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Sydney harbour wedding ceremony

The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Vows

“To have and to hold. To love and to cherish”

Even though brides and grooms tend to get caught up in the celebration of it all, the real reason everyone gathers for the party is the vows, the celebration of their love and commitment to one another. Without their exchange, there is no wedding; they are the purpose and push behind the entire day going into the rest of the newlyweds’ lives as they begin their new life together.

It’s natural to get pulled beneath the hustle and bustle of shades of blue or burgundy and deciding on menu options for the reception. But, it’s imperative that couples find time to spare – and to discuss – the most important part of the entire day; their vows.

Your photos will be wonderful when they capture the raw emotions of the moment you said your “I do’s” and read off your unique, handwritten promises to each other. Of course, the cake will look great too, but remember, throughout a lifetime, it’s better to have those beautiful words said to each other ingrained in your memory and not just a lovely bite of chocolate ganache the two of you have shared.

What Are Wedding Vows?

Wedding vows are the bread and butter of the ceremony. This is where the thing that is actually supposed to happen at a wedding happens, it’s during this exchange! They are the promises and commitment a couple agrees to make to each other, in front of their loved ones to witness.

Although a classic tradition in most Western wedding celebrations, vows have evolved over time. Starting in the Roman Empire as a single, simple vow to keep the marriage (but mutual consent) and since transforming into a more unique platform for brides and grooms to tell stories and/or showcase their faith.

What Kind of Vows Do You Want To Have?

When it comes to the type of vows to pick from, it can be as easy as choosing to go the traditional route and opting for the vows provided by your church or officiant.

Or going the personal route, where you write your own.

Traditional Vow Inserts

For those looking to create or adopt traditional vows, Bride Envy had a beautiful compilation of religious and faith-based inserts. Here are some of the most popular examples:

Protestant

If you’ve ever seen a classic wedding film or attended a traditional Protestant wedding ceremony, chances are these classic vows will ring a bell.

“I, _____, take thee, _____, 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 and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge thee my faith.”

Non-Denominational

“_____, I now take you to be my wedded wife/husband. I promise to support your dreams and offer strength through all of life's challenges. I will be faithful, supportive and loyal. I promise to love and comfort you, honor and keep you, and forsaking all others, I will be yours alone as long as we both shall live.”

Jewish

Within Jewish wedding traditions, the couple typically states the below (in Hebrew) as they exchange rings:

“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.”

In addition to this beautiful tradition, the Seven Blessings known as the Sheva Berakhot (below) are also recited during the ring exchange.

“Blessed are You, Adonai, our God, Ruler of the universe, gladden the beloved companions as You gladdened Your creatures in the garden of Eden. Blessed are You, Adonai, Who gladdens this couple.

Blessed are You, Adonai, our God, Ruler of the universe, Who created joy and gladness, loving couples, mirth, glad song, pleasure, delight, love, loving communities, peace, and companionship.

Adonai, our God, let there soon be heard … the voice of the loving couple, the sound of their jubilance from their canopies and of the youths from their song-filled feasts. Blessed are You Who causes the couple to rejoice, one with the other.

We bless God for creating joy and happiness, bride and groom, mirth song, gladness and rejoicing, love and harmony, peace and companionship; and we thank God for letting this bride and groom to rejoice together.”

Catholic

For brides and grooms being wed within the Catholic church, this classic vow is typically a part of the ceremony. This is another traditional vow that you have most likely heard before.

“I, _____, take you, _____, for my lawful wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part. I will love and honor you all the days of my life.”

Buddhist

“I, _______ take you ______ to be my husband/wife, my partner in life and my one true love. I will cherish our friendship and love you today, tomorrow, and forever.

I will trust you and honor you

I will laugh with you and cry with you.

Through the best and the worst,

Through the difficult and the easy.

Whatever may come I will always be there.

As I have given you my hand to hold,

So I give you my life to keep.

Methodist

In the Name of God, I , ______, take you, ______, to be my [wife/husband], to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.

Baptist

Baptist wedding vows can include either “call and response” vows, which go:

Officiant: “Will you, _______ have _______ to be your (wife/husband)? Will you love her/him, comfort and keep her/him, and forsaking all others remain true to her/him, as long as you both shall live?”

Bride/Groom: “I will.”

The other traditional Baptist wedding vow is the short and to-the-point option below.

“I, _____, take thee, to be my (wife/husband), and before God and these witnesses I promise to be a faithful and true (husband/wife).”

Muslim

Although vows are not typically a part of Muslim weddings, they are occasionally incorporated into the ceremony.

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.”

Groom: “I pledge, in honesty and sincerity, to be for you a faithful and helpful husband.”

Tips For Writing Personal Wedding Vows

Of course, we are fans and lovers of personalized vows that represent the unique story of the loved ones and their couple style. This is a chance to create a symbolism of commitment that includes what’s most important to your relationship and the lifetime you have together. And you don’t have to be a professional writer to make these happen, you just have to tap into your raw emotions and speak from the heart.

  1. Have a conversation with your fiance. Talk about what’s expected, what route you want to take in terms of tone, and the length you want to shoot for as well.
  2. Start ahead of time. Don’t begin writing up your vows on the morning of – when the nerves could be in full force – take your time and start jotting down notes in advance.
  3. Practice and prepare. Starting the creation of the vows early will give you time to practice and prepare, easing the nerves, and giving yourself the opportunity to recite the vows in front of all your loved ones and soon-to-be spouse without any glitches.
  4. What do you love about your partner? Make sure you include this!
  5. What’s your favorite memory? It’d be great to make the vows personalized from top to bottom, so include as many memories as you’d like!
  6. How did you meet? How did you know he/she was the one? These kinds of “love story nuggets” are welcomed additions to your vows.
  7. Don’t forget your promises. Make these explicitly clear. Think about what you want to truly vow to give your partner – in terms of your lifetime together – and make it known here.

Personal Vow Inserts

When writing up your personal vows, you may want to snag some inspiration. Thanks to Shutterfly, we found some wonderful quote ideas and inserts you can use to put some extra pizazz into your own promises to one another. Whether you want something with more humor or more romance, take a peek!

Wedding Vows For Her

  • I promise to love you, honor you, and cherish you as my husband.
  • I am proud to be your loving wife, ecstatic to discover what is next in our lives, and thrilled that our every day will be together on this adventure.
  • I promise to laugh with you and to laugh at myself.
  • You are the love of my life and I am proud to marry you. I promise to support your dreams and to be there for you for all eternity.
  • I vow to be a loving and devoted wife, without judgment, without scorn, but always with an open heart and mind.

Wedding Vows For Him

  • I vow to make my life forever yours and build my dreams around you.
  • I promise to be the man that I see now in your eyes, today, tomorrow, and for always.
  • You are the first person I want to see in the morning and the last at night. I look forward to loving the smallest moments, like your eyes while you toss your hair. Spin a coin into a fountain and make a wish for us. You are my wish come true.
  • I vow to always protect you from harm, to stand with you against your troubles, and look to you when I need protection.
  • I know you. I know you as my love who has always been and will always be. I name you my wife and cannot wait to continue our eternal loving journey.

Romantic Wedding Vows

  • I promise to love and care for you, and I will try in every way to be worthy of your love. I will always be honest with you, kind, patient and forgiving. I promise to try to be on time. But most of all, I promise to be a true and loyal friend to you. I love you.
  • I have to catch my breath to believe this is real, that I am marrying my true love, my heart’s desire, and my best friend.
  • As I promise always to be true I promise myself to you.
  • No words can possibly express the vow that I give to you now – it is an ineffable part of myself that I place in your care as we join together.
  • Our love will bind us together through all time and this I promise, to always be true.

Funny Wedding Vows

  • I vow to never steal the covers… unless you’re hogging them.
  • I vow to turn on the heater when you’re freezing cold, even if I’m burning up.
  • I promise to take out the garbage, even in the pouring rain or freezing cold.
  • I promise to get up and get our remote from across the room, even if it was not I who placed the remote so very far away.
  • I promise to always respect your choice of music in the car when you are driving. If you are not driving however…

Wedding Vow Templates

Madlib Templates (Fill in the Blanks!)

  • Wedding Wire has a ton of template ideas that you can modify and personalize if you’re in a pinch or need some inspiration.
  • Ines Weddings has 8 different templates to help you on your journey to personalized vows.
  • And finally, visit Minted for some romantic-style ideas to scroll through.

Printable Templates

  • A Little Piece of home has this printable vow template that will guide you through the necessities but give you space to write freely, and it’s styled with springtime bride vibes.
  • Over at Thirty Handmade Days, you’ll be able to print off this modern template and even make a date night out of creating a rough draft of your vows-to-be. Just follow their pre-set guide, it’s great for brainstorming!
  • Even Disney Weddings has a template that can be printed off and used for writing those vows. This one was even made for friends or family to fill out and help the bride (or groom) with some ideas!

Our Short & Sweet Statement Templates

  • “Our bond is _______.
  • The first time I saw you _____
  • I dedicate my life to _____.
  • You are always guiding me and _____.
  • I promise to always love you with _____ and honor and respect you in a way that ____.
  • I am committed to making every day with you _________.
  • I can’t wait to _____.”

Written Wedding Vow Examples

We scoured the Internet and found some real wedding vow examples to draw inspiration and ideas from. Scroll through some of these finds, grab some tissues, and make sure you peek at the stunning, romantic, and tear-inducing videos at the end!

From A Practical Wedding

Sam:

“Alex, you are my best friend. I promise to laugh with you, cry with you, and grow with you. I will love you when we are together and when we are apart. I promise to support your dreams and to respect our differences and to love you and be by your side through all the days and nights of our lives.

Alex:

I, Alex, choose you Sam to be no other than yourself. Loving what I know of you, trusting what things I will discover. I will respect you as a person, a partner, and an equal. There is little to say that you haven’t already heard, and little to give that is not already freely given. Before you asked me, I was yours and I am devoted to you in every way. I marry you with no hesitation or doubt, and my commitment to you is absolute. Do you take me to be your lawfully wedded husband/wife/partner?” – via A Practical Wedding

From The Knot

Chelsey: 

“Eric, you and I both know how indecisive I can be at times. I simply don’t like to make decisions. But if there is one decision in my life that I know is the right one, it’s to spend the rest of my life with you.

There is an infinite number of things I love about you. I love your thoughtfulness and your ability to keep me grounded. I love your loyalty to me and our relationship. I love the way you weirdly get excited about Chipotle water and I love how when you laugh really hard, your one eye starts to crinkle up.

I promise to be patient with you, even if it means that I have to listen to how you should have started that one player on your Fantasy Football bench every single Sunday during football season.”

Eric: 

“Chelsey, when we first met, I never imagined this day would come, but now that we are here I couldn't have imagined choosing anyone else but you to go through life's journey with.

I love your laugh, your smile, your caring nature and that face you make when something is so cute, you just have to squeeze it.

I promise to support you, to honor you and to love you unconditionally, even when we may disagree on something. Like whether The Bachelor or Monday Night Football is more important to watch.

I can't imagine where I would be without you, and I cannot wait to continue this crazy journey with you by my side, I love you.” – via The Knot

From Wedding Forward

“Officiant:

[Groom], [Bride] and [Child] would you please join hands to form your family circle? I am going to ask all of you 3 questions.

I would like all of you to answer each of them with, ‘I Promise!’

  1. Do you promise to love, respect and protect each other from this day forward? All 3: ‘I Promise!’
  2. Do you promise to always try to be the best person you can be? All 3: ‘I Promise!’
  3. Do you promise to accept the responsibility of being a family, and encourage, and support each other in your new life together? All 3: ‘I Promise!’” – via Wedding Forward

Live Wedding Vow Examples

Heartfelt Wedding Vows


Funny & Emotional Wedding Vows

Sweet Handwritten Wedding Vows