Alternative Quotes, Poems, and Lyrics for Wedding Vows

Many couples prefer to write their own vows or put their own unique twist on traditional vows. And speaking from personal experience, it can be challenging to begin to writing them! For my husband and I, the vows were crux of our entire wedding. Vows are solemn promises you make to your partner and it wasn’t something we took lightly. Yes, we were beyond excited to eat, drink, and celebrate with our loved ones, but the at the heart of the wedding it the commitment we were making. And truth be told, I had no idea write down all the thoughts and feelings I wanted to express to him through those solemn promises.

I started looking up the lyrics to my favorite songs, reading poems by my favorite authors, and bookmarking passages from beloved books. And I kept this anonymous quote in the forefront of my mind throughout the entire planning process, “I want a marriage more beautiful than my wedding.”

With that in mind, here are some of our favorite literary quotes, poems, passages, song lyrics, and quotes from thinkers & scientists to help spark inspiration and creativity in writing your one-of-a-kind vows.  


pnw wedding, make your own wedding rings, real wedding

Rob & Kate

"My bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep; the more I give to thee, the more I have, for both are infinite." - Shakespeare

"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

"If I know what love is, it is because of you." - Herman Hesse, “Narcissus and Goldmund”

"I don't ask you to love me always like this, but I ask you to remember. Somewhere inside of me there will always be the person I am tonight." - F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Tender is the Night”

"There might be millions of roses in the whole world, but you're my only, unique rose." -  Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince

"Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold." - Zelda Fitzgerald

"Every thing carries me to you, as if everything that exists, aromas, light, metals, were little boats that sail toward those isles of yours that wait for me." - Pablo Neruda

"Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won't adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words 'make' and 'stay' become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free." - Tom Robbins, “Still Life with Woodpecker”


ice cream truck, wedding, pacific northwest

Emily & Tom

Photo Credit: Christy Cassano

When we’re driving, in the dark,
on the long road
to Provincetown, which lies empty
for miles, when we’re weary,
when the buildings
and the scrub pines lose
their familiar look,
I imagine us rising
from the speeding car,
I imagine us seeing
everything from another place — the top
of one of the pale dunes
or the deep and nameless
fields of the sea —
and what we see is the world
that cannot cherish us
but which we cherish,
and what we see is our life
moving like that,
along the dark edges
of everything — the headlights
like lanterns
sweeping the blackness —
believing in a thousand
fragile and unprovable things,
looking out for sorrow,
slowing down for happiness,
making all the right turns
right down to the thumping
barriers to the sea,
the swirling waves,
the narrow streets, the houses,
the past, the future,
the doorway that belongs
to you and me.

- Coming Together, Mary Oliver

Marriage is not
a house or even a tent
it is before that, and colder:
the edge of the forest, the edge
of the desert
the unpainted stairs
at the back where we squat
outside, eating popcorn
the edge of the receding glacier
where painfully and with wonder
at having survived even
this far
we are learning to make fire

- Habitation, Margaret Atwood

Even after all this time
the sun never says
to the earth,
You owe me."
Look what happens
with a love like that –
it lights the whole sky.

- from The Gift by Hafiz of Shiraz


sunset, make your own wedding rings, port townsend

Dale & Miko

Photo Credit: David Cho

"For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love." - Carl Sagan

"Where there is love there is no question." - Albert Einstein

"The most beautiful words of love are told in silence for a look." - Leonardo de Vinci

"Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies." - Aristotle

"Love in its essence is spiritual fire." - Seneca

"Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” - Mother Teresa


wedding rings, pacific northwest, port townsend

Erin & Courtney

Photo Credit: The Foxes Photography

When you feel embarrassed then I’ll be your pride
When you need directions then I’ll be the guide
For all time.
- Death Cab for Cutie, “Passenger Seat”

Every breath that is in your lungs is a tiny little gift to me. - The White Stripes, "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground" 

Some things are meant to be, take my hand, take my whole life too, for I can't help falling in love with you. - Elvis Presley, "Can’t Help Falling in Love"

There's no combination of words
I could put on the back of a postcard
No song that I could sing
But I can try for your heart
Our dreams,
And they are made out of real things
Like a shoebox of photographs
With sepia-toned loving
Love is the answer.
At least for most of the questions in my heart.
Like: "Why are we here?", "And where do we go?",
"And how come it's so hard?".
It's not always easy,
And sometimes life can be deceiving
I'll tell you one thing:
It's always better when we're together
- Jack Johnson, "Better Together"