Six modern love poems and readings for a wedding vow renewal ceremony

Six modern love poems and readings for a wedding vow renewal ceremony

When planning your wedding vow renewal ceremony, you may decide that you would like to include a poem or reading. Although enormously popular, classic love poems or humorous poems aren’t everyone’s cup of tea — and if you’d prefer something more modern at your ceremony, our celebrants have plenty of suggestions.

Here are just a few ideas for modern love poems for your wedding vow renewal ceremony. Your celebrant will be able to provide many more!

A wedding guest in a waistcoat reading from a piece of paper


6 Readings and Poems for a Vow Renewal

Here is a selection of more unusual readings for when you renew your vows. From quirky to heartfelt, there’s sure to be something here to suit.

Have You Got a Biro I Can Borrow?

Have you got a biro I can borrow?
I’d like to write your name
On the palm of my hand, on the walls of the hall
The roof of the house, right across the land
So when the sun comes up tomorrow
It’ll look to this side of the hard-bitten planet
Like a big yellow button with your name written on it

Have you got a biro I can borrow?
I’d like to write some lines
In praise of your knee, and the back of your neck
And the double-decker bus that brings you to me
So when the sun comes up tomorrow
It’ll shine on a world made richer by a sonnet
And a half-dozen epics as long as the Aeneid

Oh give me a pen and some paper
Give me a chisel or a camera
A piano and a box of rubber bands
I need room for choreography
And a darkroom for photography
Tie the brush into my hands

Have you got a biro I can borrow?
I’d like to write your name
From the belt of Orion to the share of the Plough
The snout of the Bear to the belly of the Lion
So when the sun goes down tomorrow
There’ll never be a minute
Not a moment of the night that hasn’t got you in it

Clive James


Two men in velvet tuxedo jackets kiss outside on their big day


We joined the dots
from A to B,
the line we drew
from you to me,
traced empty shores
across the sea,
over mountain top,
past forest tree,
along the roads
and walking tracks,
all bridges burned,
no looking back,
for the love
we have,
no gate can stop,
no barking dog
or bolted lock,
for what is real
is meant to be,
when two hearts
in proximity.

Michael Faudet


An older couple walking in the woods hold hands and smile

The One

When the one whose hand you’re holding
Is the one who holds your heart,
When the one whose eyes you gaze into
Gives your hopes and dreams their start,
When the one you think of first and last
Is the one who holds you tight
And the things you plan together
Make the whole world seem just right,
When the one whom you believe in
Puts their faith and trust in you,
You’ve found the one and only love
You’ll share your whole life through

Cheryl Barclay

Everything Is Illuminated

‘I love you also means I love you more than anyone loves you, or has loved you, or will love you, and also, I love you in a way that no one loves you, or has loved you, or will love you, and also, I love you in a way that I love no one else, and never have loved anyone else, and never will love anyone else.’

Jonathan Safran Foer


A young Black couple lie cosily in bed, snuggled together wearing t-shirts

Sonnet XVII

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.

Pablo Neruda


An older couple dance, looking into each other's eyes

An Excerpt from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

‘Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have 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 eternal passion.

‘That is just being ‘in love’ which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, And this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground,

‘And when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.’

Louis de Bernières


We hope you have enjoyed these six modern readings and poems for a vow renewal. When you choose a humanist celebrant for your vow renewal ceremony you can be sure it will fit you perfectly. From readings through to the ceremony script, they will work with you to make sure every detail is as you wish.

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If you’re thinking of having a humanist wedding vow renewal ceremony and would like to talk to a celebrant near you, you can find your ideal celebrant via our online map.

'My humanist ceremony was the most special day of my life. All my family were blown away. Both my parents said that they'd never been to a wedding that was more personal or heartfelt.'
Madeleine, 34

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