Poets have been writing about love for centuries—now it’s your turn. Find inspiration for your wedding vows in these sentimental quotes.

By Rebecca Renner
Updated July 09, 2019
Wedding Vow Quotes and Poems
Credit: Getty Images

Sometimes we struggle to put how we feel into words—but now that your wedding day is around the corner, the pressure is on. You’ve loved your future spouse for so long that it’s something you do without thinking. How can you describe it and let them and all of your friends know how you feel, before exchanging promises to one another? Borrowing from brilliant writers can help. Use this list of romantic quotes for either thematic inspiration or as the perfect addition to the wedding vows you pen yourself. A well-placed quote—or just a beautiful idea that resonates—is often all you need to write memorable, heartfelt vows.

1. “In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”
—Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

2. “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.”
—Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago

3. “Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”
—Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

4. “Do you remember still the falling stars
that like swift horses through the heavens raced
and suddenly leaped across the hurdles
of our wishes—do you recall? And we
did make so many! For there were countless numbers
of stars: each time we looked above we were
astounded by the swiftness of their daring play,
while in our hearts we felt safe and secure
watching these brilliant bodies disintegrate,
knowing somehow we had survived their fall.”
—Rainer Maria Rilke, “Falling Stars”

5. “When you fall in love, it is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake, and then it subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots are to become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the desire to mate every second of the day. It is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every part of your body. No … don’t blush. I am telling you some truths. For that is just being in love; which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over, when being in love has burned away. Doesn’t sound very exciting, does it? But it is!”
—Louis de Bernières, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

6. “I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you directly without problems or pride:
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,
except in this form in which I am not nor are you,
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.”
—Pablo Neruda, Sonnet XVII, Cien Sonetos de Amor

7. “I’ve never had a moment’s doubt. I love you. I believe in you completely. You are my dearest one. My reason for life.”
—Ian McEwan, Atonement

8. “When we are old and these rejoicing veins
Are frosty channels to a muted stream,
And out of all our burning their remains
No feeblest spark to fire us, even in dream,
This be our solace: that it was not said
When we were young and warm and in our prime,
Upon our couch we lay as lie the dead,
Sleeping away the unreturning time.
O sweet, O heavy-lidded, O my love,
When morning strikes her spear upon the land,
And we must rise and arm us and reprove
The insolent daylight with a steady hand,
Be not discountenanced if the knowing know
We rose from rapture but an hour ago.”
—Edna St. Vincent Millay, “When We Are Old and These Rejoicing Veins”

9. “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.”
—Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady

10. “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depths and breadth and height my soul can reach, when feeling out of sight for the ends of being and idea grace.”
—Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)”

11. “Love
Is a ripe plum
Growing on a purple tree.
Taste it once
And the spell of its enchantment
Will never let you be.”
—Langston Hughes, “A Love Song for Lucinda”

12. “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
―Nora Ephron, When Harry Met Sally

13. “It’s all I have to bring today—
This, and my heart beside—
This, and my heart, and all the fields—
And all the meadows wide—
Be sure you count—should I forget
Some one the sum could tell—
This, and my heart, and all the Bees
Which in the Clover dwell.”
— Emily Dickinson, “It’s All I Have to Bring Today”

14. “I cannot let you burn me up, nor can I resist you. No mere human can stand in a fire and not be consumed.”
—A.S. Byatt, Possession

15. “The sky was lit
by the splendor of the moon
So powerful
I fell to the ground
Your love
has made me sure
I am ready to forsake
this worldly life
and surrender
to the magnificence
of your Being”
—Rumi, “Defeated by Love”

16. “You are sunlight through a window, which I stand in, warmed. My darling.”
—Jessie Burton, The Miniaturist

17. “You might not have been my first love, but you were the love that made all the other loves irrelevant”
—Rupi Kaur, milk and honey