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Open Thread: Wedding Vows II


by Maddie Eisenhart, Digital Director & Style Editor

Open Thread: Wedding Vows II | A Practical Wedding

A few weeks ago, we got to talking about the meaning of marriage (one of my favorite discussions yet, in case you missed it). And no surprise here, most of you looked to your vows to articulate what marriage means. For added inspiration, a few of you even pointed to an open thread post from a few years back where we invited readers to share their vows with the community. Which got the staff thinking two things. First, we really ought to have more open threads here. APW is too full of smart, funny, articulate women to not let you share your ideas with each other. And second, that we should start with vows. Because holy smokes, you guys have really good stuff to share.

So, here’s how it works: If you’d like to share what you said when you pledged to spend your life with your beloved, do so in the comments. (And that includes those of you who, like Meg, used traditional vows in your ceremony. We want to hear your words too!) Everybody else? Get out your tissues. Or your notepads. Whichever.Open Thread: Wedding Vows II | A Practical Wedding

And for those of you with weddings coming up who are looking to write your own vows and want a little more guidance on the subject, we recommend this great post from Jen Girdish on just that.

Cheers,

Maddie

Photo by Gabriel Harber (APW Sponsor)

Maddie Eisenhart

Maddie is the Managing Editor of A Practical Wedding. She’s been writing stories about boys and crushes since she was old enough to form shapes into words, but received her formal training (and a BS) in the art of talking from NYU in 2008. In her spare time, she takes pictures of people in love. Maddie lives on a pony farm in the Bay Area with her husband Michael, her Mastiff named Juno, and her roommate named Joe.

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  • Amanda

    Cobbled together primarily from the wonderful, wonderful APW archives (with tissue in hand), so I’m happy to pass along the final outcome. We memorized them beforehand and love being able to still recite the words.

    I, ___, take you, ____, to be my husband/wife
    I take you as you are, loving who you are now and who you are yet to become.
    I promise to listen to you and learn from you, to support you and accept your support.
    I will celebrate your triumphs and mourn your losses as though they were my own.
    I will love you and have faith in your love for me,
    through all our years and all that life may bring us.

    • http://snippetsof.blogspot.com SarahE

      LORD, those words are powerful. Thank you for sharing!

    • Michelle

      We used some of the same fragments in our cobbling!! :) I love that connection I feel to anyone who’s vows include a line that mine did, like its the subtle nod towards our being involved in a community of honesty and love and creativity and openness. :)

    • Caitlin

      I like those! Ours were also cobbled together, and somewhat similar:

      I take you, with your faults and your strengths, as I offer myself to you with my faults and my strengths.
      I promise to be faithful, supportive, and loyal, and to give you my companionship and love throughout our lives.
      I will be yours in plenty and in want, in sickness and in health, in failure and in triumph.
      I vow to bring you happiness, and I will treasure you as my companion.
      I promise to support your dreams, and walk beside you offering courage and strength through all endeavors.

      • http://www.devabydefinition.com deva by definition

        Ours are also cobbled together, and probably the same as yours are, Amanda. We added a line to the end from another vow in the same open thread: With these vows, I marry you and bind my life to yours.

        Our wedding is in May, and the first APW open post for vows was instrumental in getting them written!

    • http://byjacki.com Jacki

      This is just beautiful!

    • Moe

      “Cobbled” needs to be trademarked by the APW community. It’s perfect.

  • Katie

    We just got married (February 2) and considered ourselves pretty open to whatever for the vows – our officiant had a standard set that he uses for all non-religious ceremonies. We didn’t do much more than briefly glance at them prior to the wedding day. But day of, man did they have an impact on me. I cried my way through them. So much more important than I thought, ladies. Laid back brides, take note, this was a surprise to me! Good thing they were great words:

    I, Katie, take you _____ to be my husband, knowing in my heart that you will be my
    constant friend, my faithful partner and my true love. I promise always to be openhearted
    and honest with you and to stand by you and encourage you. I will hold you in my heart
    and share our life and dreams together.

  • http://www.benotsimplygood.com Jennifer Cary Diers

    “Marrying you is the easiest decision I have ever made— not because I take the decision lightly, but because I have faith in you. I have faith in your honesty, in your integrity, and in your affection. I have faith in our love and devotion to each other. I vow to respect you as an individual, with your own dreams, desires, and needs, even if our wants and needs are different. I vow to be understanding and considerate, and to grant your opinion as much significance as I do my own. I vow to keep myself open to you even when my instinct is to shut down. I will try to take time to think before I speak. I vow to listen to you, although I may need things repeated once in a while. I vow to take risks with you and never settle for less than what we both deserve. I want to grow up with you, to raise our children with you, to age gracefully with you. I promise to love you all the time, every day, even when I don’t like you all that much. Because you are always, always worth it. I choose our life together, and I choose the life we have yet to build.”

    • Stefanie

      So beautiful!

    • Paula

      Reading this made me cry. Thank you so much for sharing.

      • Sienna

        This made me cry. These are amazing words.

  • http://ksbooks.wordpress.com Keisha

    We saved our vows till the very end of wedding planning because we’re both great at avoiding things that make us uncomfortable! Pledging our love in front of everyone was going to be hard for two very private introverts, so the vows themselves were very short. What really helped us was finding a way to tie something of ourselves into the vows, which is where the “completely and utterly, always and forever” came from. It’s something we’ve said to each other for several years, and we both get giddy now when we say it because not only is it still super meaningful, it’s like we’re repeating our marriage vows every day!

    I (name) take you (name) this day to be my husband. I will have no greater love than you. I promise to stand by you in happiness and adversity, in riches or poverty, in sickness or health. I promise to love and respect you and our marriage, completely and utterly, always and forever.

    • Amie

      The line “I will have no greater love than you” is just… wow. That really got me!

      My FH and I are also very private introverts =) so our vows will probably be short and sweet…. hopefully as sweet as these!

  • Michelle

    We “made ours up” by combing what we liked from several different sources. So while the individual parts were mostly written by someone else, we chose the pieces of each to find the combination that represented us.

    Vows:
    I choose you, _____ to be no other than yourself; loving what I know of you, and trusting what I do not yet know. I will respect you as an individual, partner, and equal. I promise to laugh with you when times are good, and endure with you when they are bad. I will always adore, honor, and encourage you. You are my best friend and I will love you always.

    Ring Exchange:
    Today I join my life to yours as your friend, your lover, and your confidant. Let me be the shoulder you lean on, the rock on which you rest, the companion of your life. With you I will walk my path from this day forward. With this ring, I thee wed.

  • Remy

    We wrote our own ceremony and had several segments including vows, a ring exchange, and a handfasting. We worked it out so that we had to memorize very little, and either repeated with prompting or had short answers to the officiant.

    Officiant: Now I will ask before all assembled here whether these two women wish to be married.

    (I do)

    Vows (repeated after officiant; both the same)

    I, Remy, choose you, Lina, // to be my wife, // to learn and grow with, // to come to in both happiness and sorrow, // to confide in and trust above all others, // to respect in everything as an equal partner, // and to love the most.

    Ring Exchange (one each)

    I give you this ring as a sign of my love for you. Wear it, think of me, and know that I love you as long as you let me. / I give you this ring as a sign of my love for you. Wear it, think of me, and know that I love you of my own free will.

  • Alison

    Mine were long-ish!

    ________, today I take you to be my husband. I vow to be faithful to you always; to stand by your side and hold your hand not only when life is good, but when life goes sideways and things are difficult. I promise to always communicate honestly and openly with you, even if I am afraid, because with you, I know my heart is safe. From the start, I have always been able to be exactly myself with you, and every day, you remind me to try and be the best version of myself, rather than attempting to be someone else. I promise to do the same for you; to always accept you as the man you are, the man I fell in love with.

    I promise to always make time for you, and for us, even when life gets insane (which is often). Whether we spend time cooking together, laughing, watching our ever-growing list of TV shows, laughing at the antics of our ridiculous cats, or even just grocery shopping, I love every minute with you and promise to embrace each moment, no matter how mundane they may seem, because truthfully, not a single moment of my life has been mundane since you became a part of it.

    I promise to always be here for you. To laugh with you, cry with you, and hold you when you need to be comforted. Together we have been through a multitude of experiences, and even when I have thought that I couldn’t do it alone, I knew that with together, we would make it through and be stronger in our relationship because of the trials we faced. I promise to listen to you and empathize with you. I promise to be careful with my words, even when I am frustrated, and I promise to never take you or your kindness for granted.
    I vow to never stop being silly, mainly because I don’t think I know how else to be. This means you’ll be getting pretty terrible puns, nerdy jokes, and random commentary for the rest of our lives… hope you’re prepared for that. The silliness we share, though, is something I treasure. It makes me feel like I am always with one of my best friends, and the fact that I get to spend every day with you from this day forward makes it even better. |

    Today I take you to be my husband, _________, but today is but a single day in the journey of the rest of our lives. To me, a marriage works when every day, both people in the relationship choose each other, over and over again. To choose to listen, to communicate, and to love honestly and fully. So I promise you all of this today, and perhaps more importantly, I vow to continue to choose those promises, you, and our relationship, every day, for the rest of our beautiful lives.

    For our ring exchange, we used a modification of the traditional Hebrew:

    “I am my beloved and my beloved is mine. With this ring, you are consecrated to me according to the laws of God and Israel.”

    • Elsa

      yes.

    • Amie

      “Whether we spend time cooking together, laughing, watching our ever-growing list of TV shows, laughing at the antics of our ridiculous cats, or even just grocery shopping, I love every minute with you and promise to embrace each moment, no matter how mundane they may seem, because truthfully, not a single moment of my life has been mundane since you became a part of it. ”

      Wow, that is exactly us!! How did you know? ;)

  • http://landlockedlove.blogspot.com Kelly

    The last APW open thread about vows was SO helpful for us when writing ours! We definitely borrowed from and were inspired by the things we read there.

    Kelly/David, I love you.
    I love you unconditionally and without hesitation.
    I vow to love you, encourage you, trust you, and respect you.
    As a family, we will create a home filled with learning, laughter, and compassion.
    I promise to work with you to foster and cherish a relationship of equality
    Knowing that together we will build a life far better than either of us could imagine alone.
    Today, I choose you to be my wife/husband.
    I accept you as you are, and I offer myself in return.
    I will care for you, stand beside you, and share with you all of life’s adversities
    And all of its joys
    From this day forward, and all the days of my life.

  • Granola

    We used traditional Catholic vows, with a minor edit. We also memorized them, so we didn’t have to repeat after the priest, which was really scary but also incredibly meaningful. Our guests mentioned it as the first time they really listened to what the vows were. Our priest was also kind enough to refer to us as “husband and wife” in the subsequent prayer instead of “man and wife,” a change I requested and for which I’m very grateful.

    Vows:

    I _____, take you ____ to be my husband/wife. To have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

    Ring exchange:

    ___, take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity. In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

    • http://doux-style.blogspot.com Hannah

      We also said the traditional Catholic vows, there was something so meaningful about saying the same vows my parents and grandparents said and that are a continuation of the vows my family has used and the vows my family is based upon going back generation after Catholic Irish generation.

  • http://www.cupcakefridayproject.com Mel

    Our vows:
    [Mel]: Ray, I love you.

    You’re my best friend, and I can’t imagine spending the rest of my life with anyone but you.

    You always know how to make me laugh and the love I see so often in your eyes is overwhelming … but in a good way.

    I promise to be your best friend, lover, and partner. As always I will give you my love and respect, as I know you will do the same for me.

    I love you Ray.

    [Ray]: I think we both realize that nothing about today turns our relationship into something more than it already was. If it took a ceremony to validate how we feel for each other, then love would be meaningless, wouldn’t it?

    If I do love you more tomorrow than I did yesterday, it’s only because that’s how it’s always been. Ever since I first fell in love with you, Mel, I’ve started each day loving you more than I did the day before.

    And that’s my promise to you: That as long as I live, I will love you, more and more, every single day.

    • Another Meg

      I love how brief these are, and how succinctly Ray is able to summarize that this particular day is part of a continuum of ever growing love. Simply beautiful.

  • Julie

    Yay! We wrote ours by taking a few sets of “traditional” vows and changing them to fit who we are as a couple and what things are important to us. It was SUCH a meaningful and beautiful time when we sat down to figure out what we wanted to vow to each other for our wedding & marriage. We have been married 1.5 years and reference these vows often!

    Here it is from my hubby’s perspective (mine were identical with the obvious name and husband / wife switch).

    “I, Wade, take you, Julie, to be my wife; and I promise before God and these witnesses, to be your loving and faithful husband.

    I will be by your side to share with you your happiness and success, and to comfort you in times of sorrow and disappointment.

    As your companion, I will seek to be open and honest with you, to forgive you as Christ has forgiven me, and to always remind you of the Lord’s plans and promises.

    Forever I devote my love and my life to you from this day forward.”

  • ATK

    We did it Keisha’s way as well, scribbling them down at a restaurant the day before the wedding. Our ceremony was very laidback, mostly thanks to my husband who cared very much about these things (I really barely did anything in terms of planning – sometimes I feel like I just showed up – it worked very well for us!). My husband said things from “I promise to let you watch presidential debates, even if there’s a big college football game on” to “I promise to support you in all of your personal improvement projects,” to “I promise to love and support you and the family we are building every day in the major big ways and in the daily little ways.” I started mine with “I promise to work on communicating honestly instead of sending those irritating coded messages like you’re a mindreader or something,” to “I promise that our home will always be a haven for the misunderstood, the misanthropes, and even Republicans,” to “PS, you have already shown me you will stand by me in sickness [I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer four weeks before we got married], and I promise to do the same for you, always, always, always.” There were other vows in there too- but we tried to keep it a little light and funny at the beginning. There were a LOT of Republicans at our wedding, by the way, and I love them all, even though I couldn’t disagree more with them on certain issues! :)

  • Katie

    Today, I promise you this: I will laugh with you in times of joy, and comfort you in times of sorrow. I will share in your dreams and support you as you strive to achieve your goals. I will listen to you with compassion and understanding, and speak to you with encouragement. Together, let us build a home filled with learning, laughter and light, shared freely with all who may live there. Let us be partners, friends and lovers, today and all of the days that follow.

    I am a wedding officiant- about half of the weddings I officiate use “our” vows. I love them!

  • Rachel

    Like many others here – our wedding vows and ceremony were also cobbled together thanks to the last post on vows, and a similar post over on Offbeat Bride.

    Here’s our ‘I do/I will’ section (read by our officiant, to which we responded “I will”):

    ______, do you solemnly declare that you do not know of any lawful impediment why you may not be joined in matrimony to ______? Do you take her for your wedded wife from this day forward, to have and to hold as equal partner in your life, to whom you give your deepest love and devotion? Do you humbly open your heart to her as a sanctuary of warmth and peace, where she may come and find a refuge of love and strength? Will you love her enough to risk being hurt, trust her when you don’t understand, weep with her in heartache, and celebrate life with her in joy? Will you receive her as your equal throughout all of your days?

    And the vows we read to each other while exchanging rings:

    In the presence of our family and friends as witnesses, I _____, choose you _____ to be my lawful wedded wife.
    I take you to be no other than yourself, loving what I know of you and trusting that which I do not yet know.
    I will continue to respect you as an individual, a partner, and an equal.
    We will build a life together, grow old together, and during this life make a difference in our world, living consciously and deliberately, surrounded by those we love.
    I promise to be your loving husband;
    to cherish your love, intellect, and uniqueness;
    to support and inspire you;
    to delight in your happiness and comfort you in sorrow;
    to create with you a home which celebrates good food, joy, laughter, and a growing love for one another.
    And when I wake tomorrow, I will promise this all again, and the next day and the next, each day choosing us again.

    I loved the vows, and the entire ceremony. I still get chills reading it.

  • Mary

    We also cobbled together vows from the last open thread here as well as various blogs, and did both personal and traditional vows. We also had Julie from Aper + Pink/Up Up Creative (http://apracticalwedding.com/vendors/aper-pink/) custom design a print with our vows and lines for all of our guests to sign to hang in our home.

    I ______, take you _____, to be my wife
    To love unselfishly, to adore completely, to protect
    with my life,
    And to honor in this covenant

    I promise to give you the best of myself
    And to ask of you no more than you can give
    I promise to respect you as your own person
    And to realize that your interests, desires, and needs
    Are no less important than my own
    I promise to keep myself open to you,
    And I promise to grow along with you

    Your companionship is a constant blessing; your
    gentleness is my wealth
    Your grace and patience are my riches
    I will be your steadfast crutch
    And your shoulder for crying when your heart hurts
    You bring solace to my restless mind, and peace to
    my chaos
    You inspire me to love others more deeply, to live
    honestly, and to persevere

    Together, we will fulfill our dreams and aspirations
    And, guided by our love for each other and
    humankind,
    We will join our hands to work for a world of
    equality, justice, and peace

    I promise that I will return to the words we are
    saying to each other here today
    And will try always to live by them
    I love you as I love no other
    I promise to always believe in you and in our
    marriage

    I take you
    To have and to hold
    From this day forward,
    From this day forward,
    For better, for worse,
    For richer, for poorer,
    In sickness and in health,
    To love and to cherish,
    As long as we both shall live

    I _______, take you _______, to be my husband
    To love unselfishly, to adore completely, to protect
    with my life,
    And to honor in this covenant

    I will give you the gifts of my heart
    I will be by your side and always on your side
    I will respect you and try to be worthy of your
    respect
    I will value the light you bring to our lives through
    laughter
    And the joy and peace you create
    By your presence at my side

    I am proud of who you are
    And have complete faith in who you are becoming
    I will do my best to help you to grow to your fullest
    potential
    I will comfort and support you through all of life’s
    sorrows and joys
    I will try, with you, to better understand ourselves,
    the world, and God
    Through the best and the worst of what is to come

    Together, we will create a home
    Filled with learning, laughter, and compassion
    And, we will build a family
    Based on integrity and love

    I promise that I will return to the words we are
    saying to each other here today
    And will try always to live by them
    I love you as I love no other
    I promise to always believe in you and in our marriage

    I take you
    To have and to hold
    From this day forward,
    From this day forward,
    For better, for worse,
    For richer, for poorer,
    In sickness and in health,
    To love and to cherish,
    As long as we both shall live

  • Lauren S.

    I’m a bit of a literary nerd so we used the last verse of Song of the Open Road by Walt Whitman:

    I give you my hand!
    I give you my love more precious than money,
    I give you myself before preaching or law;
    Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me?
    Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?

    • Teresa

      This was the reading that closed our ceremony! I love that you used them as your vows!

  • Rachael

    We did an affirmation of families first, one for each side:
    Do you welcome (name) as a new member of your family? Do you give your blessing to (name) and (name), and promise to do everything in your power to uphold them in their marriage? If so, please say, “We do.”

    Then an affirmation of the congregation:
    Will all of you witnessing these vows promise to pray for (name) and (name) and do everything in your power to uphold them in their marriage? We will.

    It was important to us to acknowledge that there were more promises that needed to be made than just between the two people who were getting married, but also our families and our community of loved ones. Then we said our vows later:
    (Name), understanding that God has created, ordered, and blessed the covenant of marriage, do you affirm your desire and intention to enter this covenant? I do.

    I, (name), take you, (name), to be my wife/husband. And I promise, before God and these witnesses, to be your loving and faithful wife/husband, in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live.

    This ring I give you as a token and pledge of our constant faith and our abiding love, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

    • http://byjacki.com Jacki

      Rachael, I LOVE the family and congregational affirmations! What a great idea. *tucks idea away*

  • Elizabeth

    Here are ours! We used a combination of The Wedding Ceremony Planner book and the first APW open thread on vows to create our vows. I’m really happy with them. They touch on all of the facets of life and our relationship that I felt were important to us. Couldn’t have done it without APW!

    Because I love you,
    I, ____, choose you, _____
    To be none other than yourself;
    Loving what I know of you and trusting what I do not yet know.
    I promise to communicate fully and fearlessly and live in truth with you.
    I promise to be patient, understanding, and forgiving.
    I promise to respect your individuality and uniqueness.
    I promise to maintain a sense of humor.
    I promise to support your goals and dreams and help you realize them.
    I promise to always do my best to be worthy of your love and respect .
    I promise to seek adventure, joy, and fun with you.
    I promise that no matter what lies in our path, it will be our path and I will travel it with you.
    Because I love you, I will become your wife/husband/partner today and be yours for all the days ahead.

  • http://www.rationalcreature.com sweet starling

    I don’t yet have my own vows to contribute, but reading the ones you awesome ladies have posted so far is making me a little verklempt.

  • Teresa

    Ours, taken from a poem we found and the APW vows thread went like this:

    T—-, in committing yourself to Teresa, you must promise to give her the best of yourself and to ask of her no more than she can give. You must promise to respect her as her own person and to realize that her interests, desires, and needs are no less important than your own. You must promise to share with her your time and attention and to bring joy, strength, and imagination to your relationship. You must promise to keep yourself open to her, to let her see through the window of your world into your innermost fears and feelings, secrets, and dreams. You must promise to grow along with her, and be willing to face changes in order to keep your relationship alive and exciting. You must promise to love her in good times and in bad, with all you have to give, and all you feel inside in the only way you know how… completely and forever. Do you so promise?
    T—–: “I do.”
    Will you then place this ring upon your beloved’s finger and repeat after me please…

    Teresa, I give you this ring as a sign that I choose you to be my partner to the end of my days. Wear it, think of me, and know that I love you.

  • http://bettencourtchase.blogspot.com Helen

    This is great! I had a tough time finding vows that felt like “us” when I was looking. Yay APW!

    __________, 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.

  • jessica

    I loved our ceremony – it simple and a mashup of words, thoughts, and poems we collected along with my now sister in law/officiant. Nothing religious, because that would be disingenous on our part, nothing differentiating our roles in the marriage, because we believe we are equals and have equal responsibilities in our partnership, just a list of simple, but important promises: [Name], do you promise to give to, receive from, inspire, support, honor, respect, and love [Other Name] always?

  • http://www.laughterinthelou.com Emma

    We did two different vows because we wanted some traditionalness but also something more unique and more us. We also wanted everyone involved in some way. Here they are!

    Officiant:
    Please take your rings in hand, and repeat after me the following promises:
    I promise to respect you truly:
    as an individual, as my partner, and as my equal.

    I promise to support and encourage your interests, desires and aspirations:
    and to accept your support and encouragement of my own.

    I promise to delight in the laughter,
    take serious the important,
    and imagine the profound.

    I choose you as my person for all that life may bring us.

    Officiant:
    Collectively, you represent
    the families, friends, and traditions
    that have brought Emma and Kyle
    to this point in their lives.

    Always stand beside them, never between them.
    Offer them your love and support,
    not your judgment.
    Encourage them with your kindness and loving hearts,
    and honor this marriage
    into which they have come to be joined today.

    Please affirm your support by responding “Yes, I do” to the following question:

    As part of the community that surrounds Emma and Kyle, do you offer your love and support to strengthen their marriage and celebrate the family created by their union?

    Guests: Yes, I do!

    Does this group of six, standing here in support and celebration of Kyle and Emma, promise to continue to show their support and love to these two as individuals and as a couple? (yes!)

    Kyle, do you take Emma to be your wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward for the rest of your life? (I do, ring)

    Emma, do you take Kyle to be your husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward for the rest of your life? (I do, ring)

    • Kate

      This is really wonderful.

  • Krystal

    We followed the “I love you because…”x3 and “Because I love you…” format, and it worked out really well. We split up and each made a list of about 40 reasons we loved the other, and about 20 things we wanted to promise because we loved the other, and then read over each others list and pretty quickly picked out our favorites, and some parallels. We decided to go for a mix of sweet and funny, and were rewarded with some good laughs and tears from our friends and family.

    We had been putting off the vows for quite some time because it seemed really daunting, but once we got the idea to do it this we basically each had a couple of days to write our lists, and then after dinner one night pretty much finished up the rest of it. We decided to not try to memorize ours and so had them written in a cute little book we just passed back and forth during the vow part of the ceremony. Here is what we ended up with:

    Jeff:
    Krystal, I love you because of the way you smile at me.
    I love you because you have a mischievous streak and a good sense of humor.
    I love you because you are always patient with me, and if words fail me, as they often do, you ask me to try again.
    Because I love you, I promise to get things off the high shelf for you even if the step ladder is only a few feet away.

    Krystal:
    Jeffrey, I love you because you introduce me to new and fun things.
    I love you because you have a wonderful sense of humor and you know just when to be silly.
    I love you because you can reach everything on the high shelf, and you never give me a hard time for being lazy and not getting the step ladder out.
    Because I love you, I promise to encourage you to reach for your dreams and support you in any way I can.

    Jeff:
    Krystal, I love you because you always have a plan, but never insist on sticking to it.
    I love you because you defy the laws of thermodynamics and are always cold.
    I love you because you get lost and often point in the completely wrong direction. Except in Casinos where you always know the exit.
    Because I love you, I promise to keep you warm and close.

    Krystal:
    Jeffrey, I love you because you are the perfect compliment to my OCD planning. You are the strategist to my tactician, as Art would say, and together we make a great team.
    I love you because you never seem to mind when I wiggle my freezing feet under you, you just hold me closer.
    I love you because you always carry a handkerchief.
    Because I love you, I promise to always bring you the best Vietnamese Chicken Noodle soup when you’re sick

    Jeff:
    Krystal, I love you because you have an open heart and mind which makes me strive to be more open.
    I love you because you like spicy food which I think makes you just the right level of sweet and spicy.
    I love you because you always take me on great adventures.
    Because I love you, I promise to keep you safe, especially from zombies.

    Krystal:
    Jeffrey, I love you because you take pride in your work, your projects, anything you fix or make.
    I love you because you tell me when I’m being grumpy and just kiss me.
    I love you because with just a smile I can tell how much you care about me.
    Because I love you, I promise to hold you close every night, and to kiss you first thing every morning.

    Jeff:
    Krystal, because I love you I promise to remember how lucky I am to have met you and to be with you.
    I promise to always tell you how I feel and listen to your needs
    I promise to start and end every day with “I love you”

    Krystal:
    Jeffrey, because I love you I promise to keep up our good communication, to tell you what I need and to listen when you tell me what you need.
    I promise to always appreciate how lucky I am to have you, and to try to make you see how special you are.
    I promise to be your friend, lover, accomplice in adventures and to always say yes when you ask me to dance.

    • mimi

      Love these :)

    • Jessica

      Krystal, these are amazing! I might just use this idea when I write my own :) This would be so cute :) And fun!

    • Amie

      These. Are. Fantastic.

    • Natasha

      This is amazing. This hit home. I love it. It’s brilliant. I have stolen this idea, and revised it to reflect our own styles.

      I did love the zombie line, but that actually brought up an encounter where he mistaked a harmless marmot with a wolverine (from a distance). So I’m changing that to marmots.

      Anyway, THANK YOU.

  • kckp

    Indian weddings don’t really have “vows” like Western weddings have. Here’s the program I wrote for our ceremony. I think the saptapadi part is the closest thing to vows, but we didn’t say those things — they were just the “intent” of the ceremony that goes with that part. Writing this program was a really big deal for me, because it’s where we defined what the ceremonies actually meant to us.

    A pair of my friends used some vows that were absolutely awesome. They ended with “look to me for all the days to come; today I am your husband/wife” but I can’t find the exact wording, just a lot of variations. I cried at their wedding. :/

    Edit: oops, the program I posted is a draft. It’s still mostly correct, it just also has silly notes to myself and references to Wikipedia.

  • http://sweetandwildchild.blogspot.com Jackie Q

    We knew we wanted to write our vows together so that it wasn’t a secret what we were promising to each other. We got married on a Friday and that Tuesday, we took a break from visiting with the friends and family in town to go to the park, lay on a blanket and write them together. It took a few hours, lots of brainstorming and editing, and we used bits from vows here, poetry we liked, and believe it or not, the vows from the movie “The Vow” with Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum. We kept working on them until the time that we read them to each other and both cried. It is one of my most powerful wedding planning memories.

    I’m at work now, so I don’t have them with me, but when I get home, I’ll post them. I want our vows to be able to help people planning just as all the other women who posted theirs before helped us.

    Thank you for this thread, APW!

    • http://sweetandwildchild.blogspot.com jackie

      Okay, I’m home. Here goes!

      from my husband to me:

      Jaclyn,
      Today as I promise my life to you, I’m the luckiest man alive. I pray that I can give you more than enough love and be the man you deserve, now and forever. Starting today, for the rest of my days, this is what I vow to you:

      I vow to be a man of God and lead our family in the way that will please Him. May the only thing stronger than our love for each other be our love for God.

      I vow to build our family on God, knowing that it is the only way to make it work.

      I vow to help you love life and to always hold you with tenderness.

      I vow to have the patience that love demands, even when we’re on a road trip and you say you know which way we’re going, but you really don’t.

      I vow to be your best friend and to be real with you, even when it would be easier to fake it.

      I vow to take care of you when you’re sick and to try not to be too miserable when I’m the one feeling down.

      I vow to write you love letters, which you love, and do the dishes, which you hate.

      I vow to always protect and provide for our family. As it may grow, I know that our love will grow even more.

      I thank you for being okay with being so broke, and vow that no matter how tight things may be, I will always give you anything you need.

      I vow to treasure everything about you: your love of sunshine and wildflowers, your ability to find beauty in the smallest things, and even your sass.

      Jackie, I choose you on this day with all of my heart and will continue to choose you for the rest of my days. You’re the best thing that ever happened to me, my best friend, and the best partner I could ever ask for on this life adventure.

      With these words, and all the words in my heart, I vow this to you as long as we both shall live.

    • http://sweetandwildchild.blogspot.com jackie

      And from me to my husband:

      My dear Benny,
      Today I get to promise my life to you and I couldn’t be more excited about the adventures that we’re going to have together! You’re my favorite person, my best friend, and the best thing that ever happened to me. This is what I vow to you today and all the rest of my days:

      I vow to put God before you, because I know that my relationship has to be right with Him before it can truly be right with you.

      I vow to hold you accountable to being the spiritual leader of our family, even when it means turning down your offer to make chocolate chip pancakes so that we make it to church on time.

      I vow to help you see the beauty in life, to be the optimistic dreamer to your practical side, and to do everything I can to preserve the memories that we make together.

      I vow to always warm your cold little fingers and toes and try not to steal the blankets when it gets chilly at night.

      I vow to respect you as a man, my husband, and the leader of the family. We all know that I’m an opinionated and strong-willed girl, but I vow to always give you the respect that you deserve.

      I vow to love you in all of your forms: the happy one where you get crinkles around your eyes, the angry one when the Giants are losing, and the vulnerable one too.

      I vow to make sure you know how much I love you every second I’m alive.

      I vow to always be honest and real with you, even when it’d be easier to fake it.

      I vow to always put away the dishes that you wash and to scratch your back as we fall asleep at least every other night.

      I vow to always put your first, before the secrets I have with my little sister, before my dreams of owning an ice cream shop, and even before the little babies that we’ll have someday far away.

      You make me want to be a better person, and I vow to work every day to be the one you deserve.

      I love you for accepting my sassy side, for pushing me when I’m not so brave, and for really listening to me when I talk. You’re exactly the one I’d always hoped I’d find and I’m so glad that God brought us together. I choose you on this day with all of my heart and vow to continue choosing you for the rest of my days.

    • Natalie

      I just finished watching The Vow and wrote their vows down too! Currently in the planning process so all vow ideas are getting stored at the moment.

  • Marie

    We had a sequence of “I do” and “We do” statements, followed by a ring exchange. Our officiant was awesome and helped us write all of these, and provided sample ceremonies for us to work from. Full text of the “we dos” and the ring exchange:

    W, do you take Marie to be your partner in life, your friend and companion through the unknown of the future, support her, love her, and forsaking all others, be faithful to her for the rest of your lives?
    W: I do.

    Marie, do you take W to be your partner in life, your friend and companion through the unknown of the future, support him, love him, and forsaking all others, be faithful to him for the rest of your lives?
    Marie: I do.

    Do you each promise to take pride and joy at seeing the other continue to learn and grow, and when your partner’s life grows in one direction, do you promise to bend and grow together? (we do)

    Do you promise to continue to love on Dog1 and Dog2 and any future family members, to always remember they are a part of your family, to care for them as you care for each other, and to enjoy all the happy-dog moments with them?
    (we do)

    Do you promise to recognize one another as equals, and support one another in your goals and wishes for the future? (we do)

    Do you promise that come hell or high water, secession or recession, killer bees or swine flu, federal indictment or tabloid scandal, that you’re in this together, no matter what? (WE DO)

    Do you promise to commit your love to one another, to respect each other’s individuality; to go through life’s changes and to nurture and strengthen the love between you, as long as you both shall live? (WE DO)

    Do you promise to communicate openly and respectfully, and to always be open to hear each other; and when you don’t understand to listen until you do? (We Do)

    Rings:

    Officiant: In honor of these vows, W & Marie wish to exchange rings that will serve as a symbol of the wholeness of the words they speak today and of the love for each other that they will carry with them. The rings are a symbol of unity, but not of possession; of joining, but not of restricting; of encirclement, but not of entrapment. For love cannot be possessed, nor can it be restricted.

    Officiant: May I have Marie’s ring?
    W, repeat after me:
    I give you this ring as a sign of our lifelong commitment,
    a sign of our unending love and faithfulness
    to remind me of the vows I have made this day
    and a pledge to honor you and grow with you
    for the rest of our lives together.

    Officiant: May I have W’s ring?
    Marie, repeat after me:
    I give you this ring as a sign of our lifelong commitment,
    a sign of our unending love and faithfulness
    to remind me of the vows I have made this day
    and a pledge to honor you and grow with you
    for the rest of our lives together.

    Officiant: May these rings be, from this day forward, your most treasured adornment, and may the love they symbolize be your most precious possession.

    • Moe

      LOVE love love the mention of dogs.

      My husband vetoed the idea for our vows though. Boo.

  • Julie

    We used traditional Methodist vows. We actually had a few options to choose from that our minister provided and my husband felt very strongly about the most traditional option. To me, both the Vows and the Exchange of Rings were all a meaningful part of the promise that we made that day.

    Vows:
    In the name of God, I, _________________, take you, __________________, to be my
    wife, 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, as long as we both shall live.
    This is my solemn vow.

    Rings:
    __________________, I give you this ring as a sign of my vow, and with all that I
    am, and all that I have, I honor you; in the name of the Father, and of the Son,
    and of the Holy Spirit.

  • Louise

    Our vows: Today, I confirm my commitment to building a life, a home and a family with you.

    I promise to stay by your side through all that we encounter; to celebrate with you in moments of joy and plenty; to practice patience, honesty and trust, through times of sorrow and want.

    To learn from you, challenge you and grow with you.

    To embrace your family as my family, your friends as my friends.

    To let your perspective inform mine, and to honor you and our family in my decisions and actions.

    To laugh, play and adventure with you.

    To love and respect you, forever

    Some of these lines turned out to be hard to read out loud, simply because they are so long… So keep that in kind when you’re writing!

  • Katelynn

    We planned our ceremony and tried to keep it as simple and family-oriented as possible- his cousin, who’s a lawyer, did the marrying and his uncle, who’s a priest, did a bit of a reading (although our goal was for it to be non-religious yet religiously tolerant, if you know what I mean). We had no attendants, my mom played the piano, and other than a song during the signing of the certificate, the ceremony had very little fanfare and lasted only a few minutes.

    These were our vows, pulled together last minute after a bit of consideration- the last part, which is Jewish (thanks to Meg for that one!), kind of got messed up and I said the male part, he said the female part, but whatevs, we’re a 21st century, equality-minded sort of couple!

    “My friend and my beloved – with the deepest love and respect,
    I choose you to be my partner in Life, in body and soul. I promise:
    to laugh with you in Joy,
    to grieve with you in sorrow,
    to trust and be trustworthy,
    to be faithful to you in marriage and life, and
    to honor our differences for as long as we both shall live.”

    Rings:

    “I give you this ring as a reminder that I love you, every single day of your life.”

    And in conclusion:
    L: “Wear me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love
    is infinitely strong”
    K: “Many waters cannot quench love, no flood can sweep it away, I am my
    beloved’s and my beloved is mine.”

  • Emily

    We gave zero thought to our vows. One of those things that escaped our notice, I guess. (Eloping is hard, y’all.) A minute before our ceremony, our officiant asked, “So do you want the secular ones or the traditional ones?” We decided on traditional. And, true story, we both giggled a bit when we said “for poorer.” (Because we were “poorer,” not because we were swimming in gold coins, sadly.)

    • http://www.micapie.com Mica

      Hey, this makes me happy! It’s great to hear that people giggle during their vows because I kind of feel like that may happen….

  • sarahmrose

    Loving all these vows. Just makes me all warm and fuzzy to read the words people use to make this beautiful promise.

    Throwing out a question — does anyone have vows from a ceremony that was the post-being-married kind of ceremony? Like where the couple may have eloped or had a private ceremony or in-another-country ceremony and then had another one for their community/family in another country.

    I just love all the “from this day forward” bits of many vows but don’t really know if it will work for us, since we will have been married for almost three years before our wedding with family and friends. And as much as I love the “from this day forward” sentiment I guess I’m feeling like we should acknowledge the commitment we’ve made for the previous several years in some way. I know we can say it anyways if it feels right, just curious if anyone else has any thoughts/ideas…since Team Practical usually has some pretty good ones. :)

    • Rachael

      I’m about to be ordained as a pastor, and my denomination, the Presbyterian Church, USA has a whole service just for this situation- for those who are having a ceremony after civil marriage. (For the whole thing, Google PCUSA Book of Common Worship PDF and its under the Marriage section). The vows are identical to the ones in the other ceremony except for the first line.

      (Name), you are my wife/husband, and I promise before God and these witnesses to be your loving and faithful wife/husband, in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live.

      OR

      (Name), you are my wife/husband. Before God and these witnesses I promise to love you, and to be faithful to you, as long as we both shall live.

      • Lizzie

        Rachael, I love the post-civil-union vows you shared! My husband and I eloped and are having a “ring ceremony” in April to exchange rings in front of friends and family, so the “you are my husband/wife” start to the vows works perfectly.

    • http://youlovelucy.tumblr.com youlovelucy

      Mine are a little farther down, but we used “for all of our days” and variations on that wording because we’d been together for 6 years and it seemed like a silly implication that we weren’t supposed to be all these things beforehand too.

    • http://brusselsproutblog.blogspot.com Cassandra

      Our initial plans were to get married by a JP the week before the ceremony, then have a friend “officiate” the ceremony, but we were going to keep the vows as they would be for a first-time ceremony. No harm in promising twice, yeah? :) (Plans have since changed, and with the new officiant, the ceremony vows WILL be the first time!)

    • Riah

      What about “today and every day”?

  • Beca

    Two parter!

    What I said to him (from “Love” by Roy Croft):

    I love you,
    Not only for what you are,
    But for what I am
    When I am with you.

    I love you,
    Not only for what
    You have made of yourself,
    But for what
    You are making of me.
    I love you
    For the part of me
    That you bring out;
    I love you
    For putting your hand
    Into my heaped-up heart
    And passing over
    All the foolish, weak things
    That you can’t help
    Dimly seeing there,
    And for drawing out
    Into the light
    All the beautiful belongings
    That no one else had looked
    Quite far enough to find.

    I love you because you
    Are helping me to make
    Of the lumber of my life
    Not a tavern
    But a temple;
    Out of the works
    Of my every day
    Not a reproach
    But a song.

    I love you
    Because you have done
    More than any creed
    Could have done
    To make me good
    And more than any fate
    Could have done
    To make me happy.
    You have done it
    Without a touch,
    Without a word,
    Without a sign.
    You have done it
    By being yourself.

    (Because why bother trying to do better? This was, and is, perfect)

    Our promises to each other:

    OFFICIANT: B & M, will you honor each other as equals, adore each other as individuals, and respect each other as partners?
    BECA & MART: We will.

    OFFICIANT: Will you always be open, honest, and patient? Will you trust one another, and be worthy of that trust?
    BECA & MART: We will.

    OFFICIANT: Will you continue to counsel, encourage and inspire one another for the rest of your lives?
    BECA & MART: We will.

    OFFICIANT: In times of weakness, will you help each other along? In times of strength, will you push each other ahead?
    BECA & MART: We will.

    RINGS ARE EXCHANGED.

    OFFICIANT: With the blessings of all here assembled, I pronounce you husband and wife.

    • Claire

      LOVE that reading.

    • ALEXIS C.

      That poem.

      Cried!

  • http://youlovelucy.tumblr.com youlovelucy

    DISCLAIMER: I am a big fat thief and I don’t even remember how many hundreds of things we read and subsequently probably stole from. I figured out a loose format that I wanted for vows, and then Bryan and I filled them in separately from one another. We read them beforehand because I want to keep control of my ugly crying. (I also kind of get the giggles when I’m anxious, and that combination has frightened family members before, no joke.)

    Here they are.

    Bryan, I take you to be my husband. I will love you unconditionally and without hesitation, for it is your heart that moves me, your spirit that inspires me, your humor that delights me, and your hand I want to hold for all of our days.
    I promise to always be your partner in crime, your sounding board, your confidant, your friend, and most importantly, your family.
    I promise that my affection will never come at a cost.
    I will stay with you, share your germs, and take turns being sick, until we can’t tell better from worse.
    I promise to nurture your dreams and help you reach them.
    I will pay attention, give you time, and listen both to the things you say and those you don’t say.
    I promise to love, respect, and trust you, and give you the best of myself, for I know that together we will build a life far better than either of us could imagine alone.

    Lucy, I take you to be my wife. I will love you unconditionally and without hesitation, for it is your heart that moves me, your spirit that inspires me, your humor that delights me, and your hand I want to hold for all of our days.
    I promise that I will always remain a shelter – a home for you. A safe-haven from the outside world.
    I will stand beside you and hold your hand, in the face of any adversity.
    I promise to make you laugh until you cry.
    I will continue to love you as long as I shall live, for my heart could be filled by no one else.
    I promise to enjoy the little things in my life with you. One day we’ll look back and realize that they were the big things.
    I promise to love, respect, and trust you, and give you the best of myself, for I know that together we will build a life far better than either of us could imagine alone.

    • http://youlovelucy.tumblr.com youlovelucy

      Also if people are interested in writing their own entire ceremony, I cobbled ours together because our values are basically Methodist/Buddhist/Unitarian/slightly agnostic leaning with a few other things thrown in and I’ll happily share the full thing, it’s just too large for a comment.

      • Jade

        I am in the middle of piecing together a similar ceremony right now and would love to read your script if you don’t mind sharing.
        Email: jade_lees@hotmail.com

      • Shea

        I would also be interested Lucy if you wouldn’t mind sharing! Your leanings sound similar to ours. My email is shea.suskin@gmail.com…thanks!

      • http://andshelovesyou.com youlovelucy

        Jade and Shea, I’m emailing you now. :)

        For others stumbling across this, here’s a link to a doc I’ve shared of the full ceremony, with links to two of the pdfs I looked over while writing it.

        https://docs.google.com/document/d/1aVUNcH5_KrrOrPIW3F9QZf9z8WU8w6e8ZkND2VUf1Qc/edit?usp=sharing

        • Catherine B

          Thank you Lucy!

      • Holly Spence

        I would be very interested to see your entire ceremony. Can you e-mail it to me please? hspence@utk.edu

        Thank you kindly, Holly

      • Megan

        We’re working on our secular ceremony and would love to read yours! megs.od@gmail.com

    • mari

      I almost made it entirely through this post tear free, and then you did it, Lucy. These are so beautiful. Consider them stolen :)

  • Jen AB

    I love reading these! Our vows were relatively short and came from several sources (cobbled, indeed):

    “I, [name], receive you, [name], to be my husband and partner in life. I promise to love you faithfully, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, in happiness and in adversity, and wherever our lives will take us. I promise to laugh with you, cry with you, and encourage you in all that you do. On this day, I promise to love you with all that I am, and all that I shall become, today, tomorrow, and always.”

  • Brit

    We wrote our vows separately, but collaboratively. (We were about 700 miles apart at the time.) We are not religious, and our vows were a reflection of looking at forever one day at a time. Hope it helps someone else get thinkin’. :)

    Nigel:
    “Brit I want to marry you because:
    Today is the most precious time
    Today is another day I get to spend with you

    I will see the world through your eyes
    To help you see through mine
    The pace of my stride will become yours
    As yours becomes mine
    My mind to your mind
    My heart to your heart

    I will keep my sense of humor, my light -hearted nature
    If you will keep me tethered to reality
    I will never do anything for you
    But I will do all that I can with you
    I will questions your ideas, as I hope you question mine
    Not argue or fight, but to temper our minds and opinions

    I will remain the scientist
    If you will remain the engineer
    I will be the idealist
    If you will be the lawyer
    I will celebrate our differences
    As long as our goals are united

    Tomorrow will be the most precious time
    As long as tomorrow starts with you at my side.”

    Brit:
    “Nigel I want to marry you because:
    Tomorrow morning I will wake up
    I’ll look over to you and smile
    And tomorrow and everyday hereafter

    I will cook when you clean
    because I know that combining our strengths makes us better
    I will ask you about the big stuff, and some of the little stuff too
    because I know your opinion helps me make wiser decisions
    I will encourage us to make new friends and keep in touch with the old
    because I know no one person can be everything to anybody,
    and a strong community encourages a strong marriage
    I will converse with you every day
    because I know it will make me think new thoughts
    I will push you to reach for your dreams
    because I know you will do the same for me.

    I will be the stoker to your captain,
    the mother of your children,
    your travel partner, your lover, and your wife.

    Which is exactly why tomorrow morning I will wake up, and smile.”

  • http://www.minnesota-chic.com PAW

    “I, ______, take you, ______, to be the husband of my days, to be the father of my children, to be the companion of my house. We will keep together what measure of trouble and sorrow our lives may lay upon us, and we will share together our store of goodness and plenty and love.”

    For the two of us, it was traditional in all the right ways (it’s actually from an old Unitarian prayer book) and none of the limiting ones!

    • Remy

      I like that a lot!! “…we will share together our store of goodness and plenty and love” — *warmfuzzy*

  • http://www.mylifeasherbst.wordpress.com AutumnE

    As a writer, I insisted on writing my own vows even though my ex and I eloped. We were the only ones who ever heard our vows until right now, but even though we aren’t together now, I still love my vows. (my ex is a scientist and her vows were very pragmatic…just goes to show you matching vows isn’t necessary)

    You are my favorite poem.
    The lines of your body move me,
    the rhythm of your soul consumes me.
    I love the rhyme in your eyes when they both glimmer ocean blue.
    I want to write stanzas with you,
    stanzas that last for decades.
    I want to write our mistakes into beauty,
    and our pain into newness.
    I want to write our wrinkles into lines about wisdom and time.

    You are my favorite poem.
    I love the way you speak to the holes in my heart.
    I love the way you sing lilacs through my bloodstream
    and paint yellow suns behind my eye.
    I love the ways I can read you.
    Time and destiny may move and shift your lines in my eyes.
    What I read in you now may not be there tomorrow,
    but that is not what matters about a poem.
    What counts most is how your words have drilled holes in my bones,
    like exclamation points and your love is infused in my marrow.

    You are my favorite poem.
    Age will take its toll on my eyes,
    and where they once found beauty
    they may find some strife,
    but you will still be my favorite poem,
    just as you are now, and yet different.

  • http://christinehennessey.blogspot.com Christine

    We wrote a series of questions that our officiant asked us (because I knew the more I had to say, the more likely I’d be sob through it), and we alternated between the two of us, responding to each question with “I do.” We liked getting to say “I do” a bunch of times, and we liked taking turns. It makes more sense when you read them, so here they are:

    Chrissy, do you promise to encourage Nathan’s ever-changing interests, to stand by him in the face of the apocalypse, and to go camping pretty regularly?

    Nathan, do you promise to support Chrissy’s many ambitions, to encourage her when she fails, and to celebrate with her when she succeeds?

    Chrissy, do you promise to inspire Nathan with your compassion and kindness, and to help him see the best in others?

    Nathan, do you promise to maintain your sense of adventure, and to share an exciting, authentic, and absurd life with Chrissy?

    Chrissy, do you promise to argue with Nathan more when it matters, and less when it doesn’t, to read widely and think deeply, and to share those thoughts with Nathan at the end of each day?

    Nathan, do you promise to question everything (except your relationship), to seek out new ideas and explore different ways of thinking and living, and to share your findings with Chrissy at the end of each day?

    Chrissy, do you promise to appreciate the small moments you share with Nathan, such as reading in bed on Sunday mornings and walking the dogs after dinner?

    Nathan, do you promise to be grateful for each day with Chrissy, whether you’re drinking wine on the porch while it rains, or talking non-stop through a long run?

    Chrissy, do you promise to support Nathan as he evolves, to let him become the person he wants and needs to be, without fear or resentment?

    Nathan, do you promise to help Chrissy grow, to let her change and progress, trusting that her love for you will never fade or falter?

    Chrissy, do you promise to make your marriage a priority, to view compromise as a gift, and to always honor the vows that you are making today?

    Nathan, do you promise to put your marriage first, to give and take in equal measure, and to always honor the vows that you are making today?

    Chrissy, do you promise, simply and truly, to take Nathan as your best friend, equal partner, and husband?

    Nathan, do you promise, freely and completely, to take Chrissy as your best friend, equal partner, and wife?

  • FC

    We used the traditional Religious Society of Friends (Quaker) vows, with just two tiny edits. We memorized them, which is the tradition, and both messed them up slightly, but it just made it more meaningful in the moment. There’s no tradition of clergy in Quakerism, so although a friend of ours who is an ordained Presbyterian minister gave a homily of sorts and signed our marriage license, from our perspective we married each other, and no one pronounced us married nor did the repeat after me vows.

    “In the presence of God, and these our family and friends, I take thee to be my beloved, promising with divine assistance to be unto thee a loving and faithful spouse so long as we both shall live.”

    We also did a Quaker wedding certificate which we and everyone present signed. The part our family and friends signed said this:
    “And we, as loving members of their community, and having been present at this ceremony, set our hands in witness, celebration, and support of their union.”

    • http://www.foreveryoungadult.com erin

      I absolutely LOVE the marriage certificate idea. I was raised a Methodist but have been looking a lot at Quakers the last few years. Mostly because of philosophies like this!

      • FC

        It’s framed on our living room wall, and every single day it makes me remember what it felt like to be lifted up by our community on the day. The day we picked it up after framing, I said to my husband “NOW I feel married!” (2 months after the wedding!)

  • http://poppiesandicecream.blogspot.nl/ Amanda

    We used the classic vows (I take you… in sickness, in health, for richer, for poorer…).
    But I think the following fragment from “Everything is illuminated” would be a lovely reading during a secular wedding:
    ——————————————–
    “The young couple first married on August 5, 1744, when Joseph was eight and Sarah six, and first ended their marriage six days later when Joseph refused to believe, to Sarah’s frustration, that the stars were silver nails in the sky, pinning up the black nightscape. They remarried four days later, when Joseph left a note under the door of Sarah’s parents’ house: I have considered everything you told me, and I do believe that the stars are silver nails.

    They ended their marriage again a year later, when Joseph was nine and Sarah seven, over a quarrel about the nature of the bottom of the river bed. A week later, they were remarried, including this time in their vows that they should love each other until death, regardless of the existence of the riverbed, the temperature of the river bed’s bottom (should it exist), and the possible existence of starfish on the possibly existing riverbed.

    They ended their marriage one hundred and twenty times throughout their lives and each time remarried with a longer list of vows. They were sixty and fifty-eight at their last marriage, only three weeks before Sarah died of heart failure and Joseph drowned himself in the bath. Their marriage contract still hangs over the door of the house they on-and-off shared-nailed to the top post and brushing against the welcome mat:

    “It is with everlasting devotion that we, Joseph and Sarah L, reunite in the indestructible union of matrimony, promising love until death, with the understanding that the stars are silver nails in the sky, regardless of the existence of the bottom of the river, the temperature of this bottom (should it exist) and the possible existence of starfish on the possibly existing riverbed, overlooking what may or may not have been accidental grape juice spills, agreeing to forget that Joseph played sticks and balls with his friends when he promised he would help Sarah thread the needle for the quilt she was sewing, and that Sarah was supposed to give the quilt to Joseph, not his buddy, ignoring the simple fact that Joseph snores like a pig, and that Sarah is no great treat to sleep with either, letting slide certain tendencies of both parties to look too long at members of the opposite sex, not making a fuss over why Joseph is such a slob, leaving his clothes wherever he feels like taking them off, expecting Sarah to pick them up, clean them, and put them in their proper place as he should have, or why Sarah has to be such a pain about the smallest things, such as which way the toilet paper unrolls, or when dinner is five minutes later than she was planning, because, let’s face it, it’s Joseph who’s putting that paper on the roll and dinner on the table, disregarding whether the beet is a better vegetable than the cabbage, putting aside the problems of being fat-headed and chronically unreasonable, trying to erase the memory of a long since expired rose bush that a certain someone was supposed to remember to water when his wife was visiting family, accepting the compromise of the way we have been, the way we are, and the way we will likely be. May we live together in unwavering love and good health. Amen.”

    -text from Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran

  • kmclevel

    Ours are also from the depths of the internet with some help from our officiate. Annnnd I totally blanked on the last line of my part during the ceremony much to everyone’s enjoyment…

    Vows: 

    We remind K and W that they are performing an act of complete faith, each in the other; that the heart of their marriage will be the relationship they create. In a world where faith often falls short of expectation, it is a tribute to these two who now join hands and hearts in perfect faith.

    W, will you receive K as your wife? Will you pledge to her your love, faith and tenderness, cherishing her with a husband’s loyalty and devotion? 


    W: “I will.”

    K, I choose you to be my wife.
    I promise freely from this day forward
    To be worthy of your trust and deserving of your confidence;
    To be generous with my time, my energy and my love;
    To be patient with you and with myself,
    To return love, tolerance, and generosity to your family.
    To trust you;
    To be devoted to you and our life together.
    These things I pledge before you, myself, our friends, and our family.”

  • http://theaftercath.blogspot.com Cathi

    We were married at my United Methodist church by my lifelong pastor. We used the traditional “Ceremony for Christian Marriage” and more or less stayed true to it, with just a couple minor word changes to better reflect our own values, such as adding “respect him/her as an equal”.

    The declaration of intent:
    Cathi, will you have Alex to be your husband, to live together in this union? Will you love him, comfort him, respect him as an equal, sharing joy as well as sorrow, triumph as well as defeat, forsaking all others to keep him beside you, as long as you shall live?

    The marriage vows:
    I, Cathi, take you, Alex, to be my 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.

    And what ended up being the most meaningful part to me, the ring exchange:
    Alex, I give you this ring as a sign of my vow, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you.

  • Lauren

    In true apdub style, we cobbled together and made up:

    I, Lauren, take you, ______, to be my husband. // I will respect, trust, and care for you. // I will live with you and laugh with you. // I will explore with you the things we have yet to learn and the places we have yet to go. // I will trust you with my dreams and support you in yours. // I will love you with all my heart, mind, and strength, for the rest of our days.

  • http://brusselsproutblog.blogspot.com Cassandra

    Well, we haven’t said them YET, but we’ll be saying them in a little over a month. We included the Celtic wedding vows that I found on Offbeat Bride as a reading by the officiant in another part of the ceremony, because my groom wanted something short and sweet for the vows. The Celtic wedding vows really sum up our relationship and our intent, and our personal vows seal the deal.

    Celtic vows:

    You cannot possess me for I belong to myself.

    But while we both wish it, I give you that which is mine to give.
    
You cannot command me, for I am a free person.
    But I shall serve you in those ways you require,

    And the honeycomb will taste sweeter coming from my hand.
    
I pledge to you that yours will be the name I cry aloud in the night,
    
And the eyes into which I smile in the morning.

    I pledge to you the first bite of my meat and the first drink from my cup.
    
I pledge to you my living and my dying, each equally in your care.
    
I shall be a shield for your back and you for mine.

    I shall not slander you, nor you me.
    I shall honor you above all others, and when we quarrel we shall do so in
    
Private and tell no strangers our grievances.

    This is my wedding vow to you
.
    This is the marriage of equals.

    Traditional vows (with a slight twist):

    I, ______, take you _______, to be my husband/wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; I choose you as the person with whom I will spend my life, from this day forward, until death do us part.

    And then… Kissy kissy! :)

    • Aubry

      Love those celtic vows!

  • Samantha

    Short and sweet for us:

    I (name) do pledge you (name) my love, for as long as I live. What I possess in this world, I give to you. I will keep you and hold you, comfort and tend you, protect you and shelter you, for all the days of my life.

  • A

    For the vows:

    “I, A, take you, S, to be my lawfully wedded husband.

    I’m not marrying you to change you, to bind or restrain you. Instead, I’m marrying you because home will always be where you are. Because I love you unconditionally and want to be beside you, supporting you for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, as your husband, until death parts us.”

    For the ring exchange:

    [Officiant asks for bride’s ring]
    May this ring be blessed so he who gives it and she who wears it will abide in peace, and continue in love until life’s end.

    [Officiant]:
    A, please repeat after me:

    “S, I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and covenant with you. With all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you. I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.”

  • SW

    Ours were also short and sweet. We are fairly non-flowery types and wanted simple words that encapsulated the promises we were making. I particularly wanted to include a reference to choice, as I think a relationship is something you have to prioritise, work on and choose over and over again.

    I, (name), take you, (name), to be my [husband/wife]. I promise always to trust, respect and support you, and give you my love completely and forever. I choose to live the rest of my life with you and make this promise before our family and friends.

  • Ceej

    Ripped these off of The Neotraditionalist pretty directly, but NOT A DRY EYE PEOPLE. I bought “You’re Different and That’s Super” and my mom (a calligrapher) tore out the pages and glued in 2 copies of the vows so we could read them while facing each other. Loved not repeating our officiant.

    L: I vow to love you
    C: I vow to love you
    L: to be your partner in all things
    C: to build a home with you and fill it with family
    L: to support you in your goals
    C: to be your biggest fan
    L: to stand up for you
    C: to take deep breaths and be kind
    L: to be there when you laugh, and when you cry
    C: to be present
    L: to share with you
    C: to let you help me
    L: to wake you every morning
    C: to kiss you every night
    L: to appreciate you, always
    C: to choose you every day
    L: to never give up
    C: to never ever give up
    L: to work every day, to be the man you deserve
    C: to work every day, to be the woman you deserve
    L: I, Leaf
    C: I, Christine
    L: take you to be my wife
    C: take you to be my husband
    L: to have and to hold from this day forward
    C: to have and to hold from this day forward
    L: in good times and bad
    C: in good times and bad
    L: in sickness and in health
    C: in sickness and in health
    L: I will love you and honor you
    C: I will love you and honor you
    L: all the days of my life
    C: all the days of my life

  • Andi

    I have picked for our wedding:

    I, _______________ take you, ______________ as my friend and love, beside me and part from me, in laughter and in tears, in conflict and tranquility, asking you be no other than yourself, loving what a know of you, trusting what I do not yet know, in all ways that life may find us.

    Short and sweet!!!

    • Andi

      What I* know of you – not “a”. Sorry guys.

  • Megan

    My husband wrote our whole ceremony (cribbed and cobbled from our overlord, the internet) because I was crazy busy at work in the months leading up to our wedding. We joked about him writing my vows, but then I got really busy and he did! I only changed a few words.

    Vows:
    Officiant (my brother):”You have known each other from the first e-mail on OKCupid to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of “Yes, we can study together since you’re not a creeper” to this moment of “Yes, I will marry you,” you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks – all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will and you will and we will”- those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe”- and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, ” You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed- well, I meant it all, every word.” Look at one another and remember this moment in time. You will soon say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this- is my husband, this- is my wife.

    M.and A. have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves to each other in marriage?

    M&A: We do

    Officiant: Do you promise to care for each other in the joys and sorrows of life, come what may, and to share the responsibility for growth and enrichment of your life together?

    M&A: We do

    Officiant: Do you promise to love, support, and challenge each other; to be confidantes and companions?

    M&A: We do

    Officiant: Then please turn to each other and share the vows you have written and/or plagiarized from wittier people.

    A: M, we met four years ago on OKCupid when I was looking for study buddies. We’ve played a lot of trivia, watched a lot of movies, completed stressful papers, rocked out, traveled the globe, and explored a new home, together.
    I love you because of your willingness to openly discuss our roles in our relationship, whether we end up conforming to gender-normative roles or not.
    I love you because of your interest in constantly learning – expanding your knitting repertoire, trying out new sewing, wanting to learn piano.
    I love you because you are tolerant – both tolerant of my quirks and of pretty bad movies.
    I love you because you own your klutziness, even keeping a positive attitude after falling over.

    Thank you for letting us get cats and being an attentive good mom to them even though you’re allergic.
    Thank you for helping me talk my way through my brain, like when hanging out with you just made my practicum topic click.
    Thank you for being understanding of the dichotomy between when I’m impulsive and when I’m rules-y and not making too much fun of me for it.
    And above all, thank you for agreeing to be my wife.
    Today I promise: I will be your sounding board, your internet fact-finder, your tech support, your prep cook, your bass guitarist, your nurse, your editor, your therapist, your teacher, your student, and your partner in adventure. I will deeply appreciate all of your positive qualities and not let the passage of time dull that appreciation. When life challenges us, I promise to focus on the resiliency of our love. And if I stumble and fail to live up to my promises, I will look you in the eyes, hold your hands, and apologize with sincerity. I will be my best for you.

    M: A, you have been a positive force in my life ever since that first day when you plopped down at my table at [the coffee shop] and talked my ear off. .
    I love you because of your unending patience, because Lord knows I don’t have enough of it and I can always count on you to be my rock and calm center when I get frustrated.
    I love you because of your passion about learning, always wanting to have new ideas and explore them.
    I love you because of your empathy for others, how you always seek the best in everyone
    I love you because you constantly try to make me laugh and take a break from my brain, even if we really need to get focused on something, like this wedding.

    Thank you for being flexible in nearly all things. I could not ask for a more accommodating partner.
    Thank you for uprooting your life to follow me to California, even though, like marriage, cross country moves come with their own challenges,.
    Thank you for listening and for the terrific hugs. You listen to everything that is causing me stress or anxiety and you make me feel better about it.
    And above all, thank you for agreeing to be my husband.
    Because I love you, today I promise to treat you the way you want to be treated and with the respect you deserve. I promise to build trust with my words and actions. I will be your financial manager, your trivia partner, your idea filter, your list-maker (even if I tend to keep those lists only in my head– much to your chagrin), your player two, your water crew, your nurse, your editor, your therapist (even though I’m not THAT kind of psychologist), your teacher, your student, and your partner in adventure. I will deeply appreciate all of your positive qualities and not let the passage of time dull that appreciation. When life challenges us, I promise to focus on the resiliency of our love. And if I stumble (ha ha) and fail to live up to my promises, I will look you in the eyes, hold your hands, and apologize with sincerity. I will be my best for you.

    Officiant: The pledges you have read are a statement of present intent and commitment. They cannot endure unless you make them endure. The spoken word holds no hidden power within itself, for human ingenuity has never yet devised a vow which cannot be broken. We have developed law and conscience, even pride, as keepers of our sacred pledges, but we have also found ways to mitigate each one. So it is not simply to words or to institutions that we appeal at this moment of commitment, but to the resources upon which you can draw from within yourselves. You still must decide, with each day that stretches before you, that you want to uphold them.

    • Lia

      “And if I stumble and fail to live up to my promises, I will look you in the eyes, hold your hands, and apologize with sincerity. I will be my best for you.”

      Wow – this is the thing that made me tear up! I love how humbling this is. Thank you for sharing!

  • mere…

    Today I welcome you as the partner in my life. I love you for the person you have been. I respect you for the person you are. And I trust in the person you will become. I will seek strength in our differences & find comfort in the ways we are the same. I will listen to you when you are near & have faith in you when you are not. As you spouse, I commit to value the gifts of God & seek out the blessing we live with every day. I commit to recognizing God’s divine humor & regularly allowing time for fun, so that laughter always has a place in our home. I commit to a life of being a perpetual learner, so we can appreciate the beauty of life & accept new challenges. I commit to taking ownership of my health so I remain appealing & ensure I’m around to enjoy life with you. I commit to listening to the Holy Spirit so we may follow God’s will. I choose you today & promise to choose you every day for the rest of my life.
    You’re my favorite.

    I absolutely loved the time we spent together writing our vows. We ended up printing out a “pretty” version of these and framing them in our bedroom so we see them as a daily reminder of our promise to one another.

    • mere…

      We also wrote three other series of vows/exchanges for our ceremony. These were pieced together after several hours trolling the internet for wedding ceremony wording and even more hours discussing what aspects were most important to us.

      Community Vows> Today, you have come here not simply to witness our couple’s union, but to take part in it. Your support has helped their relationship to flourish and the joy that you all bring into the couple’s lives enriches their spirit. Our bride and groom have asked all present to take vows as well, to pledge your support and love for them as the embark upon this new path together. Everyone gathered here today, before you stand two people who love you very much.
      Do you promise to accept them not only as individuals, but as a couple? If so, say “We Will”.
      To remind them of their love and respect for one another? If so, say “We Will”.
      To be their friends and their support, today and always? If so, say “We Will”.
      To encourage and inspire them throughout their lives? If so, say “We Will”.

      Ring Warming Ceremony> Later in this ceremony, T & M will exchange rings as a physical symbol of their love and commitment to one another. As the ceremony proceeds, the rings will be passed from one table to the next. We ask that you, their families and friends, take part in the warming of these rings. As you hold them in your hands, say a silent prayer or make a wish for the couple, their marriage, and their future together. When these rings comes back to T & M at the conclusion of the ceremony, they will not only be a gift from one to another, but will be given with the love, support, and wisdom of their family and friends.

      Hand Fasting Ceremony> T & M have chosen to include a hand fasting ceremony in their wedding. This is an ancient marriage ritual made popular in Ireland and Scotland during the Early Christian period. The ceremony allows for the visual representation of the connection that exists between these two and the lifetime together they are committing to today. T & M, please join hands.
      These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.
      These are the hands that will comfort you in illness, and hold you when fear or grief engulfs your heart.
      These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years.
      These are the hands that will help form your family and create your home.
      These are the hands that will give you support and encouragement to chase down your dreams.
      And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours.
      (Prayer) Dear Father, bless the hands that you see before you this day. May they always be held by one another. Give them the strength to hold on during the storms of stress and the dark of disillusionment. Keep them tender and gentle as they nurture each other in their love. Help these hands to continue building a relationship founded in Your grace, rich in caring, and devoted to reaching for Your perfection. May M & T see their four hands as healer, protector, shelter, and guide. Amen.

  • http://www.sarahhoppes.com SarahHoppes

    So, just a warning: this is going to be mega long!

    We wanted the best of both worlds -the time honored traditional vows that have been said over and over, and that our parents once said AND the vows we wrote ourselves. So we just did both.

    First we had a “statement of intent” with the traditional vows, where we answered “I do” and then had the personal ones:

    (officiant)
    In Empire Strikes Back, Yoda remarked: “Do or do not. There is no try.” If someone needs to try to articulate vows, that person is not ready to commit either way. But we all know you, Sarah and Chris, are very excited to openly exchange very personal, heartfelt vows.

    Sarah, do you take Chris to be your husband to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, in health, and to love and cherish until death do you part?
    Chris, do you take Sarah to be your wife to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, in health, and to love and cherish until death do you part?

    (officiant)
    Chris and Sarah, you have chosen to exchange personal vows.

    Sarah:

    Chicken, today, we get to say our promises out loud, in front of our friends and family, and maybe a few curious strangers. But before we ever made it here, we knew we were in this for the long haul. We created a home together, adopted a trio of feisty kitties,and forged our tiny family. We chose each other to embark on the journey of marriage, and all our future adventures.

    I choose you because:
    Your creativity and talent inspire me. I’ve never met another person who can write an off-the-cuff song about paying the electric bill, or spend 45 minutes on a tall tale about pasta and pesto.
    You make me gourmet meals on a regular basis, and expect nothing but a hand washing the dishes in return.
    You have a kind soul.
    You spin the tallest tales, but, in real life, you’re always honest with me.
    You encourage my talents, remind me of my worth,a nd never let me think poorly of my self.
    You give me the freedom to be silly, and you never judge me for random songs or sporadic dance moves. I love that I can pepper my speech with near nonsense words, and you still know exactly what I mean every time.
    You offer me a kindness and security I didn’t know was possible and never thought I needed. With you at my side, I know we can accomplish anything.
    As a foundation for our future together:

    I promise to love you, unconditionally, without hesitation, on your best day. And I promise to love you even more on your worst day.
    I promise to laugh and dance with you in times of joy and comfort you in times of sorrow.
    I promise to treat you as an equal partner. I will share in your dreams and challenge you to reach your greatest potential.
    I promise to love, respect, and trust you, and give you the best of myself.
    I will fight for our relationship when I need to, and I will never try to hurt your just because I’m angry or tired. I will always work to be worth of your love, and accept that neither of us is perfect.
    I promise wherever you go, we will go together, where we will build a life far greater than we could ever imagine on our own.
    I will trust you, even when we veer from gps directions, schedules, itineraries, and to-do lists.
    I promise you will always be my family, and we will always be a team.
    I will stand by you for better and worse, in sickness and health, in sunny days and hurricanes.

    You are my best friend, my shelter from the storm, my partner in mischief, and, from this day forward, my husband. I will love and respect you always. With these words, I marry you, and bind my life to yours.

    Chris:

    Sarah, over the last two years and some change, we have built a relationship, built a home, built a company, and adopted three cats. We can now add building a marriage to the list. Today, we exchange our vows and make our union official, joined by our friends and family.

    I choose to marry you because:
    You support and encourage even my most eccentric ideas. You allow and inspire me to be my most creative, and you always make my ideas better.
    You are compassionate and giving, and I have never me anyone as sensitive and warm as you. You make me want to volunteer at soup kitchens, work at animal shelters, and start a community garden.
    I can always count on your to be in my corner.
    With you in my life, I feel like I can write comic books, produce spec commercials, direct movies, and conquer the world.

    I’m promising:
    To always be there for you, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
    I’m promising to be your advocate, your confidant, and your partner in all our future exploits.
    I promise to love you, as I always have, unconditionally, for the rest of our days.
    I promise to respect and honor you in every way I know how, and learn new ways as they come.

    You are my best friend, my creative partner, my ally, my companion, and my wife! I will always love, respect, and honor you, and our life together. And this is all a long way of saying, “Hey! We’re married!”

  • Ariel

    (Ours was a Buddhist ceremony)

    I take you for the love you hold in your heart, and vow to spend my life cultivating my love and care for you, for our family, and for all living things.

    Our relationship is my most important consideration; it gives me strength, and I vow to put every effort into strengthening it in turn through honesty, faithfulness, and patience.

    For all the days that we live with one another, I promise to spend each day working to become a more true version of myself, and I will do my upmost to help you do the same. In this effort, I take the Threefold Refuge vows, the Three Boundless precepts, the Ten Grave Precepts, as well as your wisdom and your council as my guides.

  • Denzi

    We mostly took things straight from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer. The declaration of consent (at the beginning of the ceremony) has a communal vow/consent/thing, which I liked. I would have taken out “husband” and “wife” entirely and just said “partner,” but our priest wouldn’t let us. (I still have not asked her why, but it confuses me since she is a legally and religiously married lesbian. *shrug*)

    THE DECLARATION OF CONSENT
    The Celebrant says
    [Denzi], will you have this man to be your husband and partner; to live together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?
    [Denzi] answers
    I will.

    The Celebrant says
    [Hot Guy], will you have this woman to be your wife and partner; to live together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?
    [Hot Guy] answers
    I will.

    The Celebrant then addresses the congregation, saying
    Will all of you witnessing these promises do all in your power to uphold these two persons in their marriage?
    People We will.

    In the Episcopal Church, “the marriage” itself is this part of the service:
    THE MARRIAGE

    [Hot Guy], facing [Denzi] and taking her right hand in his, says
    In the Name of God, I, [Hot Guy], take you, [Denzi], to be my wife and partner, 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, for as long as we both shall live. This is my solemn vow.

    Then they loose their hands, and [Denzi], still facing [Hot Guy], takes his right hand in hers, and says
    In the Name of God, I, [Denzi], take you, [Hot Guy], to be my husband and partner, 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, for as long as we both shall live. This is my solemn vow.
    They loose their hands.

    The Priest may ask God’s blessing on a ring or rings as follows
    Lord, bless these rings which we bless in your name. Grant that those who wear them may always have a deep faith in each other. May they do your will and always live together in peace, good will, and love. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
    People Amen.

    The giver places the ring on the ring-finger of the other’s hand and says
    N., I give you this ring as a symbol of my vow, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you, in the Name of God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.

    Then the Celebrant joins the right hands of the couple and says
    Now that [Hot Guy and Denzi] have given themselves to each other by solemn vows, with the joining of hands and the giving and receiving of rings, I pronounce that they are joined in marriage, in the Name of God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. Those whom God has joined together let no one put asunder.
    People Amen.

    One of my favorite bits of trivia about this form of the marriage ceremony is that the priest isn’t actually marrying you–you give yourself to each other by the vows and the joining of hands. The priest is just there to witness and pronounce it.

  • http://3upadventures.com Beth

    We wrote our vows with a lot of help from the first go-round of APW’s Wedding Vows open thread. I’m pretty sure we borrowed from Maddie and a couple others:

    Forrest: I will love, respect, and trust you, and give you the best of myself.

    Beth: I will love, respect, and trust you, and give you the best of myself.

    Forrest: I will travel our road with you; wherever you go, I will go; whatever you face, I will face.

    Beth: I will travel our road with you; wherever you go, I will go; whatever you face, I will face.

    Forrest: I will honor the strong love that has grown between us; that love has made you my family. You are part of who I am and that can’t ever be undone.

    Beth: I will honor the strong love that has grown between us; that love has made you my family. You are part of who I am and that can’t ever be undone.

    Forrest: Do you vow to be my wife?

    Beth: I do. Do you vow to be my husband?

    Forrest: I do.

  • http://www.KatesShortandSweets.com Kate

    We were inspired by the structure of Jen’s vows ( http://apracticalwedding.com/2011/07/how-to-write-wedding-vows/ ), and I also very strongly wanted to incorporate the traditional in our non-traditional wedding

    Zach:
    I promise to tell you you’re pretty
    I promise to help solve your problems without too much circular logic
    I promise to bring you flowers when you are sad
    I promise to let you steal all the blankets until you get too hot and kick them off.
    I promise not to bring home any more puppies unless they’re really, really cute.
    I promise to get my shit together at least once a month
    I promise to comfort you when you need it and hug you until its ok
    I promise to hold your hand in public even when I’m grumpy
    I promise to hit on you in awesome accents and grab your butt even when we’re old and wrinkly

    Let’s get really, really old together.

    Kate:
    I promise to make you laugh and to laugh with you
    I promise to tell you if I’m faclempt and why
    I promise to roll my eyes with you not at you
    I promise to fill our shelves with books and our bellies with real food
    I promise to treat you with respect and use sarcasm for good
    I promise to poke you until you go to the doctor & make you take care of yourself
    I promise not to give the puppies away
    I promise to believe your compliments
    I promise to let you grab my butt even when we’re old and wrinkly

    Let’s get really, really old together.

    Zach/Kate
    I, ______, take you _______, 
to be my lawfully wedded wife/husband, to have and to hold,
 for better or for worse,
 for richer or for poorer,
 in sickness and in health,
 to love and to cherish, from this day forward,
 until death do us part.

    • Amie

      Perfect.

      • http://www.katesshortandsweets.com Kate

        thanks :) I’m really happy with them, still, almost two years later.

  • http://Domestocrat.net Kim S

    What a wonderful idea for a post. Reading through these definitely made me cry!

    I got married in May 2011 (and had a wedding grad post on here that I’m having trouble linking to as I’m posting from my phone)…Here are our vows:

    ______, today I take you as my [husband/wife] and partner in marriage. I promise to love you deeply and sincerely, respect you, and honor you without reservation. I promise to always be your equal and best friend, to work continuously to build our life together, and to dream your dreams and hold them as my own. I vow to laugh with you through life’s joys and to comfort you through life’s challenges. Above all, I promise to remain your faithful constant for the rest of our lives.

  • http://www.staciafuchsiaphoto.com stacia

    We took turns saying the following:

    1: [NAME], I take you to be my spouse.
    I promise to choose you every day,
    to love you in word and deed,
    to do the hard work of making now into always.
    To laugh with you, cry with you, grow with you, and create with you.
    To honor the divinity in you, of you, and around you.
    To be your kin and your partner in all of life’s adventures.
    Loving what I know of you and trusting what I don’t yet know,
    I give you my hand.
    I give you my love.
    I give you myself.
    Will you give me yourself?
    Will you come travel with me?

    2: I will.

    The last bit is cribbed from Walt Whitman; “loving what I know of you and trusting what I don’t yet know” was pulled from a pamphlet of texts for Unitarian Universalist weddings (I think); and the rest we put together ourselves.

  • LZ

    There are so many things that I love about you, and I can’t say them all here and now.
    I love that I can wake you up after I have a nightmare, and you will always hold me tight until I feel safe again.
    I love that you think getting each other hockey equipment for valentine’s day is as romantic as I do
    I love that you help me to push my boundaries around my assumptions of the world.
    And I know in my heart that our souls have been entwined before, because how else could they fit so perfectly together?
    I will spend my whole life trying to show you how much I love you. Because you are my soulmate. And here are a few of my vows to you:

    I vow to stand by your side always, and to do my best to soothe the hurts that have already happened, as well as the ones that are yet to come.
    I vow to always cherish your family for all that they are, and for everything that they have helped you become.
    I vow to never cross-check you from behind.
    And I vow to celebrate and nurture your dreams, however big or small.
    But most of all, I vow to be your friend, your helpmate, and your trusted companion, for as long as we both shall live

    We each decided to create our own vows, with neither seeing the others until the ceremony. We also requested 1 bridesmaid, 1 groomsmen, 1 parent, and 1 mutual friend to do short, 2 minute “speeches” at the wedding, rather than do wedding readings. We didn’t hear any of them before the ceremony, and it was A-MAZING to be able to soak in everything right then!
    (Note: We both play hockey, and we met playing hockey, so.. hence the hockey references)

  • http://bookish.nu Jenny

    I don’t have my husband’s handy, but here are mine:

    E,
    I remember the first time I saw you – just a glimpse, out of the corner of my eye. When I looked around for you -I couldn’t see you any more, and I immediately felt sad. Lost. Like I was missing a part of myself that I didn’t even know existed until that moment. Later that day, I saw you again, and this time we talked. And from that day, I knew that I had stumbled onto something special, something rare, something true. We’ve been together ever since – for one thousand, seven hundred and eighty-two days – an entire quarter of our lives – and not a second has gone by where I’ve ever doubted choosing you. Because I have chosen you, I do choose you, and I promise that every day, for the rest of my life, I’ll choose you. I promise to always be there for you, no matter what. I promise to listen to you, and give you hugs, and let you cook me dinner. I promise not to adopt stray animals without asking you first. I promise to always be on – and by – your side. I promise to trust you, to laugh with you, to cry with you, to go on adventures with you. I promise to be the best wife I can possibly be, because, well, Mr. Darcy said it best – You have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you.

  • Sooz

    We are huge geeks, so we made a real effort to make our vows reflect that, since it’s such a big part of our lives.

    Vows:
    Paul/Sooz, I promise to be your loving wife/husband and fellow adventurer;
    to cherish your love, intellect, and unique skills and attributes;
    to support you in any quest, to challenge you to grow, and to always lend you dice.
    I will delight with you in happiness, comfort you in sorrow, and conspire with you in mischief.
    Together we will create a family which is welcoming, accepting of all, fun-loving, and chaotic good.
    My love is yours today, tomorrow, and for all the days before us.

    And ring statement:
    I give you this +20 ring of reciprocal binding as a permanent bonus to our Relationship Attribute. Equip it now in preparation for our upcoming Married Life quest.

    Sooz

  • Anna

    We had a textbook civil ceremony overseas:

    Official: Are you [husband’s name]?
    Husband: Yes.
    Official: Are you [wife’s name]?
    Wife: Yes.

    Official: Do you, [husband], intend to take this woman, [wife], as your wife?
    Husband: Yes.
    Official: Do you, [wife], intend to take this man, [husband], as your husband?
    Wife: Yes.

    ***
    This ceremony was important for us because we had one of our friends translating – the official read the original language for husband’s family, our translator read English for mine. We both only had to respond yes on two occasions. This made the bilingual issue not a problem (huge sigh of relief for me!)!

    Plus we worked together on the translation – and then the official and our friend kept pronouncing my hometown as “Chin-chin-nati, O-Yo” (Cincinnati, Ohio). So even with a very straight-forward text, it was still ours and I still am excited to add it to the list!!

  • Hope

    “I, xx, take you, xx, to be my husband/wife in righteousness, justice, steadfast love, and compassion. Before God and everyone present here, I commit myself to be faithful to you actively and creatively. I promise to love you, serve you, respect you, encourage you, and give myself up for you, in all circumstances, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, as long as our lives shall last. I marry you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

    We based the first part of our vows from a passage in the biblical book of Hosea where God talks about how he relates to his people in bride/groom metaphors, and uses those descriptors. We also wanted to emphasize the active and creative aspects of fidelity–fidelity is not just refraining from having an affair, it is *being there* actively. I also just wanted to say the words, “I marry you.” :)

  • Stassia

    I found threads like these so helpful when we were trying to create our ceremony, now it’s nice to be able to pass it on. For us, these words felt right the moment we read them. We also ended up doing a knot tying ceremony, and the two elements flowed together beautifully.

    I, ¬¬¬_______ – take you ______ to be the wife/husband of my days
    the companion of my house,
    the friend of my life.
    We shall bear together
    whatever trouble and sorrow
    life may lay upon us;
    And we shall share together
    whatever good and joyful things
    life may bring us.
    With these words
    and all the words of my heart
    I marry you and bind my life to yours.

  • http://www.advancedlivingforbeginners.com Jen W

    We wrote a few lines separately and surprised each other at the ceremony, but agreed to both end our vows with the following:
    “Today, surrounded by people who love us, I choose you (name) to be my partner. I am proud to be your husband/wife and to join my life with yours. I vow to support you, push you, inspire you and above all love you, for better or worse, in sickness and health, for richer or poorer, as long as we both shall live.”

    The vows we composed separately wound up being basically the same, so that was really nice. Except I quoted Ghostbusters, which went over very well.

  • Meredith

    We pulled our vows from our 3 readings — “Letters to a Young Poet” by Rainer Maria Rilke, “The Irrational Season” by Madeleine L’Engle and “Poetry and Marriage” by Wendell Berry — which I found to be a nice way of tying the ceremony together (while making for some beautiful poetry!):

    Today and every day hereafter, till death do us part, I _______
    Stand at the gate of your depths and appoint you the guardian of my solitude.
    I will see you, my husband/wife _______, as a whole and before an immense sky, and
    Collect and save for our love, and gather honey.
    I will courageously move into the risk of love with you which is permanent,
    Love not possession but participation.
    Though I do not know our road; I commit my life to the way.
    This is my word.

    Still makes me tear up….!

    • http://writemeg.com Megan

      “Though I do not know our road; I commit my life to the way.”

      Love, love, love. Just added that line to my own cobbled vows! How gorgeous and perfect.

  • Brittany

    We wrote our vows the night before the wedding. Mine were taking from an earlier letter I’d written to my husband.

    “You are my best friend and partner in all things. You make me a better person by supporting me, respecting me, trusting me, and loving me. I am so grateful to have you by my side.

    Today, in front of our friends and family, I take you to be my husband.

    I vow to always be an active participant in our marriage, even in our most trying times, and to recognize that your needs are equally as important as my own.

    I promise to love you more each day than the last, to share in your joys and your sorrows, and to enjoy all we have to offer each other.

    I look forward to a rewarding, loving, and exciting shared future with you. Today I give you my hand, my heart, and my love – unconditionally, completely, and forever.”

  • Megan

    My husband and I said these vows to each other when we married:

    “Beloved, I take you to be my spouse, to laugh with you in joy, to grieve with you in sorrow, to grow with you in love, and to encourage you in faith. I promise to love you unconditionally, to support the call God has placed in your life, to walk with you through successes and failures, to honor and respect you, and to cherish and care for you as long as we both shall live.”

    They were also the vows my best friend/maid of honor and her husband said to one another a little over a year before our wedding. I loved being able to tie our wedding to theirs in a small way and I love how these words lift up the most important parts of our life together.

  • Kat

    We got married in 2010 and stole ours from all sorts of sources.
    We both said the same thing:

    _____________, I love you more than I can express with words alone
    You are the most amazing person I know.
    You are my best friend
    You are the only person I could spend every day with for the rest of my life.
    I am so excited to grow old with you.
    I promise to always be there for you.
    To support you in everything you do.
    To inspire you and to help you grow.
    To fall in love with you every day.
    To share with you every part of me.

    I, __________, take you, ___________, to be my husband/wife. To have and to hug you, to honour you, to treasure you, to be at your side in sorrow and in joy, in the good times, and in the bad, and to love and cherish you always. I promise you this from my heart, for all the days of my life.

  • http://www.thedaviesdealings.blogspot.com Kara

    My husband cobbled together our vows based on a “standard” wedding service our officiant does. Hubby Dearest consulted some books from our local library, the service of his brother’s wedding (held a whopping 14 months before our wedding), google, and our own personal preferences. We wanted our wedding to feel like a church service, so we had a sermon, we had some hymns sung and we had all sorts of personal touches thrown in. (My favorite aside from the kick ass music choices we made? Getting married barefoot.) I’m just gonna post our whole ceremony here, just for kicks and giggles. :)

    Our ceremony starts with my two cousins walking in to “Some day my prince will come” and lighting candles on our altar. My brothers escorted my grandmothers and great aunt in and ushered them to their seats to “Psalm 45: A Noble Theme” by Aussie group Sons of Korah. My husband escorted his mother in and showed her to her seat with his father following right behind. My husband joined his bestman and groomsmen and our officiant at the front of the church. My oldest little brother escorted my mom in next. Our mothers walked up the steps and each lit one of our unity candles, representing our two families. They walked back down hand in hand before sitting again. My bridesmaids entered in to the GORGEOUS strains of “The John Dunbar Theme” from Dances with Wolves. (Hubby is a movie freak so we had a very varied music selection for the whole day.) My maids were taken up the steps to the altar by their respective groomsmen and all eyes waited for me. Our pianist launched into “Miss Claire Remembers” by Enya (told you we had an odd mix!) and at the right moment, the doors opened, my mom stood up, everyone else stood up and Dad and I made our way to the front.

    Our officiant (henceforth known as Pastor Steve) welcomed everyone and said a prayer before asking who was giving me away. Both my parents said “we do” and we nailed the handoff of my hand from my dad’s hand to Glenn’s. We made our way to the altar and our ceremony started.

    Pastor Steve honored our wishes and loudly belted out the mawwiage scene from Princess Bride. It had everyone rolling and got our day off to a good start. Marriage is serious business but it is also fun so we thought laughter was appropriate!

    PS “Will you please face each other and join hands? Hand in hand you enter marriage, hand in hand you step out in faith. The hand you freely give to each other, is both the strongest and the most tender part of your body. In the years ahead you will need both strength and tenderness. Be firm in your commitment. Don’t let your grip become weak. And yet, be flexible as you go through change. Don’t let your hold become intolerable. Strength and tenderness, firm commitment and flexibility, of such is a marriage made, hand in hand. Also remember thant you don’t walk this path alone. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others when together you face difficulty. Other hands are there: friends, family and the church. To accept an outreached hand is not an admission of failure, but an act of faith. For behind us, underneath us, all around us, are the outstretched arms of the Lord. It is unto his hand, the hands of God in Jesus Christ, that above all else, we commit this union of husband and wife. It is God’s hand that has led Glenn and Kara to this place, and in recognition of this, they have chosen several hymns for today’s celebration. We invite you to stand and join us.”

    We sang “How Great is Our God” (Chris Tomlin) and “How Great Thou Art” (my Grampa Larson’s favorite hymn, I didn’t know this when we chose it) and “In Christ Alone” (Stuart Townend). This trio of songs was played at an Easter service and at the same moment we both blurted out “I want these sung at our wedding!”.

    A good friend of my hubby’s read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 before we said our vows.

    PS “As you take these vows, Glenn and Kara, I would have you remember: To love is to come together from the pathways of our past and then move forward. Hand in hand, along the uncharted roads of our future, ready to risk, to dream, and to dare. And always believe that all things are possible with faith and love in God, and in each other.

    Glenn, do you take this woman whose hands you hold, choosing her alone to be your lawfully wedded wife? Will you live with her in the holy relationship of matrimony? Do you intend to love her, comfort her, honour and keep her, through good times and bad, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others be faithful to her for as long as you both live?”

    Glenn “I do. I Glenn, take you, Kara Michelle, to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward. For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to honour, to serve and to cherish, til death do us part. I choose you above all others to be my best friend, my companion, my wife and my lover. This I solemnly promise before God.”

    PS “Kara, do you take this man whose hands you hold, choosing him alone to be your lawfully wedded husband? Will you live with him in the holy relationship of matrimony? Do you intend to love him, comfort him, honour and keep him, through good times and bad, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others be faithful to him for as long as you both live?”

    Kara (me!) “I do. I Kara, take you, Matthew Glenn, to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward. For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to honour, to serve and to cherish, til death do us part. I choose you above all others to be my best friend, my companion, my husband and my lover. This I solemnly promise before God.”

    PS “I understand you have bought rings as symbols of your vows? Could I please have the rings? These rings are a beautiful symbol and illustration of the love you have pledged. Every time you look down at these rings they should remind you not only of the promises you made to each other and to your Lord, but also the tone of those words. You will now give and exchange your rings.”

    Glenn ” ‘You’ve captured my heart dear friend. You looked at me and I fell in love. *He choked up here and had to compose himself before continuing.* One look my way and I was hopelessly in love.’ Kara I give you this ring, as a sign of our marriage and of the vows which we have made today. Wear it as it is given, with love and joy!” (Side note: I had my engagement ring on my right pinky and moved it across to my left hand after my wedding band was on.)

    Kara ” ‘His words are kisses, his kisses words. Everything about him delights me and thrills me to no end. This is my lover and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.’ Glenn, I give you this ring, as a sign of our marriage and of the vows which we have made today. Wear it as it is given, with much love and much joy!”

    After we exchanged rings, Pastor Steve explained that we’d be lighting our unity candle, partaking in communion, and signing our marriage license. As a nod to our shared European history, I chose “All The Heavens” by Third Day to play for our unity candle ceremony as it sounded like a celtic hymn. For communion and signing our marriage license (do it during the ceremony, just do it) we were granted permission to use Tam Stout’s “In The Arms Of The Saviour”. Tam had written it for her sister’s wedding and we fell in love with it.

    Once we’d finished signing all our legal paperwork, our parents came up and encircled us in a prayer of blessing. They sat back down, and we went back to our altar. PS “In as much as you, Glenn, and you Kara, have consented together with these vows, in the presence of God and this company, I now pronounce you husband and wife, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Glenn, you may kiss your bride!” *insert a great smooch here*

    PS ” It gives me great pleasure to introduce to you for the very first time – Mr. and Mrs. Glenn and Kara Davies!” We were greeted with a round of applause before our exit song played. Men at Work’s “Land Down Unda”. No one aside from my parents and bridesmaids and us knew our song choice. My mother in law’s face was priceless! A mix of “you what!? oh bloody good choice. love it!” We left to walk down the aisle and I was jerked back. I’d forgotten that my little princess veil carrier was following us. We kissed again and made our way out of the church to a private photo session.

    From start of the ceremony with our candle lighters to my entrance was 15 minutes. From my entrance to kissing up the aisle was about 40 minutes. Whole shebang done in under an hour. We had about half an hour of photos and mingling beffore our reception started and that went for about 3.5 hours. And that was our wedding day, June 29, 2007.

  • AnnDee

    Shamelessly borrowed/inspired from here, there and everywhere:

    Vows:
    I choose you. To stand by your side and sleep in your arms. To be joy to your heart and food for your soul. To learn with you and grow with you, even as time and life change us both.
    I promise to laugh with you in good times and struggle alongside you in bad times. I promise to respect you and cherish you as an individual, a partner, and an equal, knowing that we do not complete, but complement each other.
    May we have many adventures and grow old together.

    And rings:
    I give you this ring as a small token of my love for you. Let all know you are my chosen life partner.

    • http://www.thedaviesdealings.blogspot.com Kara

      “I choose you. To stand by your side and sleep in your arms. To be joy to your heart and food for your soul. To learn with you and grow with you, even as time and life change us both.”

      Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! <3 <3 <3

  • Riah

    For our wedding, we’ll have a declaration of consent, vows and a ring exchange, all of which I consider our promises to each other. For the specific vow section, we’re starting with a mirrored section, written by our officiant with a few tweaks by us, and then an individual, more personalized section, which we will write ourselves later.

    Declaration of Consent
    Officiant: ____ , will you have this man to be your husband, to live together in this covenant of marriage? Will you love him, comfort him, honor him and keep him, in sickness and in health, and above all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?
    I will.

    Vows:
    I, ____, take you, ____ as my husband and my partner for all the days of my life. I promise to keep our relationship loving, open and joyful. I promise to support you for the rest of my life, and I will always encourage you in your ambitions and dreams. I will love you with all my intention and strive to keep you healthy in mind, body and spirit.
    (Here is where we’re putting our own individual vows, to be written later.)
    Officiant: Will you remember the solemnity and joy of these promises and keep this day forever in your heart?
    I will.

    Ring Exchange:
    ____, I give you this ring as a symbol of my vow and my love, with all that I am and all that I have. I am yours and you are mine.

  • Amber

    We’re three years in, so I’d have to get out the video for specifics. We wrote ours about an hour before we did it. I remember promising to forgive him when he screws up. We were such procrastinators, we didn’t have time to think about deep meanings, but did discuss this one at length and decided it was ideal. If there was ever something one of us did the other couldn’t forgive, it would be the end of the relationship, so yeah I promise to always pardon his faults… Until I can’t.

  • http://www.lyssabeths.com/write_your_own_wedding_ceremony_book.html Maureen

    My husband and I were in our 40s when we got married, so here are some vows for you “oldsters!”

    You found me in the autumn of my life and reaffirmed my capacity to love. In your arms, my spirit has been nurtured and my heart restored.

    And so I promise to spend the autumn and the winter of my life caring for you and loving you passionately, not only when it is effortless, but also at the times when I must make a conscious decision to do so.

    I will give you wings by encouraging your spirit to soar and I will give you roots by helping to ground you when you are feeling lost or afraid.

    I pledge to make our life an exciting adventure that will last until the end of time.

    I promise to nurture my own mind, body and spirit so that I can bring vitality to our relationship.

    I will never take your love for granted.

    I will listen without judgment, reveal my feelings truthfully and kindly and I will not run away from a challenge.

    For the both of us I vow to take the road less traveled, to fill our lives with joy and to never stop dreaming.

    • http://www.thedaviesdealings.blogspot.com Kara

      Awww, you’ve got me in tears! <3 this! "You found me in the autumn of my life and reaffirmed my capacity to love. In your arms, my spirit has been nurtured and my heart restored."

    • LIZ (SINCE 1982)

      These are gorgeous! And 40s is still summer, surely? I hope you two have many happy years together!

  • Revedehautbois

    Me: I, [self], choose you [husband] 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 wife?

    Husband: I do.

    And then he said the same but with names & genders switched, except that, in the actual ceremony I got confused and thought he asked me to be his husband, so I tried to correct him & he obligingly asked if I’d take him to be my wife. It was kind of amazing. :)

  • Ashlyn

    I take you, _________, to be my wife/husband,
    and these things I promise you:
    I will be faithful to you and honest with you;
    I will honor the faith and trust you place in me;
    I will respect, help, and care for you;
    I will forgive you as we have been forgiven;
    and I will share my life with you,
    through the best and worst of all that is to come,
    until death parts us.

    RINGS:
    I give you this ring as a token that I shall love you in all times, in all places, and in all ways, forever. (“all times, all places, all ways, forever” is inscribed in the rings.)

  • Carolyn

    We cobbled together our vows from Teh Internetz, books, and such, and then modified them to make them our own. We hadn’t plan on memorization, but a few days before the wedding, in reviewing the ceremony with our officiant, my uncle (who is a judge and performed our marriage ceremony, which was amazing!) was shocked and appalled that we hadn’t. So the few days leading up to the wedding, every waking moment together, we practiced and practiced and practiced. And it made the ceremony so much more calm, happy, and personal. We repeat our vows every now and then, just to make sure we still got it.

    —–

    I, (me), take you (you) to be the (husband/wife) of my days, the companion of my house, the friend of my life.
    We shall bear together whatever trouble and sorrow life may lay upon us,
    And we shall share together whatever good and joyful things life may bring us.
    With these words, and all the words of my heart,
    I marry you and bind my life to yours.

    —–

  • MCL

    We modified the Anglican vows. Although we are both not religious, it felt right to us to have a more traditional ceremony. Our readings were more fun and addressed the other aspects of our personalities.

    Intent to Marry:

    Minister to Groom: G, will you receive B as your wife? Will you pledge to her to love her; comfort her; honor and respect her; to enjoy life with her in health, and serve her in sickness; cherish her with a husband’s loyalty and devotion forsaking all others, so long as you both shall live?

    Groom: I will.

    Minister to Bride: B, will you receive G as your husband? Will you pledge to him to love him; comfort him; honor and respect him; to enjoy life with him in health, and serve him in sickness; cherish him with a wife’s loyalty and devotion forsaking all others, so long as you both shall live?

    Bride: I will.

    Wedding Vows:

    I Groom / Bride, freely and with love and sincere desire, take thee, Bride / Groom to become my wedded wife / husband 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.

    The ring exchange was more non-denominational:

    With this ring I do accept you as my wedded wife / husband; to be my companion through life; my friend in good times and bad. All that I am I give to you and all that I have I share with you.

  • http://writemeg.com Megan

    Welp, I’ve been crying into my Diet Coke for the last half hour — and I officially started a “Vows ideas” Google doc in my already overstuffed wedding folder. (I’m very OCD.)

    We’re getting married in November, and my fiance and I have gone back and forth regarding whether to recite “traditional” vows or craft our own. As a writer myself, I was tempted to go the original route — but felt too scared to begin that process. As with all things throughout the planning process, APW and its wonderful community have inspired and calmed me! I’ve just “cobbled” together a draft of what I would love to pledge to my beloved, and I feel super awesome now.

    xoxo to you all!

  • http://catoctinmountainmama.blogspot.com/ Catoctin Mountain Mama

    My Wedding Vows were a combination of my own words, Buddhist Vows, Jain Vows (my husband is Indian and even though I was interested in having a Jain priest marry us, he was not), and an analogy I picked up from a book many years ago.

    My husband’s Wedding Vows made everyone laugh (friends still quote one of his lines, 3 years later) and were about celebrating our differences.

    At least half of our guests, complimented us on our Vows and how they fit each of our personalities so perfectly. I’m a big fan of writing your own Vows.

    http://catoctinmountainmama.blogspot.com/2012/11/my-wedding-vows.html

  • http://delightfulcrumb.com Stacy

    Since I benefited from the prior APW thread on this subject when I was working with my husband to write our vows, I feel I must chime in here! This portion of our ceremony was so meaningful to me, and there were surely many tears when these words were spoken.

    These are our vows:

    Today I make a solemn vow before God and all who are present here.
    I, [name], take you, [name], to be my [husband/wife],
    to have and to hold from this day forward,
    for better or for worse,
    for richer or for poorer,
    in sickness and in health,
    to love and to cherish
    all the days of my life.

    Forsaking all other options,
    I commit myself to you.
    I will seek to serve you
    with tenderness and respect,
    energy and intelligence,
    imagination and love.

    I promise to share with you in your dreams,
    to consider your well-being as important as my own and
    to listen with you for God’s call on our lives.

    Where you go, I will go; your adventures will be mine.
    And I will keep on choosing you, every day, forever.

  • NH

    The Scottish Episcopal marriage liturgy has some useful material for people who want variants on the traditional vows:

  • Ashley

    Love reading these! Here are ours, filled with some sort of inside references and semi-jokes, but also completely serious.
    Me:
    From this day forward, I will be your partner in adventure and misadventure, learning and growing together no matter what challenges we may face.
    I promise to do my best to build a life with you that is comfortable, but not stagnant.
    I promise to trust in you, and communicate my needs knowing that you will hear them, and I promise to always hear yours.
    When you get your words mixed up, I will always laugh– but not too much.
    I will help you pack up your books and lug them somewhere new any time we move, and I will be patient as you sift through and rearrange them as only you would, for months.
    I will always try to live up to the best parts of myself, and to encourage the best parts of you.
    I love you, and I am honored to choose you, and to be chosen, today and every day.

    Him:
    From this day forward, I swear to always be your confidant and you mine.
    I vow to grow old with you and keep the kid in you alive. The kids will have their say.
    I will be honest and faithful to you and only you.
    I promise to always come home to you and the cat, and to share the bed with you both, but mostly you.
    I promise to resist the urge to scare you when you’re walking up the stairs in the middle of the night.
    I will always try to live up to the best parts of myself, and to encourage the best parts of you.
    I love you, and I am honored to choose you, and to be chosen, today and every day.

  • KW

    I did a lot of reading of past threads here as well as other sources online and came up with a huge list of ideas that spoke to me then we talked over together. I know I took our 2 readings and the blessing of rings from online sources (we did not use Biblical readings). Mostly these vows are verbatim from whatever source, but I think we may have slightly modified from the original. Can’t remember anymore because now that we have said them, they are our vows anyway.

    (name), you are my best friend. Today I give myself to you in marriage. I promise to encourage and inspire you, to laugh with you, and to comfort you in times of sorrow and struggle. I promise to love you in good times and in bad, when life seems easy and when it seems hard, when our love is simple, and when it is an effort. I promise to cherish and honor you, and to always hold you in highest regard. These things I give to you today, and all the days of our life.

  • Jessica

    We wrote our own ketubah, and based the language on numerous different sources. During the ceremony, we honored some friends by having them read it aloud.

    On the first day of the week, the first day of the month of Elul in the year 5772, corresponding to Sunday, the nineteenth day of August in the year 2012, in the city of CITY, STATE, in the presence of witnesses, Jessica (full name) and Jeffrey (full name) declared their intention to establish a home together among the people of Israel.

    Jeffrey said to Jessica:
    In the presence of those who love and support us, I stand humbly before you to ask you to be my wife. I acknowledge the many gifts that you have brought into my life: You have taught me to rely on someone other than myself while allowing me to grow as an individual. You have shown me new ways to reflect on how I want to live my life, which makes me want to share it with you all the more. Your empathy and acceptance for others amazes me and moves me to emulate those qualities. I am a better man because of you, and I love you.

    Jessica said to Jeffrey:
    In the presence of those who love and support us, I stand humbly before you to ask you to be my husband. I acknowledge the many gifts that you have brought into my life: You support me in meeting challenges with my best effort, all the while assuring me that I am enough just as I am. You have taught me to find joy and contentment in the simple and the everyday. The loyalty and devotion you show for the people you love inspires me and moves me to emulate those qualities. You have changed me for the better, and I love you.

    And so, Jessica and Jeffrey asked each other:

    Be a companion and a spouse to me according to the laws of Moses and Israel, with your consent and with your full knowledge. May this marriage be a covenant of partnership and trust as we work to build a life together: sometimes in unison, sometimes in harmony. Let me bind myself to you with respect, with love, with friendship and with joy, so that we may be companions and lovers until the end of days.

    They continued:

    With this ceremony I affirm my intention to provide for you the protections and privileges of all loving couples. As your partner, I pledge to share my life together with you in joy and in hardship; to be sensitive to your needs; to approach all differences with an open mind, and to work to settle them through self-examination, dialogue, and compromise. I vow to share equally in the responsibilities of building a Jewish home, and to recognize and appreciate the contributions that you make to our family. I will add your family to mine and care for them as I would my own. I will always be honest with you, and I commit to responding to our challenges with integrity and good will. Your goals will become my goals, and I will do everything in my power to help you achieve your dreams.

    I joyfully enter into this covenant and solemnly accept its obligations.

  • Katie

    We kept ours short and sweet, but wanted them to reflect the truth and humor of our partnership. We wrote our own, beginning and ending the same way, filling in the blanks with some of the most meaningful promises we could ever make to one another:

    “I promise …… Forever and ever, until one of us dies.”

    They were meaningful and heartfelt and funny. And our family and friends laughed and cried right along with us.

  • Suz

    Ours were very personal. My husband actually dropped in to the conversation with one of the celebrants we met with and said he wanted us to do our own vows (freaked me out a little – I don’t like speaking in public, especially emotionally). They had a little bit of humour and a little bit of seriousness as that was the feel we were going for at our wedding. My husband even started to tear up a little while saying them (he used to make fun of people for crying at their weddings! Our celebrant and I exchanged a “we got him” look). A comment on his vows, I did get mad at him for something that had happened in a dream, granted I wasn’t fully conscious when I got upset because I woke in the middle of the dream! Also, we originally met online and that’s what spurred my comment about finding things online, even spouses! My husband is originally from India and from time to time we’ll watch Bollywood movies, which usually ends up in my spastically dancing along over dramatically to the songs/dances and my husband laughing hysterically.

    His:
    I promise to love you even when you refuse to let me watch the CNN, to cherish you even when you are unhappy about how you are competing for my time with my work laptop, and to understand you even when you are mad at me because of something that happened in a dream. I promise to always be patient, honest, and compassionate with you. I will be your best friend, your sweetheart, your helpmate throughout life, always putting you first above my own needs. I vow to understand you even when I sometimes don’t; to admit that I am in the wrong when I mistakenly think I am in the right; and to bring you flowers at least once a month as I am bound to have done something that I should apologize for. Humor aside, since we met my life has flourished and I owe a big part of that to you. You are an amazing, strong, beautiful woman who I love and respect and I am honored that you will be my wife. I promise to support you and give you freedom to grow as an individual. I look forward to celebrating our life together, and coming home to you every day. You are my friend, my love, and my happiness for as long as we both shall live.

    I love you and that is why I, _____________, take you, ___________, as my lawfully wedded wife. (the required legal bit)

    So on this day, I give you this ring
    In honour our past together (put partially on index finger)
    To celebrate our present together (put partially on middle finger)
    And respect our future together (put all the way on ring finger)
    May you look upon this ring as a reminder of our love.

    Mine:
    When _________ first mentioned he wanted us to write our own wedding vows, I almost had a panic attack! Heck, I am still about to have one! Since I have a hard time expressing how I feel, I turned to the internet for help. I have discovered you can find good things online, even spouses! Most vow examples were too sappy, too cheesy, too religious, or just plain ridiculous, and even one that was just morbid! So much for luck on the internet!

    Now here I am and all I can think of to say is how much I love you no matter how much we may fight about the dishes. How I am here for you even when you may pay more attention to CNN than me. While I may be slightly a klutz and a bit goofy, I will do my best to make you smile even if it means doing an exaggerated Bollywood style dance. And even when I’m in a bad mood and you tease me, I will try not to roll my eyes and sulk.

    Life couldn’t have given someone better suited for me with enough differences to keep me on my toes. Our ride through life so far hasn’t always been easy and has sometimes been downright entertaining but though it all you have become my best friend, confidant, funny guy, and soul mate. You have encouraged, supported, amused, irritated, smoothed my rough edges, and have loved me through it all. I only hope that I can give you as much love, support, respect, amusement, and so forth as you have given me, just hopefully not the irritation :).

    Which is why I ___________, take you ___________ to be my lawfully wedded husband, to grow together and to share the rest of this journey in life hand in hand, gray hair, old age, wrinkles and all!

    So on this day, I give you this ring
    In honour our past together (put partially on index finger)
    To celebrate our present together (put partially on middle finger)
    And respect our future together (put all the way on ring finger)
    May you look upon this ring as a reminder of our love.

  • http://www.stalkingsarah.com Stalking Sarah

    We had two pieces of “I do”-ness in our secular/Jewish-ish wedding.

    Vows — this was the “I will do this and that” portion
    Ketubah — then we signed a ketubah (marriage contract) that had the vows we’d just said written out on them
    Ring Exchange — this is where we exchanged rings and said “I take you”

    The bit for the ring exchange went like this:
    I, ______, choose you, ______, to be my wife. I will respect you, care for you, and grow with you, through good times and hard times, as your friend, companion, and partner, giving the best that I can, to fulfill our lives together.

  • okiram

    I, ___, take you, ___, to be my husband/wife.
    I promise to always be your biggest fan and your partner in crime
    I promise to create and support a family with you
    In a household filled with laughter, patience, understanding and love.
    I vow not just to grow old together, but to grow together
    I will love you faithfully through the difficult and the easy
    What may come I will always be there
    Each one believing that love never dies
    As I have given you my hand to hold
    So I give you my life to keep.

  • http://www.myhealthychef.wordpress.com Chasity

    We’re getting married on April 20th so we haven’t said our vows to each other yet, but here’s what I’ve come up with so far. I did find a lit of inspiration in reading other people’s vows so I’m happy to share mine, even if they do end up getting changed a time or two before the wedding!

    As we stand here today in front of our friends and family, I choose you. I know that our lives together won’t be perfect. I know that we’re going to have hard times, that we’re going to struggle, and there are going to be times when one or both of us is going to want out. But I choose you. I choose you to be my husband and my companion, the father of my future children, and my partner for life. I choose you because you are the one I want by my side, whether I’m getting lost in a new city or laying on the couch watching HGTV. I choose you because you bring joy, excitement, happiness, comfort, and love to my life. I choose you because we make an awesome team.

    So, I promise to do my best to love you, even on the days when I don’t like you. I will laugh with you when times are good, and endure with you when they’re not. I promise to never take your love for granted. I will cherish you for who you are, not who I want you to be. I will try to think less about what I want and more about what you want. I will adore, honor, and encourage you. I will support you and respect you, as an individual, a partner, and an equal. I will be there for you when you need me and take care of you when you need taking care of.

    I feel so lucky that I get to spend the rest of my life with you and I promise never to forget this day.

  • Alyssa

    Here’s what my wife and I said! Cobbled together mostly from things found online.

    I, ____, take you, ____,
    to be none other than yourself.
    For richer, for poorer,
    in sickness and in health.
    I promise to compromise, to put your needs above my own,
    (She said:) to help you wash the dishes (I said:) to kill all home-invading insects,
    and to hold your hand.
    I promise to love you most when it’s most difficult.
    I promise to give you my support for your achievements,
    my counsel for your problems,
    my prosperity for your prosperity,
    my shoulder for your tears,
    my ear for your voice,
    my arms for your shelter,
    and my hands to build our future.
    Most of all, I promise I will always love you.

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  • Athena

    We each wrote our own vows and didn’t share them with each other prior to the wedding day.

    GROOM: I remember watching a movie with you one evening where a couple was having a huge fight. A character that had witnessed the fight said; “If I fought like that with my ex I’d still be married.” Although it was meant to be funny the words stayed with me and I’d often ponder what the meaning was behind those words. Those words became the foundation for my marriage vows to you on this day:

    I’ll fight for our future together, no matter what challenges we face.

    I’ll fight for your dreams even when you think you can’t anymore.

    Sometimes I’ll fight with you, because I promise to be open, honest and truthful with you; even when you don’t like what I have to say.

    I’ll fight for our love, to keep it strong, even when life tests our resolve.

    And finally, I’ll fight for the last beer in the fridge, since it was probably mine anyways.

    BRIDE: Craig, I knew the moment I met you that you were extraordinary: unassuming, genuine and lacking any pretense or posturing. You were simply you, so confident, so comfortable with yourself, and completely unapologetic about it.

    Something about you, your sincerity I think, compelled me to step outside the limitations my habits and eagerness confined me to, and however inadvertently, by just being Craig, you inspired me, you emboldened me, to restore myself, to become as fully me as I possibly could be. With you, I could wholly, completely, and utterly be myself.

    So today, I promise to champion our shared and separate dreams.

    I promise to always laugh with you, read out loud to you, and be silly with you.

    I promise to entangle my identity with yours, while sustaining our independence.

    I promise to challenge you, probably daily, forever.

    And I promise to always love you- unerringly, unconditionally and unreservedly.

  • SarahP

    My husband and I ended up writing our whole ceremony and handing it to our officiant. Yes – we like to be in control. I didn’t find APW until after all this was created. Follows are a couple of the most significant wordings.

    The Asking:
    Do you, ___, promise to be a loving friend and partner in marriage, to talk and to listen, to trust and appreciate, to respect and cherish ___’s uniqueness?
    Do you promise to support, comfort, and strengthen him/her through life’s joys and sorrows?
    Do you promise to share hopes and dreams as you build your lives together, and to grow with ___ in mind?
    Will you strive to build a home that is compassionate to all, full of respect and honour; filled with peace, happiness, and love?
    Do you promise to always be open and honest with ___, and cherish him/her for as long as you both shall live?
    Both – I Do.

    This is the point in the ceremony when I could usually talk about the wedding bands being a perfect circle, having no beginning and no end. But we all know that these rings do have a beginning. Rock is dug up from the earth. Metal is liquefied in a furnace at a thousand degrees. Hot metal is poured into a mold, cooled and then painstakingly polished. Something beautiful is made from raw elements.
    Love is like that. It’s hot, dirty work. It comes from humble beginnings, made by imperfect beings. It’s the process of making something beautiful where there was once nothing at all.

  • Sarah

    It’s sounds cheesy but it’s actually really beautiful – from Coronation Street, Roy’s specch to Hayley on their wedding day. (Hayley had had gender reassignment surgery and they were told they were not allowed to get married. When the law in England changed, they finally tied the knot).

    Roy says:
    “It is 11 years since we last registered to be married, and we were informed that we could not. We have remained still, and the world has turned, to meet us. My message to you, Hayley, is this: the world can change its rules, its laws, and its opinions, as frequently as it chooses. But I will remain standing beside you. That will not change.”

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  • Morgan

    I borrowed a few lines from other people. Mostly it is my own, though.

    Since I can remember I have always dreamed about finding someone to love forever. Love and finding love has been my passion and my drive my whole life. Because of that I’ve always referred to myself as a hopeless romantic and for the first twenty years of my life it truly felt hopeless. Then I met you, James. You’re everything I ever hoped for. You’re handsome, and more importantly you make me laugh every day. You are the nicest person I’ve ever met, so forgiving of everyone and as someone who can hold a serious grudge, I really admire that about you. You can find a way to fit in anywhere and even make the people around you feel at ease. You have such an optimistic outlook on life and are able to find the silver lining in any situation. Simply by being yourself, you encourage me to be a better person. This is what makes you perfect to me. You’re everything I am not. You give me the freedom to be silly, and you never judge me for the random songs I make up or sporadic dance moves I bust out. I love that I can pepper my speech with near nonsense words, and you still know exactly what I mean every time. You offer me a kindness and security I didn’t know was possible and never thought I needed. With you at my side, I know we can accomplish anything.

    I do not vow to create this union today. It is not possible to create that which has existed for so long already. I vow instead to sustain this union, fighting for it when the need arises and all the while developing it far beyond what was initially thought possible.

    Our life together may never be perfect, but I will always work to perfect it.
    I promise I will always aim to improve myself for you.
    I promise to forever be your anchor when you are lost in the storm, holding you steady until we can find our way home.
    I promise to be your strength when you are weak, because when I am weak you are strong.
    I promise to support you in times of both peace and strife.
    I promise to put your needs before my own, especially when it’s really really hard to.
    I promise to always laugh, even at the silliest of your jokes, because you will always be the funniest boy I know.
    I promise to keep our differences our business.
    I promise to love you to absolute bits.
    I promise to choose you every day, over and over, until time ends.

  • kclench

    My fiancee and I decided to write our own vows, and keep them a secret until our wedding day. Unfortunately, she was killed by a drunk driver six months before our wedding. I never knew what she would have said, but I will include mine if t might inspire someone:

    “Raven, I can’t promise to take away every bit of pain you’ve ever experienced. I’m not a hero, I don’t have a lot of money, and I’ll never be the kind of man you truly deserve. All I can do is to make our every moment together as magical as I possibly can. I want everyone here to hear this: You are my soulmate, the love of my life, and the brightest star in my sky.”

    • Em

      Oh my god. My heart goes out to you. And those are beautiful words.

    • Ani

      I’m so tremendously sorry for your loss. I hope 5 months later you are finding your way through this tragedy towards healing and a semblance of happiness + peace. Your life has been undoubtedly changed forever. Thank you for sharing with us, very inspiring indeed.

  • Mia

    I remember sitting in a Starbucks as I was writing my vows, and having to keep getting up from the table because I was getting teary-eyed! I didn’t expect it to be so emotional, but it really was. My fiancé wrote his vows in french, and mine in English since we have a very bilingual group of family and friends.

    Here are mine:

    I promise you, ________, until my very last breath,
    to fight for life, for joy, for us,
    to never take your actions, words and kindness for granted,
    and to keep leaving you secret notes when we are away from each other.

    I vow to grow with you and not apart,
    to make my accomplishments, ours, and your challenges, mine,
    I will always love you deeply and honestly,
    as your equal and your partner.

    I fiercely want to grow old with you;
    so we can sit on our front porch on a warm summer’s eve,
    so we can hold our frail hands together and laugh about November,
    so I can simply be with you, and know that I am home.

  • Beth R

    Just to add another to this long, old thread…
    I wrote down small thoughts as I had them throughout the planning process and then kind of cobbled them together for my vows. I figured I was on the right track when I would tear up every time I read through them and I hoped that meant I’d gotten the crying out of the way before the wedding, but no luck – I broke down right after the “I choose you” part. Oh, and we also did fake vows during our rehearsal dinner, which was awesome! Still heartfelt, but totally inappropriate for the wedding day itself. Recommended!

    Here are mine:

    J, you have been an amazing partner for the last 40 months and I’ve known since about month 2 that you would be a wonderful person to build a future with. I have never felt so loved or had such a sense of certainty as when I’m with you, and, despite the hard work that is sometimes required of relationships, it is easy being with you, loving you, and being loved by you.

    So, J, I choose you.

    Today, I choose to take you as my husband, and I promise that I will continue to choose you everyday for the rest of our lives.

    I promise to embrace our relationship with love, understanding, respect, and humor and to let that be the foundation of our partnership.

    I promise to continue to travel, to adventure, to learn new skills, and to live a healthful life with you so that we can look back and marvel at how well we lived and how much we did together.

    You have introduced me to many things I now love: crossword puzzles, brussel sprouts – and I promise that I will always keep an open mind and continue to try new things with you: riding bikes, Futurama.

    I love you because you have never asked me to change, but you have let me change, and, more importantly, you have helped me to grow into a better version of myself.

    I know that growth and change are inevitable in our lives and I promise to support and encourage yours, even when it’s hard, always with love in my heart.

    J, I promise that I will make our relationship a priority and that I will work harder every day at cultivating my love for you.

    I am so excited to form our very own family together today.
    I love you.
    Thank you for choosing me.

  • Julia

    We did our vows in the form of a dialogue poem that we wrote together:

    Me: I promise to share my life with you,

    Him: while giving you space to live your own life. I promise to be my best self,

    Me: and to support you in being your best self. I promise to always love you,

    Him: even when you’re being really difficult. I promise to be kind and considerate,

    Me: to you and to our families,

    Together: and to never give up on us.

    We also did a community vow after our vows. Our officiant said: “Now, that you, beloved friends and family, have heard them recite their vows, do you promise to encourage them and love them, to give them your guidance, and to support them in being steadfast in the promises that they have made?”

    Guests: We do!

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