Despite the countless hours planning, thousands of choices you make and ultimate last minute decisions, your wedding day is really about the one or two paragraphs you and your spouse to be exchange to commit to each other and publicly exhibit that commitment to family and friends. Reviewing examples of wedding vows show how diverse, simple, complex and even convoluted these critical but essentially similar words can be for each couple and what they can mean to each person. The following is some samples as well as some brief advice on how to make your vows memorable.
Wedding vows are about commitment. You are publicly affirming that “yes” you do love this person and “yes” you will commit to a formal, public, recognized relationship with them. The basic rule of any wedding vow is to keep them simple and avoid going overboard with your affirmation. Remember that your guests, as happy as they are for you both, have patience and concentration limits (as do the wedding party and likely your spouse to be.)
Keeping your vows simple, to the point and effused with your love and commitment is the best advice regarding examples of wedding vows that convey meaning, but do not go over board. The purpose of your vows, apart from any personal meaning, is to make your commitment public. Wedding vows date back to Biblical times and as a public commitment have been evidenced throughout history; this makes sense since marriage is one of the most enduring and consistent traditions of almost every recorded cultures.
The following are a few sample examples of wedding vows:
I, (Bride/Groom), take you (Groom/Bride), to be my (wife/husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.
I (name), take you (name) to be my (husband/wife), my partner in life and my one true love. I will cherish our union and love you more each day than I did the day before. I will trust you and respect you, laugh with you and cry with you, loving you faithfully through good times and bad, regardless of the obstacles we may face together. I give you my hand, my heart, and my love, from this day forward for as long as we both shall live.
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.
I, (name), take you, (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.
I, [name], choose you [name] to be my [husband/wife], to respect you in your successes and in your failures, to care for you in sickness and in health, to nurture you, and to grow with you throughout the seasons of life.
In some weddings, after the solitary vows, the bride and groom recite a vow in unison while lighting a bride and groom personalized unity candle. This adds to the public commitment as well as provides a physical frame of reference for the audience. It also serves as the first two public acts the couple complete as a formal, recognized, committed partnership.
Wedding vows are the most public steps you will take in your commitment to each other apart from moving in together or changing names. Whether you use these examples of wedding vows or come up with your own, your goal is to express your love and commitment and to publicly tell the audience and the world, that as a couple, you are there for each other.