On this list, readers can find a few of the best poems one might read at a wedding or before they get married. They deal with the complexities of love and relationship as well as the joys of marriage and finding a life-long partner.
Best Poems for Weddings
‘Sonnet 116,’ also known as ’Let me not to the marriage of true minds,’ is one of the best poems for a wedding. The speaker address questions like, what is love? And what is it not? He begins by talking about marriage. Here are a few lines:
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;
The speaker says that marriage is an institution that binds those who buy into it. It is solid and no one is allowed to ditch their partner when they change. Love is also a star in the sky. It’s there to direct ships lost at sea. Love is not, he decides, at the mercy of time. Unlike the rest of creation, love is unshakeable.
Explore more William Shakespeare poems.
‘On Love’ explores the nature of spiritual love and how to nurture this sacred emotion in the human heart to be a part of the almighty. The poem includes a conversation between the prophet Al Mustafa and prophetess Almitra. Here are a few lines:
Then said Almitra, Speak to us of Love.
And he raised his head and looked upon
the people, and there fell a stillness upon
them. And with a great voice he said:
When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
The prophet continues, saying that love enfolds you and when he speaks to “you” believe in him even though his “voice may shatter your dreams.”
Read more Khalil Gibran poems.
‘Love Sonnet XVII’ is one of Neruda’s most famous poems. It describes the love he feels and how it surpasses any previous definition of what love could be. The speaker lists out a few things that his love is not like. These objects, a rose and a flaming arrow are traditional representatives of love. His emotions go far beyond the physical. Here are a few lines from the poem, translated by Mark Eisner:
I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
His emotions, he says, exist deeper and are present in the “shadow and the soul.” This makes it seem as if his emotions are forbidden or ephemeral. They cannot be pegged down to anything as trite as a rose.
Explore more Pablo Neruda poems.
Slow Me Down, Lord! by Wilfred A. Peterson
In this short poem, the poet addresses God. He asks the “Lord” to slow him down and to allow him to look into the branches of the towering oak. He wants the inspiration to snd his roots deep into the soul of “nature’s enduring values” that he might grow towards the stars.
Here are a few lines from the poem:
Let me look upward
into the branches of the towering oak
and know that it is great and strong
because it grew slowly and well.
Slow me down, Lord,
This poem is about embracing one’s future and taking the time to appreciate one now, a perfect sentiment for a wedding.
In One Another’s Souls by Rumi
Rumi’s writing is well-loved for its deep, but easily accessible messages. In this short poem, the speaker says that from their youth and the first time they ever heard a love story they started looking “for you,” their true love. Here are the five lines of the poem:
The moment I heard my first love story
I started looking for you,
not knowing how useless that was.
Lovers don’t meet somewhere along the way.
They’re in one another’s souls all along.
The poem concludes with the speaker saying that any quest to “look” for one’s soul mate is useless. They exist in one’s soul all along.
‘Touched by An Angel’ is a beautiful poem about love. It explores the difficulties in finding and keeping love. The poem also sheds light on how difficulties don’t end when one is in a relationship. Here are the first few lines of the poem:
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.
Love is not easy, the poet concludes. One has to embrace the challenge required. The poet also emphasizes the idea of freedom through love.
Read more Maya Angelou poems.
This beautiful poem describes the power of love shared between the speaker and her new husband on the day of and after their wedding. It is ideal for someone seeking a poem to read or consider on their wedding day. Here are the first few lines:
The wind blew all my wedding-day,
And my wedding-night was the night of the high wind;
And a stable door was banging, again and again,
That he must go and shut it, leaving me
Stupid in candlelight, hearing rain,
Seeing my face in the twisted candlestick,
The poem concludes with the speaker noting that after their wedding was over, they went about what is going to be their normal duties around the house. When she is about to feed the chickens, she is struck by the fact that the wind, which has come to symbolize their love, is everything and everywhere. It moves and changes everything it touches.
Discover more Philip Larkin poems.
You will want to include information that’s personal to your relationship. This might include images from the day you met, things that remind you of your partner, and goals the two of you have for the future.
Yes, of course. When writing your wedding vows you are welcome to use a poem. They can be made up of anything you want them to be.
Often, a poem or speech is read at a wedding that attempts to capture the poignance of the moment.
Yes, some people choose to read poems at weddings. These poems are usually about love, its strength, and the beauty of finding a life-long partner.