Your big day is on the horizon and it won’t be long before you’ll be officially hitched to the love of your life. Whether your guest list runs to 200 or 2, you’re counting on dropping some heavy heartfelt material. The pressure is on, and you’ve only got one shot. If you’ve been struggling against the creative current, consider personalizing your vow with a one of these sparkling lines from the greats. Here we’ve collected all in one place a total of 20 abbreviated quotes from time-honored works of poetry and literature:
1. “I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul…
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way than this…”
--Pablo Neruda, “Sonnet XVII”
2. “I look at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world.”
--Frank O’Hara, “Having a Coke With You”
3. “I know for sure that loves saves me and that it is here to save us all.”
4. 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)”
--e.e. Cummings, “I Carry Your Heart With Me”
5. “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.”
--Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “How Do I Love Thee?”
6. “(for A)
What sound was that?
I turn away, into the shaking room.
What was that sound that came in on the dark?
What is this maze of light it leaves us in?
What is this stance we take,
To turn away and then turn back?
What did we hear?
It was the breath we took when we first met.
Listen. It is here.”
--Harold Pinter, “It Is Here”
7. “This sacred blessing,
This divine love,
to a world beyond
only lovers can see
with their eyes of fiery passion…”
--Rumi, “The Privileged Lovers”
- “She loves me all that she can,
And her ways to my ways resign;
But she was not made for any man,
And she never will be all mine.”
--Edna St. Vincent Millay, “Witch-Wife”
touching my arm
setting fire to my mind.”
--Nayyirah Waheed, “Chemistry”
10. “What is that you express in your eyes? It seems to me more than all the print I have read in my life.” --Walt Whitman
11. “He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, without even looking.”
--Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
12. “To love or have loved, that is enough. Ask nothing further. There is no other pearl to be found in the dark folds of life.”
--Victor Hugo, Les Miserables
13. “Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”
--Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights
14. “Each time, you happen to me all over again.”
--Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence
15. “And the rest is rust and stardust.”
--Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
- “Let all of life be an unfettered howl.”
--Vladimir Nabokov, The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov
17. “If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you.”
--A.A. Milne, Winnie-The-Pooh
18. "Do I love you? My God, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches…” --WIlliam Goldman, The Princess Bride
- “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.”
--Hilary T. Smith, Wild Awake
- "I don’t know how you are so familiar to me — or why it feels less like I am getting to know you and more as though I am remembering who you are. How every smile, every whisper brings me closer to the impossible conclusion that I have known you before, I have loved you before — in another time, a different place, some other existence.” --Lang Leav, “Soul Mates”
* Which of these gems speak most to your relationship and dearly betrothed? We want to hear about it! Do you have a wedding playlist picked out? What if you could get your favorite song engraved onto a wooden watch for your sweetheart during the in-between? Take a look at our Smash Hit Love Songs for Smash Hit Engravings for some more inspiration.