What are wedding vows?
Vows are the promise that couples make to each other to express their love aloud to their friends and family and to confirm how they are going to plan their life together going forward. They are a very personal and meaningful way of providing the contract of the wedding. They can be the traditional, age old vows used over centuries by countless couples or they can be personal vows written by each other or some of the variations written and used for many years. It really is up to both of you which way you are going to go but the vows should be powerful and true to you both and can be an extremely moving part of your wedding ceremony.
If you have decided to have a religious church wedding ceremony then the vows you say to each other will vary depending on the specific religion. Each religion, Christian, Catholic, Jewish, Hindu, Methodist, Muslim, Baptist and so on will have their own set vows, some will allow you to change them by making them more personal but some will not allow any changes to the traditional vows that have been used for centuries by countless couples to marry.
An example of vows for a Christian wedding:
“I _____, take you ______, to be my wedded wife/husband. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish till death do us part. And hereto I pledge you my faithfulness.”
“I love you _____ as I love no other. All that I am I share with you. I take you to be my husband/wife through health and sickness, through plenty and want, through joy and sorrow, now and forever.”
An example of vows for a Muslim wedding:
Bride: "I, ___, offer you myself in marriage in accordance with the instructions of the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him. I pledge, in honesty and with sincerity, to be for you an obedient and faithful wife."
An example of vows for a Buddhist wedding:
"Today we dedicate ourselves completely to each other, in body, speech, and mind. Throughout this life, in every situation, in wealth or poverty, in health or sickness, in happiness or difficulty, we promise to work to help each other perfectly. We commit to working together in our relationship toward the purpose of attaining enlightenment by striving to always perfect our kindness and compassion toward all sentient beings."
When you choose not to have your wedding in a religious church or building then you can choose from any of the huge amount of venues either in your own country try or a destination wedding. Here are just a few examples of non-religious wedding vows that can be used at any non religious ceremony. There are so many vows you can use as a base or use completely for your ceremony.
“…, I promise to be faithful, supportive, and loyal and to give my companionship and love throughout all the changes of our life. I vow to bring you happiness, and I will treasure you as my companion. I will celebrate the joys of life with you. I promise to support your dreams, and walk beside you offering courage and strength through all endeavors. From this day forward, I will be proud to be your wife/ husband and your best friend. “
“I take you to be my partner for life. I promise above all else to live in truth with you. And to communicate fully and fearlessly. I give you my hand and my heart. As a sanctuary of warmth and peace, and pledge my love, devotion, faith, and honor as I join my life to yours.”
“I promise to love you, to protect and care for you, and to be patient and understanding, to support you, and to always be faithful to you. I will be your friend and companion, and I will share my life with you, through good times and bad times, as long as we both shall live.”
Writing your own vows
If you are considering writing your own wedding vows it can be a daunting task. Opening up your heart in front of all your wedding guests is probably something you would never think of doing but on this most romantic and intimate occasion it can be wonderful to tell the person you love how much you think of them and share that love with your nearest and dearest.
First thing to do is to make notes about your future husband/wife, here are a few tips to think about.
Don't leave it till the last minute to think what you want to say, plan ahead.
Have a place in your phone/computer or a note book at hand to write down anything you may think of that you want to say about your other half throughout your weeks leading up to the big day.
When you think you have enough things you want to say then make your first draught and leave it there for a day or two before going back to it and rereading, you will always find things you want to change.
You may want to use a standard base and add your own words to it which could be easier than writing the whole thing from scratch. It doesn't have to be a novel just a few personal lines about your relationship and expressing your love for each other. Also maybe inject some humour into the occasion with a little story or two that is personal to you both. Song lyrics or a quote from a sentimental book could come across well and give you some ideas of words and phrases to use. Here are a few examples.
"I vow to be the man that you inspire me to be and the man that you deserve. Finally, I vow to spend every day I have left on this Earth showering you with a zealous love and a faithful commitment."
"I can't say we fell in love at first sight or that I wasn't hesitant to go on a date with a co-worker, but I can say with 100 percent certainty that today, I am marrying my soul mate. A few years back I heard a sermon about love. I learned that, even though I felt ready for the responsibilities of a lasting love, I had to wait. I had to wait for the person God created for me to be ready as well."
"I promise to always remember that laughter is life's sweetest creation, and I will never stop laughing with you."