Wedding Vows

Last updated: December 10, 2008

The bride and groom may either choose to recite traditional vows, or write their own vows.  Many people also like to use selected readings from religious texts (e.g. The Bible), poetry, quotes, love letters, etc.  Some people also choose to do a mix of traditional vows and their own words.  Be sure this is alright with your officiant.  

Sample of a traditional wedding vow:
“I ________, take you _________, to be my wife, to love and to cherish, for better, for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, from this day forward, ‘til death do us part.”

If you choose to write your own vows, decide if you want to write them together or by yourself.  If you are getting stuck on writing your vows, here are some ideas of what to talk about:
  • When you first met
  • When you knew you were in love
  • Where do you see yourself in 10, 20, 30 years from now
  • Funny story
  • First date
  • The best thing about your love

Examples of wedding vows from different religions:

Protestant 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/myself to you."

Catholic Vows
"I, _______, take you, _______, for my lawful wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part."
"I, _______, take you, _______, to be my husband/wife. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love and honor you all the days of my life."
Episcopal Vows
"In the name of God, 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 health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death, this is my solemn vow."

Buddhist Vows
_______, in the future, happy occasions will come as surely as the morning.  Difficult times will come as surely as the night.  When things go joyously, meditate according to the Buddhist tradition.  When things go badly, meditate.  Meditation in the manner of the Compassionate Buddha will guide your life. To say the words "love and compassion" is easy.  But to accept that love and compassion are built upon patience and perseverance is not easy.

Hindu Vows

The couple recites the Seven Steps, or Saptha Padhi, around a flame.
"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.

Jewish Vows
Do you ________, take _______ to be your husband/wife? ("I do").  Do you promise to love, cherish and protect him/her, whether in good fortune or in adversity, and to seek with him/her a life hallowed by the faith of Israel? ("I do")
_________, as you place this ring upon the finger of _________, speak to him/ her these vows:
"With this ring, be thou consecrated unto me, as my husband/wife, according to the law of God and the faith of Israel."

Muslim Vows
Bride: "I, _______, offer you myself in marriage in accordance with the instructions of the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him. I pledge, in honesty and with sincerity, to be for you an obedient and faithful wife."
Groom: "I pledge, in honesty and sincerity, to be for you a faithful and helpful husband."

Quaker Vows
"In the presence of God and these our friends I take thee to be my husband/wife, promising with Divine assistance to be unto thee a loving and faithful husband/wife so long as we both shall live."

Russian Orthodox Vows
"I, _______, take you, _______, as my wedded wife/husband and I promise you love, honor, and respect; to be faithful to you, and not to forsake you until death do us part. So help me God, one in the Holy Trinity, and all the Saints."