What are the best poems for weddings?

Including a beautiful poem in your marriage service is a very popular idea as poets to easily convey in the their work emotions  that we struggle to find the correct words for. There is a fantastic selection of poems to choose from and they are perfect for both traditional and modern weddings and fit the characters of an array of weddings with themes.

Your choice of poem can certainly set the tone of your wedding. Poems can be added to the wedding ceremony at various points – usually after the exchange of rings. If you are having a religious service, it is worth checking with your priest or minister that it is possible to include poems as many churches prefer to have religious readings from the Bible.

A poem can be a wonderful addition to the wedding service and is ideal during the signing of the register or during a hand-binding ceremony.

Poems that are popular at weddings can be funny, romantic or religious – it is entirely up to the wedding couple. The most popular wedding poem of all is 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.

Other popular choices include A Marriage by Mark Twain and Ever Mine, Ever Thine, Ever Ours by Ludwig van Beethoven. How do I love thee is by Elizabeth Barrett Browning of course, is another popular classic.


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. 



If you are perhaps older and having a more relaxed wedding service and want to inject it with some light-hearted moments, then ‘A Vow’ by Wendy Cope’ could be the perfect choice! 

I cannot promise never to be angry;
I cannot promise always to be kind.
You know what you are taking on, my darling –
It’s only at the start that love is blind.
And yet I’m still the one you want to be with,
And you’re the one for me – of that I’m sure.
You are my closest friend, my favourite person,
The lover and the home I’ve waited for.
I cannot promise that I will deserve you
From this day on. I hope to pass that test.
I love you and I want to make you happy.
I promise I will do my very best.

Of course, if you are planning a modern wedding or perhaps it is your second marriage, there are plenty of modern and more light-hearted pieces of poetry to use. A piece that is certainly proving popular  this year is Love is a temporary madness which comes from from the film Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, which is based on the novel with the same name, by Louis de Bernieres

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 promises of eternal passion.
That is just being in love, 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
blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one
tree and not two. 

A good search either through poetry books in your local library or online will reveal a wealth of beautiful poems that you can incorporate in your wedding, ranging from the world's best known and powerful poems to simply enchanting ones like Eskimo Love Song, whose author is unknown.  

You are my husband, you are my wife
My feet shall run because of you
My feet dance because of you
My heart shall beat because of you
My eyes see because of you
My mind thinks because of you
And I shall love, because of you.

You will find some inspiring poems in Penman’s Den in the section entitled Love and Romance prints’ – perfect if you are looking for the perfect poem for your wedding or if you want to give the happy couple a very special gift that they can treasure for ever. Alternatively, we offer you a  customised service where we can create a beautiful print with the poem of your choice…..  


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