17 Romantic Poems For Your Wedding Vows (Or Any Other Occassion)

wedding day, wedding dress

Lovebirds rejoice, because I've picked out 18 great, romantic poems to incorporate into your wedding vows, because there's more to declaring your feelings than "love, honor, and cherish." Whether you decide to recite a full poem to your partner, or you're just looking for inspiration, there's something on this list that will make your big day extra special.

First off, congratulations! If you're here, that means you're getting married, and you're writing your own vows, which is nothing if not a daunting enterprise. Take a deep breath, though, because everything is going to be fine. If this list is where you're meant to find your inspiration, you can rest well knowing that your search ends here.

Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list of wedding-appropriate poems, and you should not feel obligated to use any material in your wedding vows that you are not 100 percent in love with. So if you don't find something here you love, you may want to look at the other poems and literary passages Bustle writers have picked out for wedding readings, to see if anything strikes your fancy.

Check out the 17 romantic poems I've picked out for you below:

"Stray" by Elizabeth Alexander

On the beach, close to sunset, a dog runs
toward us fast, agitated, perhaps feral,
scrounging for anything he can eat.
We pull the children close and let him pass.

Read the poem in full here.

"Touched by an Angel" by Maya Angelou

We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness

Read the poem in full here.

"Habitation" by Margaret Atwood

Marriage is not
a house or even a tent

Read the poem in full here.

"Serenade" by Djuna Barnes

Three paces down the shore, low sounds the lute,
The better that my longing you may know;
I'm not asking you to come,
But — can't you go?

Read the poem in full here.

"Love Poem Without a Drop of Hyperbole In It" by Traci Brimhall

I’d train my breath and learn to read sonar until
I retrieved every lost blood vessel of you. I swear
this love is ungodly, not an ounce of suffering in it.

Read the poem in full here.

"Perfect Orange" by Ching-In Chen

Because today our hands unravel a perfect orange
we each left our homes
drank ripening light before boarding
put our hands together into red soil

Read the poem in full here.

"Heart to Heart" by Rita Dove

It's neither red
nor sweet.
It doesn't melt
or turn over,

Read the poem in full here.

"To Be One With Each Other" by George Eliot

What greater thing is there for two human souls
than to feel that they are joined together to strengthen
each other in all labor, to minister to each other in all sorrow,

Read the poem in full here.

"On Marriage" by Marilyn Hacker

Epithalamion? Not too long back
I was being ironic about "wives."
It's very well to say, creation thrives
on contradiction, but that's a fast track

Read the poem in full here.

"Gay Marriage Poem" by Jenny Johnson

We could promise to elope
like my grandmother did
if a football team won.

Read the poem in full here.

"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

Read the poem in full here.

"So Much Happiness" by Naomi Shibab Nye

It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.
With sadness there is something to rub against,
a wound to tend with lotion and cloth.

Read the poem in full here.

"Colors passing through us" by Margie Piercy

Purple as tulips in May, mauve
into lush velvet, purple
as the stain blackberries leave
on the lips, on the hands,

Read the poem in full here.

"Monna Innominata [I loved you first]" by Christina Rossetti

I loved you first: but afterwards your love,
Outsoaring mine, sang such a loftier song
As drowned the friendly cooings of my dove.

Read the poem in full here.

"The Anactoria Poem" by Sappho

Some there are who say that the fairest thing seen on the black earth is an array of horsemen;
some, men marching; some would say ships; but I say
she whom one loves best

Read the poem in full here.

"Maritime" by Sharon Wang

Did you ever feel this. Astonished
by the blood drawn from
your arms when you took a step forward
and the air scraped you.

Read the poem in full here.

"&" by Aracelis Girmay

& isn’t the heart
an ampersand,
magnet between the seconds of days
& dusks, the peonies
& the fig tree & the squirrels?

Read the poem in full here.