Choosing Your Wedding Vows
Just like anything else in your wedding, your vows can reflect on who you are. You may choose a traditional, a religious, a customized, an interfaith, a multilingual, the possibilities are endless. A “wedding vow” is a set of promises you and your groom make to each other during the wedding ceremony. In Western culture, the wedding vows customarily included the notions of unselfishness such as –love-, faithfulness -forsaking others-, unconditionality -in sickness and in health-, and permanence -until death do us part.
During your vows at the very least you must have an officiant and witnesses present. Traditionally, the groom pronounces his vows first, followed by the bride. The order can be changed; there is no law that sets the order in which the vows said. It is possible for the bride and groom to say the vows in unison to each other. Usually the couple will face each other and join hands for their vows.
Almost all wedding officiants allow you to customize your vows, and it should be discussed prior to the ceremony. If you are unsure about the wordage of your vows, ask your friends, family, and the officiant for some examples they’ve used in the past.
I, (your name), take you, (your name), to be my [opt: lawfully wedded] (husband/wife), my faithful friend, and partner and my love from this day forward. In the presence of God, our family and friends, I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow. I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live.
I, (your name), take you, (your name), to be my friend, my lover, the (mother/father) of my children and my (husband/wife). I will be yours in times of plenty and in times of want, in times of sickness and in times of health, in times of joy and in times of sorrow, in times of failure and in times of triumph. I promise to cherish and respect you, to care and protect you, to comfort and encourage you, and stay with you, for all eternity.
Remember that you and your groom can say different vows.