson

- view short, popular version - view bio of Wilferd A. Peterson -


The Art of Marriage is an essay by Wilferd A. Peterson (published in THE NEW BOOK OF THE ART OF LIVING, Simon & Schuster, New York, copyright Wilferd Arlan Peterson, 1962, 1963; copyright Lilian Thorpe, 2004). Permission granted to NJWedding.com by the Heacock Literary Agency, Inc.

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