What better time or place to write a poem than for a wedding. The right wedding poem can serve any number of wonderful purposes. It can highlight the reception as a toast to the bride, groom, or their families. It can serve as an added personal touch between the bride and groom when exchanging vows. It can even be a great addition to invitations or announcements for the wedding. Whatever purpose a wedding poem serves, it is sure to be well received. The only hard part is writing one.
Famous Examples of Wedding Poems
There are not nearly as many poems written directly about weddings as some other important events. However, there are plenty of examples available of love poems and friendship poems that capture the essence of a wedding and of the feelings a bride and groom have for each other.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning's incredibly famous (and slightly overused) "How Do I Love Thee?" has been used in wedding ceremonies for decades, while the simpler and more elegant verses of Emily Dickinson are a popular addition to wedding vows, especially in "It's all I have to bring today."
Starting on Your Own Wedding Poem
The first step to writing any poem is to know your audience. Who is the poem being written for? If it is a future spouse, it should be imbued with as much emotion and personal touch as possible. If it is for the bride and groom from a best man or maid of honor, it should be reverential and keyed to the friendships that exist. If it is for the families or friends attending, it can be nearly anything so long as it mentions friendship and cracks a few jokes in between.
Writing the Poem
The next step though is the most important. Crafting a poem is hard. It takes a lot of time, much more than the few short lines would make it seem. The best way to start is to write down everything you want to say in prose. No matter how much you have to say, write it down in as simple a form as you can. Don't worry about the flowery verse yet. That comes later.
Next, start selecting the bits and pieces that have the most important position in your wedding poem. Any words you find particularly compelling should be written down as well. Poetry is art with words, don't underestimate the power of a well placed word.
The poem does not need to rhyme. Nor does it need to be metered or in any kind of form. It just needs to be well thought out. Read it over and over and ensure that every line is important, every word has a place within the meaning of the poem. If the context is wrong or too many syllables jumble up a line, move them around. It will likely take half a dozen times reading and changing your poem before you begin to come close to being happy with it. And you may never be happy with the final wedding poem, but then no poets are.