Warning: these wedding poems will probably make you (and your guests) cry.

If the thought of reading a poem out at your wedding – whether it be during your ceremony or as a treat during the reception speeches – sends a cold shiver down your spine, you’re not alone.

Some people believe the terms “wedding” and “poem” should never appear in the same sentence. But we promise there’s a wedding poem out there for you that’s not only cheese-free and completely genuine, but perfect for whatever day you are planning.

What use is a wedding poem if it doesn’t speak volumes about you and your new partner?

bride and groom
The most important part of choosing a wedding poem? Make sure it fits you and your partner. Image via iStock.

Here are some ideas to get you started. And yes, get the tissues ready, because these beautiful poems will strike a chord with you and your guests.

(Oh, and P.S. they don't always have to rhyme...)

For the Shakespeare fan

This short and sweet excerpt from Shakespeare's Hamlet proves you can say so much with so few words.

Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love.

For something more recognisable, why not try your hand at some classic lines from Romeo and Juliet?

But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the East and Juliet is the sun!
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief
That thou her maid art more fair than she.
Be not her maid, since she is envious.
Her vestal livery is but sick and green,
And none but fools do wear it. Cast it off.
It is my lady; O it is my love!
O that she knew she were!

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For something a bit more modern

The author of this beautiful poem - about choosing to marry your best friend - is unknown, but it's fast becoming a wedding favourite.


We can't get through it without needing to reach for the tissues!

This day I married my best friend
the one I laugh with as we share life's wonderous zest,
as we find new enjoyments and experience all that's best.
the one I live for because the world seems brighter
as our happy times are better and our burdens feel much lighter.
the one I love with every fiber of my soul.
We used to feel vaguely incomplete, now together we are whole.

For the literary fans

I Carry Your Heart by E.E Cumming is both traditional and it's known as one of the most romantic poems of all time.

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)
i fear
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

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For those looking for a family-friendly option

Do you remember reciting The Owl and the Pussy Cat by Edward Lear in your younger years?

Read the delightfully adorable poem years later and you just might find it's the perfect addition to your family-friendly wedding.

Two adorable creatures setting out for a life filled with adventure? Wedding win.

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
"O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are, You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!"