Love is a strong emotion, and romantic love has given rise a plethora of love poems and sonnets. As wedding season approaches, here are my favorites that would be perfect for any love fête, whether you’re planning a holiday wedding, traditional spring or summer nuptials, a re-dedication of vows, or an anniversary celebration.
Most people are familiar with this poem because it is often used comically in various movies and skits. Sappy as it may be, it remains one of my favorites:
How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)
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 and 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 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.
Edward Estlin Cummings avoided the dictates of “proper” capitalization and punctuation, but still produced some of the most-loved poetry, and this is one that is perfect for weddings:
i carry your heart with me
by e.e. cummings
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
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 the 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)
Of course, few wrote about love like the great Bard, William Shakespeare. I’m sure many are familiar with this famous sonnet.
Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st,
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
If you are looking for a more contemporary poem that is short, sweet, and to the point, this one by Gary C. Daniels would be perfect for any wedding ceremony.
By Gary C. Daniels
Let my love for you be crystal clear
May the sincerity of my love subside your fears
I would never leave you, I would never be gone
With me you would never again be alone
You will never find a love more true
Than this love I hold for you.