20 of the Most Beautiful Wedding Bible Verses about Love


A cheatsheet for the religious yet non-traditional love story

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

When it came to picking Hebrew Bible verses for our wedding, no way was I going to go with the obvious choices. I wanted to go deeper than just the old standbys, the wedding bible verses that you hear at every ceremony. I wanted passages that talked about faith, commitment, and hardship.

Woman being blesses at wedding, with text wedding bible verses

So while I’m a huge fan of First Corinthians (how can you go wrong with “Faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love”?) this selection of wedding bible verses is for those of you who want more unusual readings to draw from. They come from the APW staff, and APW readers (even more verses can be found on this open thread), and they contain a dazzling array of choices.

Related: Quotes about love and marriage to use at your wedding

And all of them, by the way, go well with the classics.

Most Powerful Bible Verses About Love, Commitment, and Devotion

Wedding Bible Verses

Hebrew Bible Verses About Love

Ruth 1:16-17: But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”

Micah 6:8: This is what the Lord requires of you: Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.

RELATED: THE BEST LOVE POEMS FOR YOUR WEDDING

Psalm 92, 12-15: The righteous flourish like the palm tree,
and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
They are planted in the house of the Lord;
they flourish in the courts of our God.
In old age they still produce fruit;
they are always green and full of sap,
showing that the Lord is upright;
he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

Song of Soloman 8:6-7: My beloved speaks and says to me:
Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.
Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm;
for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame.
Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it.
If one offered for love
all the wealth of his house,
it would be utterly scorned.

Psalm 24 8-10: O taste and see that the Lord is good;
happy are those who take refuge in him.
O fear the Lord, you his holy ones,
for those who fear him have no want.
The young lions suffer want and hunger,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12: Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

hosea 2:16-23: “A new day is coming,” announces the Lord. Israel will call me ‘my husband.’ She will no longer call me ‘my master.’ She will no longer speak about the gods that are named Baal. She will not pray to them for help anymore. At that time I will make a covenant for the good of my people. I will make it with the wild animals and the birds in the sky. It will also be made with the creatures that move along the ground. I will remove bows and swords and other weapons of war from the land. Then my people can lie down in safety. I will make Israel my own. She will belong to me forever. I will do to her what is right and fair. I will love her tenderly. I will be faithful to her. And she will recognize me as the Lord. “So at that time I will answer her,” announces the Lord. “I will command the skies to send rain on the earth. Then the earth will produce grain, olive oil and fresh wine. And Israel will be called Jezreel. That’s because I will answer her prayers. I will plant her in the land for myself. I will show my love to the one I called Not My Loved One. I will say, ‘You are my people’ to those who were called Not My People. And they will say, ‘You are my God.’”

isaiah 62:4-5: People will not call you Deserted anymore. They will no longer name your land Empty. Instead, you will be called One the Lord Delights In. Your land will be named Married One. That’s because the Lord will take delight in you. And your land will be married. As a young man marries a young woman, so your Builder will marry you. As a groom is happy with his bride, so your God will be full of joy over you.

psalm 121: I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

song of songs 2:8-17: The voice of my beloved!
Look! He’s coming,
leaping over the mountains,
bounding over the hills.
My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.
Look, there he stands behind our wall,
looking through the windows,
gazing through the lattice.
My beloved spoke to me:
Get up, my darling, my beautiful one, and come on.
Look! Winter is past.
The rain is over and gone.
Blossoms have appeared in the land.
The season of songbirds has arrived,
and cooing of turtledoves is heard in our land.
The fig tree has produced its fruit,
the grapevines have blossomed and exude their fragrance.
Get up, my darling, my beautiful one, and come on.
My dove, in the hidden places of the rocks,
in the secret places of the cliffs,
show me your form, and let me hear your voice.
For your voice is pleasant,
and your shape is lovely.
Catch the foxes for us,
the little foxes that destroy the vineyards,
our vineyards that are in bloom.
My beloved belongs to me and I belong to him.
He is the one who shepherds his flock among the lilies.
Until the day breaks[h] and the shadows flee,
turn around, my beloved,
and be like a gazelle or a young stag
on the rugged mountains.

isaiah 32: Each will be like a hiding place from the wind, a covert from the tempest, like streams of water in a dry place, like the shade of a great rock in a weary land. Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness abide in the fruitful field. The effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.

deuteronomy 11:10-15: Since the land that you are about to enter to inherit isn’t like the land of Egypt that you just left, where you plant a seed and irrigate it with your feet like a vegetable garden. Instead, the land that you are crossing over to inherit is a land of hills and valleys that drinks water supplied by rain from heaven, a land about which the Lord your God is always concerned, because the eyes of the Lord are continuously on it throughout the entire year. If you carefully observe the commands that I’m giving you today—that is, to love the Lord your God and serve him with all your heart and soul—then he will send rain on the land in its season (the early and latter rains) and you’ll gather grain, new wine, and oil. He will provide grass in the fields for your livestock, and you’ll eat and be satisfied.

song of songs 1:9-17: I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh’s chariots.
Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, thy neck with chains of gold.
We will make thee borders of gold with studs of silver.
While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof.
A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts.
My beloved is unto me as a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of Engedi.
Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves’ eyes.
Behold, thou art fair, my beloved, yea, pleasant: also our bed is green.
The beams of our house are cedar, and our rafters of fir.

Most Powerful Bible Verses About Love, Commitment, and Devotion

Christian Bible Verses About Love

romans 12:9-16: “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another.”

john 15:9-17: As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another.

colossians 3:12-17: You are the people of God; he loved you and chose you for his own. So then, you must clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Be tolerant with one another and forgive one another whenever any of you has a complaint against someone else. You must forgive one another just as the Lord has forgiven you. And to all these qualities add love, which binds all things together in perfect unity. The peace that Christ gives is to guide you in the decisions you make; for it is to this peace that God has called you together in the one body. And be thankful. Christ’s message in all its richness must live in your hearts. Teach and instruct one another with all wisdom. Sing psalms, hymns, and sacred songs; sing to God with thanksgiving in your hearts. Everything you do or say, then, should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, as you give thanks through him to God the Father.

romans 12:9-18: Love must be sincere. Look away from what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honour one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

1 john 4,7-19: Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.

matthew 5:1-12: When he saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me.” Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

ephesians 4:1-3: As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. She has written two best selling wedding books: A Practical Wedding and A Practical Wedding Planner. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and two children. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com. #NASTY

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  • raccooncity

    So, I went to a small, cult-like university where everyone marries everyone else and often they use the bible verse responsible for our school’s motto during their wedding ceremonies.

    Philippians 4:8 – 8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

    I’m considering a shoutout to it myself during my upcoming wedding to a fellow alum.

  • Sarah E

    This is really nice. I’m coming off 2 1/2 weeks of wedding prep, wedding, honeymoon, funeral, which has me listening and looking a lot more. Plus, I started reading Take This Bread by Sara Miles. I highly recommend it as a very profound spiritual memoir, and I think it is such that would resonate with the religious and non-religious alike. It’s functioning as a challenge and a meditation to me right now.

    • Sarah McClelland

      I’m actually reading that right now! Love her.

  • Elizabeth

    2 of my 3 wedding readings were represented here! Huzzah! It would have been 3, but the priest changed the gospel reading to the wedding feast of Cana DURING THE CEREMONY. All my guests were staring at the program in confused silence. Oh well. It was one of those “just roll with it” moments. The best part was my husband leaned over to me and said “It’s about wine, so I’m cool with it.”

    • Katelyn

      Yes! 2 out of 3 here too! We’re awesome :)

  • Jules

    Thank you for not hating on the passage from Corinthians. I used to read it in times of distress, and it ended up being the one passage that my very non-religious partner insisted upon. To us it was super personal and special, even though it may not have seemed “original”.

    • Sarah E

      Agreed. The “Love is patient, love is kind” passage from 2Corinthians 13 was my grandpa’s favorite passage, so it’s been read at several cousins’ weddings, as my grandpa was very close to all of us. My partner and I went the non-biblical route, but if we had included scripture, that definitely would have been used.

    • Kayjayoh

      I have strong feelings about the apostle Paul. (Many of them are not positive.) But, I also really love that passage.

      • Meg Keene

        ME TOO. Me too. On both fronts. (I thought I was the only one who felt that way about Paul.)

        • Kayjayoh

          I like to jokely tell people that I’m sure he plagiarized it.

          • Sarah McClelland

            I’ll be using that one. And also, Paul… I still just… can’t. Even after exegesis and having professors who put Paul in a much better light, I have more reservations about Paul and the way Paul is used than I have fingers and toes.

        • qj

          Me also. And, for sure: there are more of us with strong, not positive feelings about Paul!!

        • Jess

          you are not the only one.

  • Kara

    We used Song of Solomon 8:6-7 (it was short and to the point):
    Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned.”

    When we got married 5 years ago, I was transitioning from doubting the Christian faith to atheism (today), and my husband was never religious. So I didn’t want anything with a deity used. It also reminds me of Last of the Mohicans (my favorite movie, and I walked down the aisle to “The Kiss” from the movie).

    • Kara

      I need to practice my reading comprehension…this one was listed in the post. D’oh

      • Elizabeth

        I totally didn’t mind reading it again. :)

        My husband and 80% of our wedding guests range from agnostic to atheist so while we were having a religious ceremony, I was careful to choose readings (like that one) that weren’t too othering to non-believers. Beautiful sentiments are beautiful.

        • Kara

          Hahaha thanks for not minding :).

          I agree–“Beautiful sentiments are beautiful.”

  • Kayjayoh

    I have some mixed feelings about that passage from Ruth. On the one hand, it is beautiful, and I wonderful depiction of devotion. On the other hand, it is from a widow to her widowed mother-in-law, which always makes me ponder when I hear someone using it at a wedding.

    • MABie

      Yes, that is always my first thought as well. It’s a popular one for same-sex weddings because it’s two women, but…I don’t know. I think it’s beautiful, but I have too many issues with my FMIL to be able to use it myself without thinking about the context!

    • Meg Keene

      Me too ALSO. Apparently we are of one mind on passage choices.

    • Tabitha

      Which is one if the reasons it is potentially brilliant at a same sex wedding.

    • Lisa

      I had similar feelings about it, too. I know people talk about it as becoming wholly a part of the other person’s family, but it feels a bit off to me as well. It’s a beautiful passage of devotion either way!

    • We used this passage in our wedding, so I’m biased, but here’s how I view it: in choosing to follow Naomi into an unknown land and not return to her family, Ruth is basically risking her future security (and eschewing a secure second marriage) out of devotion for Naomi. Naomi is in an incredibly precarious position in society– she has no husband or sons or grandchildren to care for her, and is too old to remarry. By going with Naomi, Ruth is also choosing to live on the margins of society. She recognizes that this is not the prudent choice, yet still she delivers this beautiful speech vowing to become Naomi’s family.

      At this point, having lost her husband and sons, Naomi feels abandoned by God– she begs the people of her hometown to call her Mara, which means “bitter,” because she no longer feels that her name can describe her (Naomi means “sweet”). She no longer can feel God’s steadfast presence and love. But in vowing to remain with her no matter what, Ruth mirrors the love of God for Naomi– through her actions, she reminds Naomi that God has not abandoned her. And it is ultimately through Ruth that Naomi regains her faith in God.

      So yeah, it’s not a speech between romantic partners, but I think it transcends the daughter-MIL relationship, and is more about choosing your family (and what it REALLY means to make that choice– how it can entail leaving your homeland and your faith), and let’s be honest, your spouse is usually the only family member you actually get to choose. I also think it is a powerful statement about faith and how God reveals God’s self to us in other people.

      All that said, even I can’t defend what goes down between Ruth & Boaz on the threshing floor…….

      • Kayjayoh

        Beautiful.

      • qj

        Showed up to say almost exactly the same thing! I’m also biased: we used this passage in our wedding, as well, and the minister explained the relevance (why are we using a reading in which dead husbands are prominently featured in a wedding ceremony?!) in a very similar way. :)

      • Jess

        oh yes. I had brought up conflictions for that verse when it was suggested and I never said where I came down on it! And this is exactly where I landed after discussing it for a long time.

        Is it something I could use in my own ceremony? I don’t know, because family is difficult for me. But do I love the sentiment both in and out of context (when both have truly been considered)? Yes!!!!!

    • I used it as part of my vows. I totally get that it’s said by a widow to her MIL. For me, it was more the show of devotion. I left my home country in southeast asia and came to the US for my husband, and felt it appropriate to pledge that I will go wherever he goes, and that his people will be my people.

      • Kara Davies

        Ditto. I moved from the US to Australia for my husband. (Cheaper visa-to-citizenship process.) Definitely appropriate to have this passage read!

    • Hope

      I moved countries to get married and my MIL was also married to someone from another country so that reading from Ruth at our wedding had extra significance.
      The significance increased when my partner and I decided to get divorced and I felt like I was breaking my vow to my in laws. I was very sad to no longer be part of their family.

      • Kayjayoh

        :(

  • Lisa

    I’ve never seen the Deuteronomy reading used before, and I really like it! That would be a great wedding reading.

    And I feel kind of special that all of our scriptures were on this list! :)

  • KPM

    Ah, we just settled on Romans 2. I love Song of Solomon and Song of Songs (also Ruth) but my fiancé really prefers Romans and it’s really about how we want to live so I agreed. We have to settle on a second, likely non-religous, reading for our mostly religious ceremony.

  • Emily

    Just to clarify, Song of Songs and Song of Solomon is the same book (section), just called one or the other. In case someone was looking for one in the Bible and can only find the other….

  • Alexandra

    Why not call these Old Testament and New Testament passages? Or is that too Christian-centric? Do Jewish people not call it the New Testament? Interesting.

    • RMC

      Jews do not call the different Bibles the Old and New Testaments since that terminology was introduced in the context of the New Testament supplanting the Old and we do not regard the Christian Bible as the word of God (while we do appreciate its divinity for Christians!).

    • Also it’s worth noting that the Torah and Old Testament, while similar, are not identical. There are books in the New Testament that are not part of the Jewish canon.
      I didn’t actually know this until we started planning our Jewish/Catholic interfaith ceremony and we looked at the Catholic church’s list of Old Testament readings to see if any sounded good to us… 3 of them are from non-Jewish-canon books. And the translations are sometimes wildly different.

  • Heather

    We used the Hosea passage you listed as #7 from the Hebrew Bible. It made me really excited to see it on your list here, as I’ve never heard it come up in any other context.

  • Hannah Paige Woodard

    “This is what the Lord requires of you: Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.” Ahh! That is my favorite verse, one that I try to live by, and I love the idea of it as a wedding reading.

  • accidental_diva

    Which Bible did you use for these translations? I looked some of them up in the Bible I got from my (Catholic) college and while they are close the New American translations are wordier than these translations.(Probably because they are used in colleges.)

  • Lauren

    We are using Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 as our Bible verse read by my aunt and then my FW’s brother will read a passage from The Bridge Across Forever by Richard Bach:
    “A soul mate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. Our soul mate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person. Our soul mate is the one who makes life come to life.”

  • Allison Meyers

    Thanks for this! We’re planning our Episcopal ceremony (on the beach!). I’m privately calling it a church wedding in the sand. A big part of that is of course choosing Bible readings! This helps a lot. OK and our priest wants us to use hymnal music, not secular music… I’m not too sure how to go about this as I’m not especially taken with the hymnal music. So far I have Morning Has Broken, Lord of All Hopefulness, and On Eagle’s Wings… any other Episcopalians have advice to share on choosing hymns?