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24 modern and sentimental wedding poem ideas for your ceremony

Get inspiration from the most special wedding poems for your big day


A bride and groom exchanging wedding rings© iStock
Chloe Best
Lifestyle Features Editor
April 27, 2023
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Poetry can be a fitting choice for your wedding ceremony, allowing you to convey the love and emotion of the day, and set the tone for the celebrations.

Whether you're looking for a traditional poem about love, a heartfelt message for friends and family to read, or even want to give your guests a giggle with some more unconventional and unexpected prose, we've rounded up 24 wedding poems to inspire you and to include as a memorable part of your wedding ceremony.

Wedding poems read by friends

If you've asked one of your close friends to read a poem at your wedding ceremony, it's best to choose something that's written in the third person and has a heartfelt message, without being overly traditional or formal.

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A woman reading at a wedding ceremony© iStock
Reading a poem is a great way to involve friends in your wedding ceremony

The One by Unknown

 When the one whose hand you’re holding
Is the one who holds your heart
When the one whose eyes you gaze into
Gives your hopes and dreams their start,
When the one you think of first and last
Is the one who holds you tight,
And the things you plan together
Make the whole world seem just right,
When the one whom you believe in
puts their faith and trust in you,
You’ve found the one and only love
You’ll share your whole life through.

True Love by Unknown

 True love is a sacred flame
That burns eternally
And none can dim its special glow
Or change its destiny
True love speaks in tender tones
And hears with gentle ear
True love gives with open heart
And true love conquers fear
True love makes no harsh demands
It neither rules nor binds
And true love holds with gentle hands
The heart that it entwines.

Poem by Ogden Nash

 To keep your marriage brimming
With love in the loving cup
Whenever you’re wrong, admit it;
Whenever you’re right, shut up.

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The Privileged Lovers by Rumi

The moon has become a dancer
at this festival of love.
This dance of light,

This sacred blessing,
This divine love,
beckons us
to a world beyond
only lovers can see
with their eyes of fiery passion.

They are the chosen ones
who have surrendered.
Once they were particles of light
now they are the radiant sun.

They have left behind
the world of deceitful games.
They are the privileged lovers
who create a new world
 with their eyes of fiery passion.

Modern wedding poems

Looking for something a little different and lesser-known than more traditional wedding poems? These modern wedding poems are for you.

A bride reading a speech or poem to her groom© iStock
Modern wedding poems are a good alternative to more traditional poetry

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.

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I'll Be There for You by Louise Cuddon

I’ll be there my darling, through thick and through thin
When your mind’s in a mess and your head’s in a spin
When your plane’s been delayed, and you’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, you’re looking your age
When your coffee’s too cool, and your wine is too warm
When the forecast said 'Fine', but you’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 resident’s bay
And return to discover you’ve been towed away
When the jeans that you bought in hope or in haste
Just stick on your hips and don’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 dear…
When you break a rule, when you act the fool
When you’ve got the flu, when you’re in a stew
When you’re last in the queue, don’t feel blue ’cause
 I’m telling you, I’ll be there.

Ever Increasing Circles - Helen Marsh

Joining hands, we become a circle,
Complete, connected and timeless,
We are whole, but not exclusive,
We are one and we will live as one,
But with endless others encircled around us,

Our marriage is neither beginning or end,
But a natural progression of our union,
Which finds us bound but not restricted,
All that was separate yields and flows,
Softly, towards the shared path of our future,

On the foundation of past knowledge,
We build modern family, a space of love,
An expanding community of new and old,
Emitting love, light and sublime acceptance,
We find all things reflected back at us,
Everything is provided for,

Together we hand-craft our next life phase,
It is all embracing, welcoming and generous,
The sensuous safety of our self made space,
Helps us to live bravely and without boundaries,
Here we nurture, thrive and multiply,

All history is ours now, set down by us, made by us,
Strong roots continually feed us, everything is possible,
We grow, we build, we share eternally now,
And holding hands, we look up, prepare,
 For there is still far to go…

The Minute I Heard My First Love Story by Rumi

The minute I heard my first love story
I started looking for you,
Not knowing how blind that was.
Lovers don't finally meet somewhere.
 They're in each other all along.

Devoted by Lori Eberhai

My heart can be your home,
my soul can be your refuge.
You can turn to me when you are weak,
you can call to me when the way is not clear.
I will be your promise and your prayer,
I will always be there,
Constant and complete.
Run to me,
reach out for me,
and I will love you in a unique and tender way.
Bring your love to me,
share your love with me,
sing your love to me,
 and I will offer you peace, ease and comfort.

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Love Listen by Ann Gray

Let’s love, listen, take time
when time is all we have.

Let’s be unafraid to be kind,
learn to disregard the bad
if the good outweighs it daily.

Let’s make a gift of silence,
the day’s hushing into dark,
and when we hold each other
let’s always be astonished we are where we want to be.

Let’s hope to age together,
but if we can’t, let’s promise now
to remember how we shone
when we were at our best,
 when we were most ourselves.  

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.

I Love You by Roy Croft

I love you,
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am when I am with you.

I love you,
Not only for what you have made of yourself,
But for what you are making of me.

I love you for
the part of me that you bring out;
I love you for
putting your hand into my heaped-up heart
And passing over all the foolish, weak things
that you can’t help dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out into the light
All the beautiful things
that no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find.

I love you because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good,
And more than any fate could have done
To make me happy.

You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
 Without a sign.

Yes I'll Marry You My Dear 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!!

Wedding poems for bride and groom from parents

Reading a poem during your wedding ceremony is sure to be a special moment for any parent. From words of wisdom to wishes for your future, these wedding poems for the bride and groom from parents are sure to fit the bill.

Wedding bands set upon wedding stationery © iStock
There are lots of different styles of wedding poems to choose from

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.

New Beginnings by Barbara Crooker

May this be a day of new beginnings
the sun, like a fragrant apple; the summer air,
soft on your hands as the kiss of a child.
May berries melt like honey on your tongue.
May your heart rise in wonder
at the clouds drifting across the sky.
May the trails under your boots
be covered in pine quills,
let the leaves rain down
like memories
in the autumn of your heart.
May the snow beneath your skis
run as fast as watered silk,
may the cold air kiss your cheeks,
turn them red as summer’s roses.
May the rivers always flow
with their unexpected beauty,
the first freshets of snowmelt,
the rush of early spring.
May you always walk in gladness
through whatever path or highway;
may you always walk within the golden circle of your love.

Wedding Prayer by Robert Louis Stevenson

Lord, behold our family here assembled.
We thank you for this place in which we dwell,
for the love that unites us,
for the peace accorded us this day,
for the hope with which we expect the morrow,
for the health, the work, the food,
and the bright skies that make our lives delightful;
 for our friends in all parts of the earth.

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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:
Oh, no! It is an ever-fixed mark.
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
it is the star to every wandering 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 proved,
 I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Fidelity by D.H. Lawrence

Man and woman are like the earth, that brings forth flowers
in summer, and love, but underneath is rock.
Older than flowers, older than ferns, older than foraminiferae,
older than plasm altogether is the soul underneath.
And when, throughout all the wild chaos of love
slowly a gem forms, in the ancient, once-more-molten rocks
of two human hearts, two ancient rocks,
a man’s heart and a woman’s,
that is the crystal of peace, the slow hard jewel of trust,
the sapphire of fidelity.
The gem of mutual peace emerging from the wild chaos of love.

Wedding poems about love

Express a sentimental message about the love and commitment you share with our roundup of beautiful wedding poems about love. 

A groom reading to his bride at their wedding ceremony
These wedding poems about love would be a fitting choice for any ceremony

[I carry your heart with me(i carry it in] 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)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’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 that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count The Ways 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 candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the 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.

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.
Love arrives
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.

This Day I Married My Best Friend by Anon

 This day I married my best friend,
The one I laugh with as we share life's wondrous zest,
As we find new enjoyments and experience all that's best.
The one I live for because the world seems brighter
As our happy times are better and our burdens feel much lighter.

The one I love with every fibre of my soul.
We used to feel vaguely incomplete,
now together we are whole.

I cannot promise you a life of sunshine;
I cannot promise riches, wealth, or gold;
I cannot promise you an easy pathway
That leads away from change or growing old.

But I can promise all my heart's devotion;
A smile to chase away your tears of sorrow;
A love that's ever true and ever growing;
A hand to hold in yours through each tomorrow.

I Will Be Here by Steven Curtis Chapman

 Tomorrow morning if you wake up,
And the sun does not appear
I, I will be here

If in the dark we lose sight of love,
Hold my hand, and have no fear
Cause I, I will be here

I will be here when you feel like being quiet
When you need to speak your mind,
I will listen and
I will be here when the laughter turns to cryin'
Through the winning, losing and tryin'
We'll be together 'cause I will be here

Tomorrow morning if you wake up,
And the future is unclear
I I will be here
As sure as seasons are made for change,
Our lifetimes are made for years
So, I I will be here

I will be here and you can cry on my shoulder,
When the mirror tells us we're older,
I will hold you and
I will be here to watch you grow in beauty
And tell you all the things you are to me
I will be here

I will be true to the promise I have made
To you and to the One who gave you to me
I I will be here

And just as sure as seasons are made for change
Our lifetime's are made for years
So, I I will be here we'll be together
I will be here

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
And burn Into a sacred existence that defies—
That surpasses

Every description of ecstasy
And love.

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