Choosing wedding poems can be a daunting task for couples. Whether you want a few for friends to perform, some wedding readings to narrate at the start of your ceremony or are searching for wedding quotes containing a line or two to read to your groom before exchanging vows, choosing wedding poems that suit you both personally can be tricky.
To give you a little inspiration, we've rounded up our favourite wedding poems, ranging from meaningful verses by cherished authors including Margaret Atwood and Alice Walker to a sonnet by Shakespeare that's sure to give your guests goosebumps.
Perfect for anyone feeling nervous about public speaking, American poet Ogden Nash's super short and sweet ditty is guaranteed to raise a chuckle too.
Our wedding poems list also features a composition penned by Carol Ann Duffy to commemorate Prince William and Kate Middleton's Royal wedding at London's Westminster Abbey on 29 April 2011.
Are you having a winter wedding? A seasonal verse or two promises to add a simply magical touch to proceedings.
Whether you'd rather set a wintry scene with Christmas poems conjuring up images of stunning snowy landscapes and clear blue skies or would prefer a few lines referencing kisses under the mistletoe, we've taken the stress out of your search to find you a selection of spine-tingling suggestions for your big day.
Scroll down to read our Christmas poems edit which includes moving words by everyone from Wilfred Owen to Emily Bronte.
Us Two by A.A. Milne
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.
Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare
Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments.
Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds,
or bends with the remover to remove:
Oh, no! It is an ever-fixed mark.
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
it is the star to every wandering bark,
whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool,
though rosy lips and cheeks within his bending sickle's compass come;
love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
but bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
How do I love thee? by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
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 an Ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old grief's, 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.
Rings by Carol Ann Duffy
I might have raised your hand to the sky
to give you the ring surrounding the moon
or looked to twin the rings of your eyes
or added a ring to the rings of a tree
by forming a handheld circle with you, thee,
or walked with you
where a ring of church-bells,
looped the fields,
or kissed a lipstick ring on your cheek,
a pressed flower,
or met with you
in the ring of an hour,
and another hour . . .
have opened your palm to the weather, turned, turned,
till your fingers were ringed in rain
or held you close,
they were playing our song,
in the ring of a slow dance
or carved our names
in the rough ring of a heart
or heard the ring of an owl's hoot
as we headed home in the dark
or the ring, first thing,
of chorussing birds
waking the house
or given the ring of a boat, rowing the lake,
or the ring of swans, monogamous, two,
or the watery rings made by the fish
as they leaped and splashed
or the ring of the sun's reflection there . . .
I might have tied
a blade of grass,
a green ring for your finger,
or told you the ring of a sonnet by heart
or brought you a lichen ring,
found on a warm wall,
or given a ring of ice in winter
or in the snow
sung with you the five gold rings of a carol
or stolen a ring of your hair
or whispered the word in your ear
that brought us here,
where nothing and no one is wrong,
and therefore I give you this ring.
Variation On The Word Sleep by Margaret Atwood
I would like to watch you sleeping,
which may not happen.
I would like to watch you,
sleeping. I would like to sleep
with you, to enter
your sleep as its smooth dark wave
slides over my head
and walk with you through that lucent
wavering forest of bluegreen leaves
with its watery sun & three moons
towards the cave where you must descend,
towards your worst fear
I would like to give you the silver
branch, the small white flower, the one
word that will protect you
from the grief at the center
of your dream, from the grief
at the center. I would like to follow
you up the long stairway
again & become
the boat that would row you back
carefully, a flame
in two cupped hands
to where your body lies
beside me, and you enter
it as easily as breathing in
I would like to be the air
that inhabits you for a moment
only. I would like to be that unnoticed
& that necessary.
Desire by Alice Walker
is always the same; wherever Life
I want to stick my toe
& soon my whole body
into the water.
I want to shake out a fat broom
& sweep dried leaves
I want to grow
It seems impossible that desire
can sometimes transform into devotion;
but this has happened.
And that is how I've survived:
how the hole
I carefully tended
in the garden of my heart
grew a heart
to fill it.
Bridled Vows by Ian Duhig
I will be faithful to you, I do vow,
but not until the seas have all run dry
et cetera. Although I mean it now
I'm not a prophet and I will not lie.
To be your perfect wife, I could not swear;
I'll love, yes; honour (maybe); won't obey,
but will co-operate if you will care
as much as you are seeming to today.
I'll do my best to be your better half,
but I don't have the patience of a saint
and at you, not with you, I'll sometimes laugh,
and snap too, though I'll try to show restraint.
We might work out. No blame if we do not.
With all my heart, I think it's worth a shot.
To Keep Your Marriage Brimming by Ogden Nash
To keep your marriage brimming,
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you're wrong admit it;
Whenever you're right shut up.
Winter wedding and Christmas poems
Winter Song by Wilfred Owen
The browns, the olives, and the yellows died,
And were swept up to heaven; where they glowed
Each dawn and set of sun till Christmastide,
And when the land lay pale for them, pale-snowed,
Fell back, and down the snow-drifts flamed and flowed.
From off your face, into the winds of winter,
The sun-brown and the summer-gold are blowing;
But they shall gleam with spiritual glinter,
When paler beauty on your brows falls snowing,
And through those snows my looks shall be soft-going.
Winter Morning by Ogden Nash
Winter is the king of showmen,
Turning tree stumps into snow men,
And houses into birthday cakes,
And spreading sugar over lakes.
Smooth and clean and frosty white,
The world looks good enough to bite.
That's the season to be young
Catching snowflakes on your tongue.
Snow is snowy when it's snowing
I'm sorry it's slushy when it's going.
Winter Eyes Douglas Florian
Look at winter
With winter eyes
As smoke curls from rooftops
To clear cobalt skies.
Breathe in winter
Past winter nose:
The sweet scent of black birch
Where velvet moss grows.
Walk through winter
With winter feet
On crackling ice
Or sloshy wet sleet.
Look at winter
With winter eyes:
The rustling of oak leaves
As spring slowly nears.
Love And Winter by Emily Bronte
Love is like the wild rose-briar,
Friendship like the holly-tree-
The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms
But which will bloom most constantly?
The wild rose-briar is sweet in spring,
Its summer blossoms scent the air;
Yet wait till winter comes again
And who will call the wild-briar fair?
Then scorn the silly rose-wreath now
And deck thee with the holly's sheen,
That when December blights thy brow
He still may leave thy garland green.
Mistletoe by Walter de la Mare
Make it Snow!
Sitting under the mistletoe
(Pale-green, fairy mistletoe),
One last candle burning low,
All the sleepy dancers gone,
Just one candle burning on,
Shadows lurking everywhere:
Some one came, and kissed me there.
Tired I was; my head would go
Nodding under the mistletoe
(Pale-green, fairy mistletoe),
No footsteps came, no voice, but only,
Just as I sat there, sleepy, lonely,
Stooped in the still and shadowy air
Lips unseen - and kissed me there.