Here you can find some of the loveliest poems ever written, including my own top 10 poems for weddings. William Butler Yeats, E.E. Cummings, Eileen Rafter...
All these poems are suitable for a wedding, however, if you have a particular favourite you'd like added, just leave a comment below and I will try my best to include it.
If you hold the copyright to any of these poems, please contact me here and they will be removed at your request.
1. William Butler Yeats - He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven
Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
2. Eileen Rafter - The Promise
The sun danced on the snow with a sparkling smile,
As two lovers sat quietly, alone for a while.
Then he turned and said, with a casual air
(Though he blushed from his chin to the tips of his hair),
"I think I might like to get married to you"
"Well then, she said, "Well there's a thought,
But what if we can't promise to be all that we ought,
If I'm late yet again, when we plan to go out.
For I know I can't promise, I'll learn to ignore
Dirty socks and damp towels strewn all over the floor.
So if we can't vow to be all that we should
I'm not sure what to do, though the idea's quite good".
But he gently smiled and tilted his head
Till his lips met her ear and softly he said
"I promise, to weave my dreams into your own,
That wherever you breathe will be my hearts home.
I promise, that whether with rags or with gold I am blessed
Your smile is the jewel I will treasure the best.
Do you think then, my love, we should marry - do you?"
"Yes" she said smiling "I do".
3. Elizabeth Barrett Browning - How Do I Love Thee?
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 everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men might 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.
4. Khalil Gibran - On Marriage (Nice in Handfastings)
Then Almitra spoke again and said, "And what of Marriage, master?"
And he answered saying:
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days.
Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.
5. E.E. Cummings - I Carry Your Heart
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 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)
6. A.A. Milne - Us Two (suggested by Jane Cameron)
Wherever I am, there's always Pooh,
There's always Pooh and Me.
Whatever I do, he wants to do,
"Where are you going today?" says Pooh:
"Well, that's very odd 'cos I was too.
Let's go together," says Pooh, says he.
"Let's go together," says Pooh.
"What's twice eleven?" I said to Pooh.
("Twice what?" said Pooh to Me.)
"I think it ought to be twenty-two."
"Just what I think myself," said Pooh.
"It wasn't an easy sum to do,
But that's what it is," said Pooh, said he.
"That's what it is," said Pooh.
"Let's look for dragons," I said to Pooh.
"Yes, let's," said Pooh to Me.
We crossed the river and found a few-
"Yes, those are dragons all right," said Pooh.
"As soon as I saw their beaks I knew.
That's what they are," said Pooh, said he.
"That's what they are," said Pooh.
"Let's frighten the dragons," I said to Pooh.
"That's right," said Pooh to Me.
"I'm not afraid," I said to Pooh,
And I held his paw and I shouted "Shoo!
Silly old dragons!"- and off they flew.
"I wasn't afraid," said Pooh, said he,
"I'm never afraid with you."
So wherever I am, there's always Pooh,
There's always Pooh and Me.
"What would I do?" I said to Pooh,
"If it wasn't for you," and Pooh said: "True,
It isn't much fun for One, but Two,
Can stick together, says Pooh, says he. "That's how it is," says Pooh
7. Wilfred E. Peterson - The Art of Marriage (suggested by Caroline Johnston)
A good marriage must be created.
In the marriage the little things are the big things.
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say ‘I love you’ at least once a day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together and facing the world…
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is not only marrying the right person.
It is being the right partner.
8. John Cooper Clarke - I Wanna be Yours (suggested by Phil James)
I wanna be your vacuum cleaner
breathing in your dust
I wanna be your Ford Cortina
I will never rust
If you like your coffee hot
let me be your coffee pot
You call the shots
I wanna be yours
I wanna be your raincoat
for those frequent rainy days
I wanna be your dreamboat
when you want to sail away
Let me be your teddy bear
take me with you anywhere
I don’t care
I wanna be yours
I wanna be your electric meter
I will not run out
I wanna be the electric heater
you’ll get cold without
I wanna be your setting lotion
hold your hair with deep devotion
Deep as the deep Atlantic ocean
that’s how deep is my emotion
Deep deep deep deep de deep deep
I don't wanna be hers
I wanna be yours
9. Robert Herrick - Gather Ye Rosebuds (suggested by Ginny Carter)
GATHER ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he 's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he 's to setting.
That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.
Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry:
For having lost but once your prime,
You may for ever tarry.
10. Pam Ayres - "Yes, I'll Marry You" (Humorous)
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!
The soldier loves his rifle,
The scholar loves his books,
The farmer loves his horses,
The film star loves her looks.
There's love the whole world over
Wherever you may be;
Some lose their rest for gay Mae West,
But you're my cup of tea.
Some talk of Alexander
And some of Fred Astaire,
Some like their heroes hairy
Some like them debonair,
Some prefer a curate
And some an A.D.C.,
Some like a tough to treat'em rough,
But you're my cup of tea.
Some are mad on Airedales
And some on Pekinese,
On tabby cats or parrots
Or guinea pigs or geese.
There are patients in asylums
Who think that they're a tree;
I had an aunt who loved a plant,
But you're my cup of tea.
Some have sagging waistlines
And some a bulbous nose
And some a floating kidney
And some have hammer toes,
Some have tennis elbow
And some have housemaid's knee,
And some I know have got B.O.,
But you're my cup of tea.
The blackbird loves the earthworm,
The adder loves the sun,
The polar bear an iceberg,
The elephant a bun,
The trout enjoys the river,
The whale enjoys the sea,
And dogs love most an old lamp-post,
But you're my cup of tea
12. "All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten," by Robert Fulgham (Humorous)
These are the things I learned…
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Give them to someone who feels sad.
Live a balanced life.
Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day.
Take a nap every afternoon.
Be aware of wonder.
Remember the little seed in the plastic cup? The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere.
And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.
13. Weddings are Nice! (Humorous)
If you go to a wedding, here’s what it means
No one wears trainers and no one wears jeans
Your best new clothes are all that you wear
And everyone in your whole family is there
Even some cousins that you’ve never much known
And the grown-ups all say “Oh, how much you have grown!”
So everyone’s sitting in one big room
(except Sally and Richard, the bride and groom)
Then all of a sudden things quieten down
And music starts playing and people turn round
And very slowly, Sally walks in
And she looks prettier now than she’s ever been.
She’s a bride and she’s looking great today
(when normally she looks just kind of okay)
She walks in and stands with her dad for a while
As Richard her boyfriend, awaits in the aisle
His hair is all combed and he’s wearing a tie
And then Sally’s mum starts to sniffle and cry.
And now it comes time for the “get-married” part
The Celebrant says that we’re ready to start
So she talks and she talks about serious things
Then their friend Chris steps up holding two rings
He gives one to the groom and the other to the bride
That's his job done so he stands aside
Then Sally and Richard kind of look at each other
And another big sniffle comes from Sally’s mother
And Sally and Richard put on the rings
And they hold hands and promise each other some things
They promise that they’ll love each other a lot
And help one another no matter what
And be with each other the rest of their life
Then the Celebrant says “Now you are husband and wife”.
Then everyone’s in such a big happy mood
And you go to a party with lots of free food
Where you dance with some grown-ups and drink lots of wine
And then do a conga-dance in one long line
‘till Sally and Richard drive off in a car
and everyone’s thinking how happy they are
So we all yell goodbye and throw handfuls of rice
Then the whole thing is over.
Weddings are nice
14. Pam Ayres - He Never Leaves the Seat Up (Humorous)
He never leaves the seat up
Or wet towels upon the floor
The toothpaste has the lid on
And he always shuts the door!
She’s very clean and tidy
Though she may sometimes delude
Leave your things out at your peril
In a second they’ll have moved!
He’s a very active person
As are all his next of kin
Where as she likes lazy days
He’ll still drag her to the gym!
He romances her and dines her
Home cooked dinners and the like
He even knows her favourite food
And spoils her day and night!
She’s thoughtful when he looks at her
A smile upon his face
Will he look that good in 50 years
When his dentures aren’t in place?!
He says he loves her figure
And her mental prowess too
But when gravity takes her over
Will she charm with her IQ?
She says she loves his kindness
And his patience is a must
And of course she thinks he’s handsome
Which in her eyes is a plus!
They’re both not wholly perfect
But who are we to judge
He can be pig headed
Where as she won’t even budge!
All that said and done
They love the time they spent together
And I hope as I’m sure you do
That this fine day will last forever.
He’ll be more than just her husband
He’ll also be her friend
And she’ll be more than just his wife
She’s be his soul mate ‘till the end.
15. Apache Blessing (Often used in Handfastings)
“Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will the shelter for the other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be the warmth to the other. Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you. Go now to your dwelling, to enter into the days of your life together, and may your days be good and long upon the earth.”
16. Cherokee Prayer (Often used in Handfastings)
“Creator in heaven above please protect the ones we love.
We honour all you created as we pledge our hearts and lives together.
We honour mother-earth – and ask for our marriage to be abundant and grow stronger through the seasons;
We honour fire – and ask that our union be warm and glowing with love in our hearts;
We honour wind – and ask we sail though life safe and calm as in our father’s arms;
We honour water – to clean and soothe our relationship – that it may never thirsts for love;
With all the forces of the universe you created, we pray for harmony and true happiness as we forever grow young together.
Readings for Geeks!
If starship travel from our Earth to some far star and back again at velocities approaching the speed of light made you younger than me due to the relativistic effects of time dilation, I’d show up on your doorstep hoping you’d developed a thing for older men, and I’d ask you to show me everything you learned to pass the time out there in the endless void of night.
If we were the sole survivors of a zombie apocalypse and you were bitten and transformed into a walking corpse I wouldn’t even pick up my assault shotgun, I’d just let you take a bite out of me, because I’d rather be undead forever with you than alive alone without you.
If I had a time machine, I’d go back to the days of your youth to see how you became the someone I love so much today, and then I’d return to the moment we first met just so I could see my own face when I saw your face for the first time.
If the alien invaders come and hover in stern judgment over our cities, trying to decide whether to invite us to the Galactic Federation of Confederated Galaxies or if instead a little genocide is called for, I think our love could be a powerful argument for the continued preservation of humanity in general, or at least, of you and me in particular.
If I became lost in the multiverse, exploring infinite parallel dimensions, my only criterion for settling down somewhere would be whether or not I could find you: and once I did, I’d stay there even if it was a world ruled by giant spider-priests, or one where killer robots won the Civil War, or even a world where sandwiches were never invented, because you’d make it the best of all possible worlds anyway, and plus we could get rich off inventing sandwiches.
You know what I’m thankful for? Having met you. And Nutella.
I thought I was normal, until I met you. Then I realized we’re both pretty weird. And I like that about us.
I want to grow old with you because all the weird stuff we do now will be super cute when we’re older, and everyone will be like, “Aw… look at those old people chasing ducks and throwing bread everywhere. That is super cute.”
I don’t like when you’re not around because when you’re not around all the fun seems to go away. And I love fun. It’s one of my favorite things ever. Even though I see you all the time, I still miss you a whole bunch. I don’t want to say that I have separation anxiety when you’re gone, but I’d be a lot happier if you just never left.
I can never stay mad at you. Mostly because I have too many things that I want to tell you.
You are one of the few people who understand the pure joy in doing absolutely nothing. I really like that you get my sarcasm because it’s an advanced form and not everyone gets it. Sometimes I feel like you’re the only person who truly understands my irrational excitement over certain things.
Not only would I catch a grenade for you, but I’d also toss it back. Nobody throws a grenade at you and gets away with it.
Sometimes it’s just like, “I am so over people today.” And on those days, you’re the only one I want to see.
Some people are all, “You’re the cheese to my macaroni.” But our bond is much greater than noodles. You’re more like the cheese to my macaroni, pizza, crackers, nachos, and burgers.