Poetry has a powerful way of capturing our attention and describing emotional moments in the most touching way. Itâ€™s no wonder wedding poems remain a popular choice for speeches, vows, and toasts. The right wedding wordsÂ can inspire tears of joy and have everyone feeling the love. But how do you choose the perfect love poem for the big day? Weâ€™re glad you asked.
How to Find the Perfect Wedding Poem
Whether youâ€™re the person getting married or someone the newlyweds have asked to share a few words, there are a few things to consider before you choose a wedding poem. Keep in mind that wedding poems are a great idea for wedding vows, wedding readings, toasts, cards, and digital invitations.
Think About the Tone
Some wedding poems are traditional and formal in nature, while others are much more modern and unusual. Look for a poem that matches the tone of the event and the moment when youâ€™re actually sharing the poem. Consider whether you want a traditional sonnet as part of the wedding ceremony or a few quirky lines for a toast to the happy couple on their special day.
Consider the Coupleâ€™s Favorite Figures
If youâ€™re choosing a wedding poem as part of a speech or toast, ask the happy couple if there are any particular poets or writers they love. You can then choose a poetÂ they relate to or admire as a special way to honor their own personal connection.
Practice Saying It Aloud
To avoid stumbling over your words on the big day, choose a poem that you feel confident saying out loud. Reciting the poem aloud is also a good way to see if itâ€™ll fit within the moment â€” you might find itâ€™s too long and complicated for your vows, or itâ€™s too short for your wedding ceremony reading. You might also discover that a traditional poem doesnâ€™t suit you and opt for something more contemporary or casual instead.
Once youâ€™ve found the perfect poem, donâ€™t be afraid to experiment with it a little. Add a few personalized lines to the start or end of the poem, or ground it by telling a story about the two soulmates beforehand. This works great as part of a ceremonyÂ speech or a wedding day toast, where you can lead the audience on a journey.
9 Traditionally Romantic Wedding Poems
We love these traditional wedding poems that are truly timeless. These classics are favorites among couples and speech givers alike for their romance, depth, and familiarity. These traditional poems work great for a more formal ceremony or toast, and would also look wonderful printed and displayed at the reception venue as decor.
1. I Carry Your Heart by E. E. Cummings
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and itâ€™s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder thatâ€™s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
2. How Do I Love Thee? by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
3. Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda
I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way
than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
4. This Marriage by Rumi
May these vows and this marriage be blessed.
May it be sweet milk,
this marriage, like wine and halvah.
May this marriage offer fruit and shade
like the date palm.
May this marriage be full of laughter,
our every day a day in paradise.
May this marriage be a sign of compassion,
a seal of happiness here and hereafter.
May this marriage have a fair face and a good name,
an omen as welcomes the moon in a clear blue sky.
I am out of words to describe
how spirit mingles in this marriage.
5. Touched by An Angel by Maya Angelou
We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.
We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love’s light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.
6. Love Is A Place by E. E. Cummings
love is a place
& through this place of
(with brightness of peace)
yes is a world
& in this world of
7. Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand’ring bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me prov’d,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.
8. To Be One With Each Other by George Eliot
What greater thing is there for two human souls
than to feel that they are joined together to strengthen
each other in all labor, to minister to each other in all sorrow,
to share with each other in all gladness,
to be one with each other in the
silent unspoken memories?
9. To Love Is Not to Possess by James Kavanaugh
To love is not to possess,
To own or imprison,
Nor to lose one’s self in another.
Love is to join and separate,
To walk alone and together,
To find a laughing freedom
That lonely isolation does not permit.
It is finally to be able
To be who we really are
No longer clinging in childish dependency
Nor docilely living separate lives in silence,
It is to be perfectly one’s self
And perfectly joined in permanent commitment
To another–and to one’s inner self.
Love only endures when it moves like waves,
Receding and returning gently or passionately,
Or moving lovingly like the tide
In the moon’s own predictable harmony,
Because finally, despite a child’s scars
Or an adult’s deepest wounds,
They are openly free to be
Who they really are–and always secretly were,
In the very core of their being
Where true and lasting love can alone abide.
10 Beautifully Unusual Wedding Poems
Fancy something a little more unusual for your speech, toast, greeting, or vows? These quirky, offbeat, and more contemporary wedding poems could be perfect for you. With modern poems often being shorter than their traditional counterparts, these are ideal for contemporary ceremonies and elopements.
1. Excerpt from First Poems by Rainer Maria Rilke
Understand, I’ll slip quietly away from the noisy crowd
when I see the pale stars rising, blooming, over the oaks.
I’ll pursue solitary pathways through the pale twilit meadows
with only this one dream: You come too.
2. Roads Go Ever Ever On by J. R. R. Tolkien
Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.
Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star,
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.
3. Excerpt from Captain Corelliâ€™s Mandolin by Louis de BerniĂ¨res
Love is a temporary madness.
It erupts like volcanoes and then subsides.
And when it subsides, you have to make a decision.
You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together
that it is inconceivable that you should ever part.
Because this is what love is.
Love is not breathlessness,
It is not excitement,
It is not the promulgation of eternal passion.
That is just being â€śin loveâ€ť which any fool can do.
Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away,
And this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground,
And when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches,
They find that they are one tree and not two.
4. Chemistry by Nayyirah Waheed
touching my arm
setting fire to my mind.
5. You Came, Too by Nikki Giovanni
I came to the crowd seeking friends
I came to the crowd seeking love
I came to the crowd for understanding
I found you
I came to the crowd to weep
I came to the crowd to laugh
You dried my tears
You shared my happiness
I went from the crowd seeking you
I went from the crowd seeking me
I went from the crowd forever
You came, too
6. Dress by Tyler Knott Gregson
I would rather be
the loneliest dress
of all the dresses
hanging in the back
of your closet,
than the most loved
and most gorgeous dress
in the front
7. Untitled by R. M. Drake
You will be the clouds
And I will be the sky.
You will be the ocean
And I will be the shore.
You will be the trees
And I will be the wind.
Whatever we are, you and I
Will always collide.
8. Our Souls Are Mirrors by Rupi Kaur
god must have kneaded you and i
from the same dough
rolled us out as one on the baking sheet
must have suddenly realized
how unfair it was
to put that much magic in one person
and sadly split that dough in two
how else is it that
when i look in the mirror
i am looking at you
when you breathe
my own lungs fill with air
that we just met but we
have known each other our whole lives
if we were not made as one to begin with
9. The Day Sky by Hafiz
Let us be like
two falling stars in the day sky.
Let no one know of our sublime beauty
as we hold hands with God
Into a sacred existence that defies â€“
Every description of ecstasy
10. Falling Stars by Rainer Maria Rilke
Do you remember still the falling stars
that like swift horses through the heavens raced
and suddenly leaped across the hurdles
of our wishes–do you recall? And we
did make so many!
For there were countless numbers
of stars: each time we looked above we were
astounded by the swiftness of their daring play,
while in our hearts we felt safe and secure
watching these brilliant bodies disintegrate,
knowing somehow we had survived their fall.
5 Fun and Funny Wedding Poems
Want to make your loved ones laugh instead of cry? Here are some of our favorite funny wedding poems that are sure to get people smiling. (Thereâ€™s even a â€śpoemâ€ť from a hilarious romantic comedy.)
1. To My Valentine by Ogden Nash
More than a catbird hates a cat,
Or a criminal hates a clue,
Or the Axis hates the United States,
Thatâ€™s how much I love you.
I love you more than a duck can swim,
And more than a grapefruit squirts,
I love you more than a gin rummy is a bore,
And more than a toothache hurts.
As a shipwrecked sailor hates the sea,
Or a juggler hates a shove,
As a hostess detests unexpected guests,
Thatâ€™s how much you I love.
I love you more than a wasp can sting,
And more than the subway jerks,
I love you as much as a beggar needs a crutch,
And more than a hangnail irks.
I swear to you by the stars above,
And below, if such there be,
As the High Court loathes perjurious oaths,
Thatâ€™s how youâ€™re loved by me.
2. Iâ€™ll Be There For You by Louise Cuddon
Iâ€™ll be there my darling, through thick and through thin
When your mindâ€™s in a mess and your headâ€™s in a spin
When your planeâ€™s been delayed, and youâ€™ve missed the last train
When life is just threatening to drive you insane
When your thrilling whodunit has lost its last page
When somebody tells you, youâ€™re looking your age
When your coffeeâ€™s too cool, and your wine is too warm
When the forecast said â€śFineâ€ť, but youâ€™re out in a storm
When your quick break hotel, turns into a slum
And your holiday photos show only your thumb
When you park for five minutes in a residentâ€™s bay
And return to discover youâ€™ve been towed away
When the jeans that you bought in hope or in haste
Just stick on your hips and donâ€™t reach round your waist
When the food you most like brings you out in red rashes
When as soon as you boot up the bloody thing crashes
So my darling, my sweetheart, my dearâ€¦
When you break a rule, when you act the fool
When youâ€™ve got the flu, when youâ€™re in a stew
When youâ€™re last in the queue, donâ€™t feel blue
â€™cause Iâ€™m telling you, Iâ€™ll be there.
3. Grow Old With You from The Wedding Singer
I wanna make you smile whenever youâ€™re sad
Carry you around when your arthritis is bad
All I wanna do is grow old with you
Iâ€™ll get your medicine when your tummy aches
Build you a fire if the furnace breaks
Oh, it could be so nice, growing old with you
Iâ€™ll miss you
Give you my coat when you are cold
Even let you hold the remote control
So let me do the dishes in our kitchen sink
Put you to bed when youâ€™ve had too much to drink
Oh, I could be the man who grows old with you
I wanna grow old with you.
4. I Rely On You by Hovis Presley
I rely on you
like a camera needs a shutter
like a gambler needs a flutter
like a golfer needs a putter
like a buttered scone involves some butter
I rely on you
like an acrobat needs ice cool nerve
like a hairpin needs a drastic curve
like an HGV needs endless derv
like an outside left needs a body swerve
I rely on you
like a handyman needs pliers
like an auctioneer needs buyers
like a laundromat needs driers
like The Good Life needed Richard Briers
I rely on you.
5. Yes, Iâ€™ll Marry You by Pam Ayres
Yes, I’ll marry you, my dear,
And here’s the reason why;
So I can push you out of bed
When the baby starts to cry,
And if we hear a knocking
And it’s creepy and it’s late,
I hand you the torch you see,
And you investigate.
Yes I’ll marry you, my dear,
You may not apprehend it,
But when the tumble-drier goes
It’s you that has to mend it,
You have to face the neighbour
Should our labrador attack him,
And if a drunkard fondles me
It’s you that has to whack him.
Yes, I’ll marry you,
You’re virile and you’re lean,
My house is like a pigsty
You can help to keep it clean.
That sexy little dinner
Which you served by candlelight,
As I do chipolatas,
You can cook it every night!
It’s you who has to work the drill
and put up curtain track,
And when I’ve got PMT it’s you who gets the flak,
I do see great advantages,
But none of them for you,
And so before you see the light,
I do, I do, I do!
Create an Unforgettable Moment With These Wedding Poems
Capture the power of words and use these wedding poems to bring your vows, speech, or toast to life. Find a poem that suits the ceremony or receptionâ€™s atmosphere, formality, and audience. You can customize your reading with anecdotes of the coupleâ€™s moments together, or use these wedding poems to make your ceremony vows feel perfectly you. For more ways to personalize this momentous event, combine your wedding poems with other lovely wedding words and youâ€™ll have a celebration you and your guests will always remember.