Choosing between writing your own personalized wedding vows and using prewritten, traditional wedding vows can often be a tricky choice.
On one hand, personal vows are exceptionally intimate and meaningful to the bride, groom, and their guests in attendance. At the same time, though, using personal vows can be stressful and overwhelming. Also, some couples prefer to exchange these words in private versus in front of all their friends and family.
That said, traditional vows can be very beautiful and just as meaningful for couples while also eliminating that stress. Beyond that, traditional vows are also considered very sacred.
“The nice thing about traditional vows is that they tie you to all of the history that has come before you, and when it’s time to repeat them it’s almost like muscle memory,” says Andrea Eppolito, a wedding planner and event designer. “The rhythm kicks in, and you are able to relax and not worry about what you are going to say. Traditional vows are very classic, easy, and as close to fool-proof as possible.”
Shayla Kelly, the marketing director at Complete Weddings + Events, agrees with Eppolito. “The final weeks leading up to a wedding can be busy and stressful, so using traditional wedding vows is truthfully one less thing you have to think about and practice,” she notes. “Your parents may have also read traditional wedding vows, [allowing you to create] an amazing video of your wedding vows and your parents made into one.”
Continues Eppolito, “If you are religious, your house of worship will have a set that you can look through. Otherwise, the internet has a large selection of traditional vows and verses you can somewhat mix and match so they fit your relationship.”
If you and your partner have decided to use traditional vows, you have quite a few options to choose from. And we’ve provided plenty of examples to help inspire you. You can start with these traditional vows, which we’ve pulled from various wedding websites.
1. Traditional Protestant/Christian Wedding Vows
“I, ___, take thee, ___, to be my wedded husband/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, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge thee my faith [or] pledge myself to you.” (via The Knot)
2. Traditional Quaker Vows
“In the presence of God and these our friends, I take thee to be my wife/husband, promising with divine assistance to be unto thee a loving and faithful husband/wife so long as we both shall live.” (via Martha Stewart Weddings)
3. Jewish Traditional Wedding Vows
As the bride and groom exchange rings, each says, “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.” Then, there is a recital of the Seven Blessings, also known as the Sheva Berakhot. Here’s a translation, provided by Brides:
“Blessed are You, Adonai, our God, Ruler of the universe, gladden the beloved companions as You gladdened Your creatures in the garden of Eden. Blessed are You, Adonai, Who gladdens this couple. Blessed are You, Adonai, our God, Ruler of the universe, Who created joy and gladness, loving couples, mirth, glad song, pleasure, delight, love, loving communities, peace, and companionship. Adonai, our God, let there soon be heard … the voice of the loving couple, the sound of their jubilance from their canopies and of the youths from their song-filled feasts. Blessed are You Who causes the couple to rejoice, one with the other. We bless God for creating joy and happiness, bride and groom, mirth song, gladness and rejoicing, love and harmony, peace and companionship; and we thank God for letting this bride and groom to rejoice together.”
4. Unitarian Traditional Vows
“I, ____, take you, ____, to be the wife/husband/partner of my days, to be the parent 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.” (via A Practical Wedding)
5. Agnostic/Atheist Traditional Wedding Vows Script
If you’re not religious but still want to use traditional prewritten vows, try this agnostic/atheist example from Off Beat Bride:https://10b5571dcbd2bbc8574afa25ebaa7970.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
“Wedding rings have long been a symbol of love — the gold of the ring symbolizes the permanence of the unending circle. _____ and _____, these rings are a symbol of your love for each other. Your rings say that even in your uniqueness you have chosen to be bound together. Let these rings also be a sign that love has substance as well as soul, a present as well as a past, and that, despite its occasional sorrows, love is a circle of happiness, wonder, and delight. May your lives and your family always be encircled by love.”
And then each repeats the following: “____, I give you this ring as a symbol of my love. As it encircles your finger, may it remind you always that you are surrounded by my enduring love.”
6. Civil Ceremony Traditional Wedding Vows
“I, ____, take you to be my lawfully wedded [husband/wife]. Before these witnesses I vow to love you and care for you as long as both shall live. I take you with all your faults and your strengths as I offer myself to you with my faults and strengths. I will help you when you need help, and I will turn to you when I need help. I choose you as the person with whom I will spend my life.” (via Bridal Guide)
7. Buddhist Traditional Wedding Vows
“I, _____, take you, _____, to be my husband/wife, my partner in life, and my one true love. I will cherish our friendship and love you today, tomorrow, and forever. I will trust you and honor you, I will laugh with you and cry with you. Through the best and the worst, Through the difficult and the easy. Whatever may come I will always be there. As I have given you my hand to hold, So I give you my life to keep.” (via Minted)
8. Celtic Wedding 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 cannon 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.” (via My Wedding Vows)
9. Traditional Hindu Wedding Vows
“Let us take the first step to provide for our household a nourishing and pure diet, avoiding those foods injurious to healthy living. Let us take the second step to develop physical, mental, and spiritual powers. Let us take the third step to increase our wealth by righteous means and proper use.
Let us take the fourth step to acquire knowledge, happiness, and harmony by mutual love and trust. Let us take the fifth step so that we are blessed with strong, virtuous, and heroic children. Let us take the sixth step for self-restraint and longevity. Finally, let us take the seventh step and be true companions and remain lifelong partners by this wedlock.” (via Wedding Forward)
10. Traditional Atheist Wedding Vows
I, ______, take you, ______, to be my partner for life. I take you into my family, and take your family as my own. I promise to love you, honor you, and treasure you. I promise to trust you, and to trust in our marriage. I promise to savor our good times, and to have faith that the bad times will pass. I promise to value our differences as much as our common ground. I promise to give you my help and support, and to accept help and support from you. I promise to keep my promises, and not to make promises I can’t keep. I promise to always save you the last waltz.” (via Friendly Atheist)
Previously Published on YourTango