Lately, everyone from my childhood bestie to my college roommate is getting hitched... and I'm just sitting here reading my literature, underlining love quotes from books. Why? Because the wedded bliss of my friends and loved ones gets me thinking about the day I decide to say "I do," too.
Every ceremony I go to, every cocktail hour I "cheers" my way through, and every reception I dance at, one thing has become clear: the best passages read during the ceremony are always the ones from books. No, I'm not talking about that book, though the Bible has plenty to say about holy matrimony. I'm talking about literature — after all, books have given us the whirlwind romance of Rhett and Scarlett, the heated courtship of Elizabeth and Darcy, the heartbreak of Hazel and Augustus. So is it that surprising that literature holds the best words to express the undying love and devotion you feel on your wedding day?
Since the best things about love and marriage have already been expertly said by someone else, here are 17 quotes from literature you'll want to take with you to the altar. I know I will someday!
1. “When love has fused and mingled two beings in a sacred and angelic unity, the secret of life has been discovered so far as they are concerned; they are no longer anything more than the two boundaries of the same destiny; they are no longer anything but the two wings of the same spirit. Love, soar.”
— Les Mis é rables , Victor Hugo
2. "Do I love you? My God, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches [...] I have stayed these years in my hovel because of you. I have taught myself languages because of you. I have made my body strong because I thought you might be pleased by a strong body. I have lived my life with only the prayer that some sudden dawn you might glance in my direction. I have not known a moment in years when the sight of you did not send my heart careening against my rib cage. I have not known a night when your visage did not accompany me to sleep. There has not been a morning when you did not flutter behind my waking eyelids…"
— The Princess Bride , William Goldman
3. "I fell in love the way you fall asleep, slowly and then all at once."
— The Fault in Our Stars , John Green
4. "I never had a moment's doubt. I love you. I believe in you completely. You are my dearest one. My reason for life."
—Atonement, Ian McEwan
5. “You and I, it’s as though we have been taught to kiss in heaven and sent down to earth together, to see if we know what we were taught.”
— Doctor Zhivago , Boris Pasternak
6. “It has made me better loving you ... it has made me wiser, and easier, and brighter. I used to want a great many things before, and to be angry that I did not have them. Theoretically, I was satisfied. I flattered myself that I had limited my wants. But I was subject to irritation; I used to have morbid sterile hateful fits of hunger, of desire. Now I really am satisfied, because I can’t think of anything better.”
— The Portrait of a Lady , Henry James
7. "Doubt thou the stars are fire; Doubt that the sun doth move; Doubt truth to be a liar; But never doubt I love."
— Hamlet , William Shakespeare
8. "I will love you forever; whatever happens. Till I die and after I die, and when I find my way out of the land of the dead, I'll drift about forever, all my atoms, till I find you again..."
—The Amber Spyglass, Philip Pullman
9. "This is what love does: It makes you want to rewrite the world. It makes you want to choose the characters, build the scenery, guide the plot. The person you love sits across from you, and you want to do everything in your power to make it possible, endlessly possible. And when it’s just the two of you, alone in a room, you can pretend that this is how it is, this is how it will be."
— Every Day , David Levithan
10. “People are meant to go through life two by two. ’Tain’t natural to be lonesome.”
—Our Town, Thorton Wilder
11. “After all these years, I see that I was mistaken about Eve in the beginning; it is better to live outside the Garden with her than inside it without her.”
— The Diaries of Adam and Eve , Mark Twain
12. “Don't ever think I fell for you, or fell over you. I didn't fall in love, I rose in it.”
— Jazz , Toni Morrison
13. "I don’t ask you to love me always like this, but I ask you to remember. Somewhere inside me there’ll always be the person I am to-night."
—Tender is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald
14. "I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close."
— " Sonnet 17," Pablo Neruda
15. “I see you everywhere, in the stars, in the river, to me you're everything that exists; the reality of everything.”
— Night and Day , Virginia Woolf
16. “Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won’t adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words “make” and “stay” become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free.”
— Still Life With Woodpecker , Tom Robbins
17. “So, I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you.”
— The Alchemist , Paulo Coelho