A marriage ceremony is far more than the legalisation of a relationship. This is the public recognition that one’s status has changed and is useful if not essential for the practical purposes of life in society. This is one of the reasons for addressing marriage equality.
But one of the things that is fundamental to a wedding ceremony is that it gives individuals the opportunity to celebrate the culmination of their search, to express their sense of personal fulfillment and jubilation in “finding” a compatible other – more than that, a vital other.
A wedding speaks of seeking and finding, yearning and peace. In this, it celebrates the moment. The most beautiful personal love poems are about this and their place in the ceremony is around the time the vows are exchanged.
So the poems defining love and commitment would come first (introducing the ceremony), then the personal pledges (before or after the vows) then the blessings to express hope and well-wishes (right at the end after the rings and signing).
Here are two poems about the search for love and the place of rest real love can bring to individuals. One is an anonymous Hawaiian wedding song:
Here all seeking is over
Here all seeking is over,
the lost has been found,
a mate has been found
to share the chills of winter-
now Love asks that you be united.
Here is a place to rest,
a place to sleep,
a place in heaven.
Now two are becoming one,
the black night is shattered,
the eastern sky grow bright.
At last the great day has come!
The second is by the Persian poet Rumi, who was born in 1207 and is one of the most widely read poet in modern times:
The minute I heard my first love story
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.
They’re in each other all along.