As exhilarating as it is to be newly engaged, it can be all too easy to get swept up in the wedding planning process and lose sight of what those endless checklists are actually about: celebrating the love between you and your partner. But with that celebration and planning will eventually come the need to dive into your vows, whether you're writing your own or opting for an officiant's help. Either way, including a romantic quote is a great way to spark inspiration and truly express your love for your spouse.
How to Incorporate Quotes Into Your Vows
The perfect quote might just be the thing you need to dive in on your vows. "Reading through love-focused quotes can sometimes be the nudge that someone needs to start expressing themselves in a certain way," says wedding officiant Bethel Nathan. "Or sometimes it can give them the needed words around which they can build their vows." Consider these tips if you're thinking about incorporating a quote into your own vows:
- Select a quote that's authentic and meaningful to you.
- Choose a quote that truly relates back to your relationship.
- Don't worry too much about whether all of your guests will understand the selected quote.
Meet the Expert
- Bethel Nathan is a wedding officiant specializing in ceremonies for couples who are nontraditional and often not religious. Nathan has owned and operated Ceremonies by Bethel since 2009.
- Alisa Tongg is a certified Life Cycle Celebrant and a graduate of the Celebrant Institute and Foundation. Tongg specializes in nondenominational, intercultural, interfaith, and secular wedding ceremonies.
According to Nathan, it's all about finding a fluid way to incorporate the quote, weaving it into the ceremony in an authentic way. "Making your vows real, showing true appreciation for what this person adds to your life and what you promise to do in return, are the keys to moving, impactful, and memorable vows," she says.
Ready to find the perfect quote to incorporate into your vows? Here are 101 of our favorites.
A quote about love is the perfect way to include a simple expression and to add meaningful prose into your vows. "Because the vows are typically the only time during a wedding ceremony where a couple is actually speaking, it's important that every word a bride or groom says in ceremony feels authentic and natural," says celebrant Alisa Tongg.
- "In all the world, there is no heart for me like yours. In all the world, there is no love for you like mine." — Maya Angelou
- "Love is passion, obsession, someone you can't live without." — William Parrish
- "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 love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you." — Elizabeth Barrett Browning
- "You know you're in love when you don't want to fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams." — Dr. Seuss
- "Love seems the swiftest but it is the slowest of all growths. No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century." — Mark Twain
- "Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within." — James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time
- "Love is the thing that is always having the last word—even when those words are 'I'm sorry,' or 'Forgive me,' or 'I love you no matter what.'" — Cleo Wade
- "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, One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII
- "You are the love that came without warning; you had my heart before I could say no." — Unknown
- "The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more. That plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds.” — Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
- "For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul." — Judy Garland
- "How in hell can you handle love without turning your life upside down? That’s what love does, it changes everything." — Lauren Bacall
- "I have for the first time found what I can truly love. I have found you.” — Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
- "Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get—only with what you are expecting to give—which is everything." — Katharine Hepburn
- "Loving you never was an option. It was a necessity." — Truth Devour, Unrequited
Once you've chosen a quote to incorporate into your vows, pair it with a real-life example pointing back to your relationship to make it relevant.
An inspirational quote is a great option for someone hoping to include a quote that's both meaningful and uplifting. "If you find yourself nodding as you read one, that is definitely a quote to consider using!" says Nathan.
- "To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow—this is a human offering that can border on miraculous." — Elizabeth Gilbert, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage
- "Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile." — Elizabeth Barrett Browning
- "It is love that makes the impossible, possible." — Indian proverb
- "One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love." — Sophocles
- "Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, While loving someone deeply gives you courage." — Lao Tzu
Who says you can't incorporate a quote that dives a little deeper into romance? Romantic quotes are perfect for the person who really wants to make a statement.
- "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
- "You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope...I have loved none but you." — Jane Austen, Persuasion
- "If I had a flower for every time I thought of you...I could walk through my garden forever." — Alfred Lord Tennyson
- "And I’d choose you; in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I’d find you and I’d choose you." — Kiersten White, The Chaos of Stars
- "For all the things my hands have held, the best by far is you." ― Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness
- "I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone." — J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
- "They slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they never recovered." — F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise
- "Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead." — Oscar Wilde
- "To burn with desire and keep quiet about it is the greatest punishment we can bring on ourselves." — Federico García Lorca, Blood Wedding and Yerma
- "The very essence of romance is uncertainty." ― Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest
- "I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone." — J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
- "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, Romeo and Juliet
- "Yours is the light by which my spirit’s born: you are my sun, my moon, and all my stars." — E.E. Cummings, You are My Sun, My Moon, and All My Stars
- "If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus one day, so I never have to live without you." — Ernest H. Shepard
- "You have made a place in my heart where I thought there was no room for anything else. You have made flowers grow where I cultivated dust and stones." — Robert Jordan, The Shadow Rising
- "You make me happier than I ever thought I could be and if you let me, I will spend the rest of my life trying to make you feel the same way." — Chandler, proposing to Monica on Friends
- "He felt now that he was not simply close to her, but that he did not know where he ended and she began." — Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
- "I was made and meant to look for you and wait for you and become yours forever." ― Robert Browning, Pauline: The Fragment of a Confession
Adding a few lines from your favorite poem is a great way to incorporate a meaningful quote. Lines of a poem, lyrics of a song, or even quotes from a movie can be easy to relate to. "Just that little phrase from a favorite song or poem or movie, is enough to bring with it a treasure chest of other feelings, promises, memories, and hopes for the future," says Tongg.
- "What greater thing is there for two human souls, than to feel that they are joined for life–to strengthen each other in all labour, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting?" — George Eliot, Adam Bede
- "Doubt thou the stars are fire, Doubt the sun doth move, Doubt truth to be a liar but never doubt thy love." — William Shakespeare, Hamlet
- "I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach." — Elizabeth Barret Browning, "How Do I Love Thee?"
- "Love starts as a feeling,
But to continue is a choice;
And I find myself choosing you
More and more every day." — Justin Wetch, "Bending the Universe"
- "Love at the lips was touch
As sweet as I could bear;
And once that seemed too much;
I lived on air." — Robert Frost, "To Earthward"
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"
- "Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Whose worth is unknown, although his height be taken." — William Shakespeare, "Sonnet 116"
- "Our love will bloom always fairer,
Fresher, more gracious,
Because it is a true love" — Honoré de Balzac
- "Grow old along with me; the best is yet to be." — Robert Browning, "Rabbi Ben Ezra"
A one-liner can certainly go a long way. Many of these simple quotes can be used as a jumping-off point, helping to flesh out the vows you may be writing on your own.
- "Love is like a friendship caught on fire." — Jeremy Taylor
- "There is no more lovely, friendly, and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage." — Martin Luther
- "For the two of us, home isn't a place. It is a person. And we are finally home.” ― Stephanie Perkins, Anna and the French Kiss
- "I can conquer the world with one hand, as long as you’re holding the other." — Unknown
- "The best thing to hold onto in life is each other." — Audrey Hepburn
- "When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too." — Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
- "You don't marry the person you can live with—you marry the person you can't live without." — Unknown
- "The best use of life is love. The best expression of love is time. The best time to love is now." — Rick Warren
- "I swear I couldn’t love you more than I do right now, and yet I know I will tomorrow." — Leo Christopher
- "Thinking of you keeps me awake. Dreaming of you keeps me asleep. Being with you keeps me alive." — Unknown
- "You are my heart, my life, my one and only thought." — Arthur Conan Doyle, The White Company
- "A hundred hearts would be too few to carry all my love for you." — Unknown
- "My love for you is a journey, starting at forever and ending at never." — Unknown
- "There is only one happiness in life: To love and be loved." — George Sand
- "Those who don't believe in magic, will never find it." — Roald Dahl
- "A life without love is like a year without summer." — Lithuanian proverb
- "Who, being loved, is poor?" — Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance
- "You're something between a dream and a miracle." — Elizabeth Barret Browning
- "Where there is love there is life." — Ghandi
- "The water shines only by the sun. And it is you who are my sun." — Charles de Leusse
- "I look at you and see the rest of my life in front of my eyes." — Unknown
- "When I look at you, I see everything I've ever wanted." — Anonymous
- "You are every lovely word I could think of." — Unknown
- "Once in awhile, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.” — Anonymous
If you're planning to keep your ceremony a bit lighter, incorporating a playful quote may be the ideal complement. If you do plan to incorporate something a bit more playful, check with your partner to decide how serious you both want the ceremony to be.
- "If I get married, I want to be very married." — Audrey Hepburn
- "May this marriage be full of laughter, our every day in paradise." — Rumi
- "Romance is the icing, but love is the cake." — Unknown
- "Great love affairs start with champagne..." — Honoré de Balzac
- "Sexiness wears thin after a while and beauty fades, but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah, now that's a real treat." — Joanne Woodward
A religious quote can be a powerful inclusion for many couples, pulling lines that have relevance to the relationship, focus on faith, or provide guidance for a successful marriage.
- "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs." — 1 Corinthians 13:4-5
- "Do everything in love." — 1 Corinthians 16:14
- "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." — 1 Corinthians 13:13
- "So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” — Matthew 19:6
- "And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." — Colossians 3:14
- "Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law." — Romans 13:8
- "Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life." — Psalm 143:8
- "I found the one my heart loves." — Song of Solomon 3:4
- "Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” — John 3:18
- "Two are better than one." — Ecclesiastes 4:9
- "Follow the way of love." — 1 Corinthians 14:1
Celebrate what you're about to become with these quotes. Incorporating a quote about the bond of marriage or partnership is a great way to add depth to your vows while focusing on your best friend for life.
- "A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person." — Mignon McLaughlin
- "The great marriages are partnerships. It can’t be a great marriage without being a partnership." — Helen Mirren
- "I would not wish any companion in the world but you." — Shakespeare, The Tempest
- "People are weird. When we find someone with weirdness that is compatible with ours, we team up and call it love." — Dr. Seuss
- "The greatest marriages are built on teamwork. A mutual respect, a healthy dose of admiration, and a never-ending portion of love and grace." — Fawn Weaver
- "The secret of a happy marriage is finding the right person. You know they’re right if you love to be with them all the time." — Julia Child
- "Remember, we all stumble; every one of us. That is why it’s a comfort to go hand in hand." — Emily Kimbrough
- "Walking with your hands in mine and mine in yours, that’s exactly where I want to be always." — Fawn Weaver
- "Love is not about staring at each other, but staring off in the same direction."
— Antoine de Saint Exupéry
- "Being married is like having somebody permanently in your corner. It feels limitless, not limited." — Gloria Steinem
- "It's amazing how one day someone walks into your life, and suddenly, you can't remember how you lived without them." — Anurag Prakash Ray
- "Marriage flourishes when the couple works together as a team: when both husband and wife decide that winning together is more important than keeping score. Good marriages don't just happen. They are a product of hard work." — Michelle Obama
- "To find someone who will love you for no reason, and to shower that person with reasons, that is the ultimate happiness." — Robert Brault