12 Beautiful Poems to Use in Your Wedding Vows

Draw inspiration from one of these super-romantic love poems.
Lauren Dana Ellman - The Knot Contributor.
by
Lauren Dana Ellman
Lauren Dana Ellman - The Knot Contributor.
Lauren Dana Ellman
The Knot Contributor
  • Lauren is a contributor for The Knot covering topics such as music, cakes, venues and speeches.
  • She has been published in a wide array of lifetsyle-oriented publications including SELF and Allure.
  • Lauren is a proud graduate of Syracuse University's SI Newhouse School of Public Communication.
Updated Nov 19, 2021

Writing your own wedding vows is incredibly meaningful, as you're putting your true feelings into words for all to see and hear.

One of the most beautiful ways to make your wedding vows stand out is by incorporating quotes from famous love poems into your special day.

To help you find the right words to express your love, we've rounded up 12 incredibly romantic wedding poems that basically do the work for you. Although they vary in length, style and format, each of these poems will help you showcase your unique love story. Get ready to shed happy tears as you read these awe-inspiring poems.

"How Do I Love Thee?" Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Lines you'll love: "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"

"How Do I Love Thee?" was penned by Elizabeth Barrett Browning back in the 19th century. Browning dedicated the sonnet to her husband, fellow poet Robert Browning. In the sweet poem, Browning counts all the ways she loves her husband.

"I Carry Your Heart With Me," E. E. Cummings

Lines you'll love: "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 Carry Your Heart With Me" is written by E.E. Cummings, one of the most highly regarded poets of all time. Today, it remains one of Cummings' most famous works. The powerful poem conveys the beauty of true, unconditional love—just like the bond shared between you and your partner.

"To Be One With Each Other," George Eliot

Lines you'll love: "What greater thing is there for two human souls, than to feel that they are joined for life"

In "To Be One With Each Other," George Eliot writes about the beauty of two people uniting and coming together. The sweet stanzas will add an extra-romantic touch to any wedding ceremony.

"Touched by an Angel," Maya Angelou

Lines you'll love: "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"

Maya Angelou wrote countless poems throughout her lifetime, but "Touched By An Angel" remains her most famous—and for good reason. The poem reminds us not to take true love for granted but rather to embrace it for the rare gift that it is.

"Sonnet 116," William Shakespeare

Lines you'll love: "Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks/But bears it out even to the edge of doom"

No list of love poems would be complete without a sonnet from William Shakespeare—and Sonnet 116 (which dates all the way back to 1609) is one of the literary great's most romantic pieces. In the poem, Shakespeare touches on the fact that real love is unconditional and never-changing despite the ups and downs that life can bring.

"Sonnet XVII," Pablo Neruda

Lines you'll love: "I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where/I love you directly without problems or pride: I love you like this because I don't know any other way to love"

"Sonnet XVII," which was written by acclaimed Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, will surely tug at your heartstrings thanks to its intimate messaging and passionate metaphors. The poem—which Neruda wrote for his third wife—is the perfect addition to any wedding day.

"Most Importantly Love," Rupi Kaur

Lines you'll love: "Most importantly love/like it's the only thing you know how"

At just 29 years old, Rupi Kaur has already made a name for herself as an acclaimed poet. In the past few years, she's published hundreds of short-and-sweet, easy-to-read poems. She writes about everything from self-love to relationships. "Most Importantly Love" is short and powerful with a straightforward message about true love: Nothing—not your wealth, education or career—is as important or as meaningful as love.

"The Wedding Vow," Sharon Olds

Lines you'll love: "I did not stand at the altar, I stood at the foot of the chancel steps, with my beloved"

Sharon Olds is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet. "The Wedding Vow" is emotional, raw and intimate all at the same time (in other words, make sure you're wearing waterproof mascara as you read it). The poem could also work as a wedding blessing, as Olds incorporates religious themes into her work.

"Love's Philosophy," Percy Bysshe Shelley

Lines you'll love: "The fountains mingle with the river/And the rivers with the ocean/The winds of heaven mix for ever/With a sweet emotion/Nothing in the world is single/All things by a law divine/In one spirit meet and mingle/ Why not I with thine?"

"Love's Philosophy" was first published in 1819 by British poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Shelley relies on imagery found in nature to profess his love. If you read between the lines a bit, you'll find that the poem, while beautiful and wholesome, is also slightly seductive. Its closing line—in which Percy invites his beloved to kiss him—is quite sultry.

"A Moment of Happiness," Rumi

Lines you'll love: "A moment of happiness/you and I sitting on the verandah/apparently two, but one in soul, you and I/We feel the flowing water of life here, you and I, with the garden's beauty, and the birds singing"

Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi (better known simply as Rumi) is an acclaimed 13th-century poet. "A Moment of Happiness" may be centuries old, but its message is still relevant, as it teaches us to cherish all of the little things life has to offer. Rumi reminds us that love brings happiness, a simple yet incredible gift we are lucky to experience.

"Love Song," Henry Dumas

Lines you'll love: "I have to adore the mirror of the earth/You have taught her well how to be beautiful"

In "Love Song," poet Henry Dumas passionately praises his beloved by comparing her characteristics to the beauty found in nature. He writes about how the wind sings sweetly like his beloved, while the trees turn gold in her honor.

"The Earth Turned to Bring Us Closer," Eugenio Montejo

Lines you'll love: "The earth turned to bring us closer, it spun on itself and within us, and finally joined us together in this dream"

Eugenio Montejo was an award-winning Venezuelan poet. "The Earth Turned to Bring Us Closer" is arguably one of his most romantic works. The poem inspires us to believe in love and fate despite how unpredictable the world can be.

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