17 Non-Religious Wedding Poems For Your Ceremony

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Wedding planning can be such a stressful, family-pleasing, wallet-busting process that sometimes you forget what you're doing it all for. Choosing readings for your wedding ceremony can be a meditative experience in the middle of all the chaos. It lets you delve down deep into how to state your love for your partner, your future husband or future wife. And for those who don't follow a particular faith, non-religious wedding poems are a beautiful option for your ceremony.

If you're not bound by traditional religious readings, your doors are open to choose wedding poetry that's classic, contemporary, fun and lively, or slow and meditative. Of course, how could the list leave off classic wedding poems from people like Rumi, Pablo Neruda, and William Shakespeare? But there are also poems from old-school bohemian poets, our goddess Maya Angelou, and modern writers like Nayyirah Waheed and Mindy Nettifee. There are long, beautiful poems, and, don't worry, if you have that one ceremony reader who starts to sweat and panic in front of large crowds, there are poems only a couple lines long so you won't leave them hanging.

For a little inspiration, here is a list of 17 non-religious wedding poems that can add a personal touch to your wedding ceremony.

1. "Pathways" by Rainer Maria Rilke

2. "Touched by an Angel" by Maya Angelou

3. "So Much Happiness" by Naomi Shihab Nye

4. "The Happy Virus" by Hafiz

5. "The Invitation" by Oriah

6. "Sonnet 116" by William Shakespeare

7. "Desire" by Alice Walker

8. "Chemistry" by Nayyirah Waheed

9. "Ordinary Morning" by Joyce Grenfell

10. "Scaffolding" by Seamus Heaney

11. "Come, and Be My Baby" by Maya Angelou

12. "i carry your heart" by e.e. cummings

13. "Sonnet XVII" by Pablo Neruda

14. "Song for the Last Act" by Louise Bogan

15. "Untitled Because No Title Is Good Enough" by Mindy Nettifee

16. "The Privileged Lovers" by Rumi

17. "About Marriage" by Denise Levertov

Don’t lock me in wedlock, I want

marriage, anencounter—

I told you about thegreen light ofMay

(a veil of quiet befallenthe downtown park,late

Saturday afternoon, longshadows and cool

air, scent ofnew grass,fresh leaves,

blossom on the threshold ofabundance—

and the birds I met there,birds of passage breaking their journey,three birds each of a different species:

the azalea-breasted with round poll, dark,the brindled, merry, mousegliding one,and the smallest, golden as gorse and wearinga black Venetian mask

and with them the three douce hen-birdsfeathered in tender, lively brown—

I stooda half-hour under the enchantment,no-one passed near,the birds saw me and

let me benear them.)

It’s notirrelevant:I would bemet

and meet youso,in a green

airy space, notlocked in.

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