Wedding Planning Guide

wedding quotes

bride and groom reading vows

Photo: Kurt Boomer

Whether you’re writing your own wedding vows, writing a toast, or just looking for inspiration, these quotes on love and marriage from authors, poets, musicians, and pop culture are sure to inspire. Look to these examples to help you express your emotions on the wedding day.

LITERATURE

From “A Marriage” by Mark Twain

A marriage makes of two fractional lives a whole; It gives two purposeless lives a work, And doubles the strength of each to perform it. It gives to two questioning natures a reason for living And something to live for. It will give new gladness to the sunshine, A new fragrance to the flowers, a new beauty to the earth And a new mystery to life.

From Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernières

“Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have 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 promulgation of promises of eternal passion. 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, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.”

From Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein

“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.”

From The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

“Anyone can love a thing because. That's as easy as putting a penny in your pocket. But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.”

From The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye."

“Union” from From Beginning to End: The Rituals of Our Lives by Robert Fulghum

You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making commitments in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.

The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things that we’ve promised, and hoped, and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.”

Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.

For after today you shall say to the world – This is my husband. This is my wife.

From The Bridge Across Forever by Richard Bach

A soul mate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we're pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we're safe in our own paradise. Our soul mate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we're two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we've found the right person. Our soul mate is the one who makes life come to life.

From Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith

“People are like cities: We all have alleys and gardens and secret rooftops and places where daisies sprout between the sidewalk cracks, but most of the time all we let each other see is is a postcard glimpse of a skyline or a polished square. Love lets you find those hidden places in another person, even the ones they didn't know were there, even the ones they wouldn't have thought to call beautiful themselves.”

From The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman

"I will love you forever; whatever happens. Till I die and after I die, and when I find my way out of the land of the dead, I'll drift about forever, all my atoms, till I find you again..."

"I'll be looking for you, Will, every moment, every single moment. And when we do find each other again, we'll cling together so tight that nothing and no one'll ever tear us apart. Every atom of me and every atom of you...We'll live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pin trees and in clouds and in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams...And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won't just be able to take one, they'll have to take two, one of you and one of me, we'll be joined so tight..."

They lay side by side, hand in hand, looking at the sky.”

From Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

“When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity - in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.

The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits - islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.”

POETRY

Chemistry by Nayyirah Waheed

chemistry
is
you
touching my arm
and
it
setting fire to my mind.
—flood

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in] 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)
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
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 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)

This Marriage by Rumi

May these vows and this marriage be blessed.
May it be sweet milk,
this marriage, like wine and halvah.
May this marriage offer fruit and shade
like the date palm.
May this marriage be full of laughter,
our every day a day in paradise.
May this marriage be a sign of compassion,
a seal of happiness here and hereafter.
May this marriage have a fair face and a good name,
an omen as welcomes the moon in a clear blue sky.
I am out of words to describe
how spirit mingles in this marriage.

A Vow by Wendy Cope

I cannot promise never to be angry;
I cannot promise always to be kind.
You know what you are taking on, my darling –
It's only at the start that love is blind.
And yet I'm still the one you want to be with
And you're the one for me – of that I'm sure.
You are my closest friend, my favourite person,
The lover and the home I've waited for.
I cannot promise that I will deserve you
From this day on. I hope to pass that test.
I love you and I want to make you happy.
I promise I will do my very best.

Bridled Vows by Ian Duhig

I will be faithful to you, I do vow
but not until the seas have all run dry
etcetera: 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;
not with you, at you I may sometimes laugh,
and snap too, though I'll try to learn restraint.

We might work out: no blame if we do not.
With all my heart, I think it's worth a shot.

One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII by Pablo Neruda

I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries
the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,
and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose
from the earth lives dimly in my body.

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.

The Prophet, On Marriage by Kahlil Gibran

You were born together,
and together you shall be forevermore.

You shall be together when the white wings
of death scatter your days.

Aye, you shall be together even in the
silent memory of God.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love.
Let it rather be a moving sea between
the shores of your souls.

Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous,
but let each of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone
though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together, yet not too near together.
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress
grow not in each other’s shadow.

“That Still And Settled Place” by Edward Monkton

In that still and settled place
There’s nobody but you
You’re where I breath my oxygen
You’re where I see my view
And when the world feels full of noise
My heart knows what to do
It finds that still and settled place
And dances there with you

“Blessing For A Marriage” by James Dillet Freeman

May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring, and may life grant you also patience, tolerance, and understanding.

May you always need one another – not so much to fill your emptiness as to help you to know your fullness. A mountain needs a valley to be complete; the valley does not make the mountain less, but more; and the valley is more a valley because it has a mountain towering over it. So let it be with you and you.

May you need one another, but not out of weakness.
May you want one another, but not out of lack.
May you entice one another, but not compel one another.
May you embrace one another, but not out encircle one another.
May you succeed in all important ways with one another, and not fail in the little graces.
May you look for things to praise, often say, “I love you!” and take no notice of small faults.

If you have quarrels that push you apart, may both of you hope to have good sense enough to take the first step back.

May you enter into the mystery which is the awareness of one another’s presence – no more physical than spiritual, warm and near when you are side by side, and warm and near when you are in separate rooms or even distant cities.

May you have happiness, and may you find it making one another happy. May you have love, and may you find it loving one another.

“Love” by Roy Croft

I love you,
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.

I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what
You are making of me.

I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;
I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can't help
Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find.

I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern
But a temple;
Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song.

I love you
Because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good,
And more than any fate
To make me happy.

You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.
You have done it
By being yourself.

BIBLE VERSES

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

1 John 4:7-19

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us.

1 Corinthians 13

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Hebrews 10:24-25

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

John 15:9-12

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

Ruth 1:16-17

But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”

1 Peter 4:8

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

Colossians 3:14

And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Ephesians 4:32

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Micah 6:8

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

Philippians 2:1-2

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

POP CULTURE : SONGS

"Happiness Is You" by Johnny Cash

Way down the mountain I chased a moonbeam
On the beach I built sand castles too
My moonbeams faded my castles tumbled
All of this was meaningless cause happiness is you

No more chasing moonbeams or catching falling stars
I know now my pot of gold is anywhere you are
My heart won't miss you my heart goes with you
Loneliness is emptiness but happiness is you

I tried to doubt you and live without you
Tried to deny but I love you like a do
But I realize now and I'll admit it
You'll always be a part of me cause happiness is you

“Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan

When the rain is blowing in your face
And the whole world is on your case
I could offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love

When the evening shadows and the stars appear
And there is no one there to dry your tears
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love

I know you haven’t made your mind up yet
But I would never do you wrong
I’ve known it from the moment that we met
No doubt in my mind where you belong

I’d go hungry, I’d go black and blue
I’d go crawling down the avenue
There’s nothing that I wouldn’t do
To make you feel my love

The storms are raging on the rollin’ sea
And on the highway of regret
The winds of change are blowing wild and free
You ain’t seen nothing like me yet

I could make you happy, make your dreams come true
Nothing that I wouldn’t do
Go to the ends of the earth for you
To make you feel my love

“Mushaboom” by Feist

I got a man to stick it out
And make a home from a rented house
And we’ll collect the moments one by one
I guess that’s how the future’s done.

“The Luckiest” by Ben Fold

I don't get many things right the first time,
In fact, I am told that a lot
Now I know all the wrong turns the stumbles,
And falls brought me here
And where was I before the day
That I first saw your lovely face,
Now I see it every day
And I know
That I am, I am, I am, the luckiest

What if I had been born fifty years before you
In a house on the street
Where you lived
Maybe I'd be outside as you passed on your bike. Would I know?
And in a wide sea of eyes

I see one pair that I recognize
And I know
That I am, I am, I am, the luckiest

I love you more than I have
Ever found the way to say
To you

Next door there's an old man who lived to his nineties and one day
Passed away in his sleep,
And his wife, she stayed for a couple of days and passed away

I'm sorry I know that's a strange way to tell you that I know we belong,
That I know
That I am, I am, I am, the luckiest

“Lovesong“ by The Cure

Whenever I’m alone with you
You make me feel like I am home again
Whenever I’m alone with you
You make me feel like I am whole again

“It's Only Time” by The Magnetic Fields

Why would I stop loving you
a hundred years from now?
It's only time.
It's only time.

What could stop this beating heart
once it's made a vow?
It's only time.
It's only time.

If rain won't change your mind,
let it fall.
The rain won't change my heart
at all.

Lock this chain
around my hand,
throw away the key.
It's only time.
It's only time.

Years falling
like grains of sand
mean nothing to me.
It's only time.
It's only time.

If snow won't change your mind
let it fall.
The snow won't change my heart,
not at all.

(I'll walk your lands)
I'll walk your lands
(And swim your sea)
And swim your sea

Marry me.
Marry me.

(Then in your hands)
Then in your hands
(I will be free)
I will be free

Marry me.
Marry me.

Why would I stop loving you
a hundred years from now?

FILMS

The Nightmare Before Christmas

"My dearest friend, If you don't mind, I'd like to join you by your side. Where we could gaze into the stars, and sit together, now and forever. For it is plain as anyone could see, we're simply meant to be." —Jack Skellington

When Harry Met Sally

“I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because 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." —Harry Burns

Sleepless in Seattle

"It was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together, and I knew it. I knew it the very first time I touched her. It was like coming home, only to no home I'd ever known. I was just taking her hand to help her out of a car and I knew. It was like magic." —Sam Baldwin

Frances Ha

"It's a party, and you're both talking to other people, and you're laughing and shining, and you look across the room and catch each other's eyes ... because that is your person in this life ... it's this secret world that exists right there in public, unnoticed, that no one else knows about." —Frances Halladay

Pride and Prejudice

"You have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you. I never wish to be parted from you from this day on." —Mr. Darcy

Before Sunrise

"I believe if there's any kind of God it wouldn't be in any of us, not you or me but just this little space in between. If there's any kind of magic in this world it must be in the attempt of understanding someone sharing something. I know, it's almost impossible to succeed but who cares really? The answer must be in the attempt." —Céline

Corpse Bride

“With this hand, I will lift your sorrows. Your cup shall never be empty, for I will be your wine. With this candle, I will light your way in darkness. And with this ring, I ask you to be mine.” —Victor Van Dort

TELEVISION

“Game of Thrones”

"As you are the Moon of his life, he shall be your Sun and Stars. Your love shall be as ever present as those two celestial bodies...even though they are sometimes hidden from one another's sight. Your love will be the guiding force that charts the course of your tomorrows, holds your world together in difficult times, and will make life itself shine bolder and brighter than we human beings have a right to dream of." (Khaleesi and Khal Drogo's Wedding Vows)

“How I Met Your Mother”

“But love doesn’t make sense. You can’t logic your way into it or out of it. Love is totally nonsensical. But, we have to keep doing it or else we’re lost and love is dead and humanity should just pack it in. Because love is the best thing we do.” —Ted Mosby

“The Office”

You gotta forget about logic and fear and doubt. You just gotta do everything you can to get to the one woman who's gonna make all this worth it. At the end of the day, you gotta jump. —Jim Halpert

“Doctor Who”

“You know when sometimes you meet someone so beautiful, and then you actually talk to them, and five minutes later they're dull as a brick. But then there's other people, and you meet them and you think 'not bad, they're okay', and then you get to know them, and their face sort of becomes them, like their personality's written all over it, and they just they turn into something so beautiful...” ― Amy Pond

“Parks and Recreation”

“You're all I need. I love you and I like you.” —Leslie Knope

HISTORY

Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___ (2015)

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

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