March 25, 2014 Barry Tuchman

About Your Vows

The promises you share with each other during your ceremony should only contain words which each of you identify with. These are promises of your commitment to each other. Vows are not a formal track every bride and groom repeats, thinking that there is something magic in the prescribed wording of the text. What will make your vows sacred is not the text but the intent. Vows are an outward expression of your promise to be with your partner no matter what.

Vows are not opportunities to express your feelings of love or how the other makes you a better person. These are important feelings and expressions of love, but they are not what should be included in your vows.

As you view the vows I have selected or written, you will notice two things similar to all of them. First, they are only one paragraph long. Your vows are not the cue to wax eloquent, poetic or long. Second, you will notice that vows only contain promises to the other such as, “I will be by your side, for in good times as well as trying…” “Sickness/Health, better/worse” etc.

Many couples who write their own vows will use these as a guide. They also like to keep their original vows secret, to share with their beloved just at the ceremony as a surprise.

Understanding the concept of what the vows are, will aid you in choosing the vows which most closely match the commitment the two of you share. Use these any way you wish. Cut and paste, copy or use as a basic template for your own creative promises to each other.

Sample Vows

1. Traditional Jewish: Do you, (groom) take (bride) to be your wife, promising to cherish and protect her, whether in good fortune or in adversity and to seek together with her a life hallowed by the faith of Israel?

And do you, (bride) take (groom) to be your husband, promising to cherish and protect him whether in good fortune or in adversity and to seek together with him a life hallowed by the faith of Israel?

2. I ___________ take you _________ to be my wedded _______________. To have and to hold from this day forward. For better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, in good times and times of trial from this day forth.

3. Groom: ___________, to you this day, I give a promise. I promise to take you to my heart as you are and as you will be. Your joy will be my joy, your sorrow will be my sorrow. I promise to you my life’s labor, my trust, and my friendship. We shall grow together and be more in love in the future than we are today. I will be sanctuary, I will be warmth, I will be acceptance.

Bride: __________, from you, my dearest, I accept this promise. I receive it with love and give to you a promise. I stand with you as companion, lover, and friend, I promise you my life’s devotion as we grow closer together, committed to be more in love in the future than we are today. I will be strength, I will be light, and I will be hope.

4. I, ___________ receive you, ___________ as my wife. To love and to adore from this day on. I will stay by your side as a support and helper. In times that are trying and times of joy. When you are sick, I will comfort you. When you are fearful, I will hold you. Accept my complete commitment, which I pledge to you this day.

I, ____________Accept your commitment and receive you as my husband and give myself to you from this day forward. I will stay by you side as a support and helper. In times that are trying and times of Joy. When you are sick, I will comfort you. When you are fearful, I will hold you. Accept my complete commitment, which I pledge to you this day.

5.____________, I receive you as my wife from this moment on. I will be a support for you and care for you in times of joy and times of sorrow. In times of prosperity and times of lack, I will be with you. In times of illness and times of health, you will find me by your side. Accept this day, the greatest gift I could bestow, a gift freely given, the gift of my love.

____________, I receive your gift with an open heart from this moment on. I will also stay by your side in times of joy and time of sorrow. In times of prosperity as well as times of lack, I will remain faithful. We will share and grow together in the periods of illness as in time of health. Accept this day the greatest gift I could bestow, a gift freely given, the gift of my love.

6. ____________, in this and every moment after, I embrace you as my wife. It is with deep love and commitment, that I pledge my life and loyalty to you. Beside you I will stand, in times that are prosperous as well as times that may be lean. Whether you are well or ill, you will find me beside you. In seasons of joy and seasons of challenge, I will be strength to you. Accept these promises which I gladly share with you this day.

___________, I receive your pledge and love, embracing you as my husband, in this moment and every moment after. I pledge to you my love and loyalty. Beside you I will stand in times that are prosperous as well as times that are lean. Whether you are well or ill, I will remain beside you. In seasons of joy and seasons of challenge, I will be strength to you. Accept these promises which I gladly share with you this day.

NOTE:

1. Vows are only one paragraph long. 2. Vows are your promises to your beloved.

Remember, this is your wedding and there are no rules as to what you say and how you say it. Be creative or inspirational. Humor works well as long as the vows have the words of commitment within them.