|Rather than sticking to the traditional wedding script, many couples are choosing their own wedding vows, or even writing new vows from scratch. If you’re looking for something meaningful to say during the most significant part of your wedding ceremony, here are some suggestions to get you started. You can always check your choice with your registrar to be sure they are suitable.
Before you begin, there are a few rules to take into consideration. Legally, a civil ceremony cannot contain vows, readings or music that have any religious references. You’ll also need to include the statutory declarations. That is to:
“…Solemnly declare that I know not of any lawful impediment why I, (name), may not be joined in matrimony to (name)”
A few tips
- Be sincere but not overly gushing or intimate – you don’t want your guests to feel uncomfortable. If you want to say something deeply personal, you could always send your partner a private love letter on the morning of your wedding as well.
- Make sure you always check any readings or vows with your registrar in advance. Ideally, give them a typed copy of your vows/readings and a list of your chosen music a fortnight before the big day.
- If you’re struggling to find the right words, use a thesaurus. It’ll help you to avoid repeating yourself. Words such as ‘love’ and ‘honour’ are naturally popular, but there are plenty of other terms you can include as well.
- If you get stuck for ideas, write one another a letter saying what you love about one another. Think about why you can’t wait to be married. The best lines are often the ones that come straight from the heart.
- If you have children, you could include them as part of your vows. For example, “We exchange our vows today for our future as a couple and a family.”
Here are some examples that could help get you started and make your own.
I promise to love and respect you and to put energy into keeping our love alive. I will be there for you in good times and bad. I will help you when you need help and make space for you to be yourself. I will try to bring you happiness.
I will dedicate myself to you wholeheartedly. I will make time for you and support you in everything you do. I will help you to raise our children to become loving people, and support you in the fundamental role of parent.
I pledge my life to you. I will love, honour and respect you in happy and sad times. I promise to be faithful to only you as long as we both live.
I __, promise to love and cherish you__, for the rest of your life. I will try to bring laughter to your life, and make you happy, I will consider you in the decisions I have to make and value your opinions. Today I vow to be your husband/wife for the rest of our lives.
I will seek to always be loving unto you. I will share your joys and your sorrows and will be devoted unto you until the ultimate parting.
__, I __, take you to be my husband/wife. To have, 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 us do part, and this is my solemn vow.
__, today I promise to respect you always. I will share the good times and bad times with you, be a support and guide. Above all, I will love you from now until our days end.
I, ___ ___, promise to be to you, __ __, a true and loving companion. I promise to be the best husband/wife and parent that I can be and to commit myself forever to our relationship together.
Today I promise to be your husband/wife. I will be faithful and honest, loving and trustworthy. I will seek to bring you stability and order in a chaotic world. I will be your partner and friend for life.
___, in this beautiful garden I dedicate myself to you. Although our lives may change like the seasons, I will love you. As our love grows like a seed to a beautiful flower, I will love you. When the winds of doubt blow through, I will love you. We will stand together, strong, nurtured by each other’s love until the end.
If you feel that traditional wedding vows are a bit stuffy for you, why not go for a funnier, yet equally sentimental approach? For example:
I, ___, take you ___, to be my husband/wife and my Netflix partner in crime for as long as we both shall live – I even promise to watch Pretty Little Liars with you even though it’s the worst show ever made. I promise to love you even when you won’t let me play Call Of Duty and cherish you even when we can’t agree on what takeaway to get.
I promise to always leave the loo seat up. I promise to make you breakfast in bed every weekend. I promise to create a life for us of unexpected and strange adventures. I promise that I will love you forever.
I promise to care for you in sickness and in health unless it is self‐inflicted or two o’ clock in the morning: not to kick you when you are snoring, and to care for your prize collection of comic books.
I promise that I will always let you win arguments (even if I know I am right!), to always let you, to buy you flowers once a week (even if I have nothing to apologise for), and to agree to disagree on which cake is better. It’s lemon drizzle obviously, not fruit cake.
I promise not to Whatsapp my girlfriends after 8 pm, to buy only one pair of shoes a month and to accept all your bad habits because they make you as loveable as you are.
Or how about vows that are likely to make everyone reach for their hankies?
___, you are my best friend and today I take you as my life partner. I promise to laugh with you and cry with you and grow with you. I hope to make you as happy as you have made me, and to love you a little more every day. May we have many adventures and grow old together.
I, ___, promise you, ___, my soulmate, to love you 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.
___ you know me better than anyone else in this world and yet still you manage to love me. You are my best friend and one true love. There is still a part of me today that cannot believe that I’m the one who gets to marry you.”
You are my light, and you’ve shown me more love than I’ve ever known. I promise to never take our love for granted and to show you every day how much you mean to me. I vow to have the patience that love demands, to speak when words are needed and to share in the silence when they are not.
I hope these suggestions help you with your wedding vow writing. If you would like more wedding hints, tips and advice delivered directly to your inbox once a month sign up here and get a free photo checklist guide for your trouble!