Are you looking for traditional (or non-traditional) wedding vows that are more personal or poignant? Whatever your reasons, the most popular traditional wedding vows are featured below. Check out the short and sweet versions or the more extensive or less formal ones, but remember to be mindful of your guests and the style of your ceremony.
1. Protestant Wedding Vows
One of the most straightforward approaches to traditional wedding vows is the protestant template. This is the basic script that most people are familiar with already, beginning with a promise to have and hold, and following through to the standard “till death do us part.”
Whether you are a member of this faith or not, using the protestant script for your own vows is a fantastic way to keep the exchange simple, heartfelt, and spiritual.
Example: “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 [or] pledge myself to you.”
2. Baptist Wedding Vows
Baptist weddings share many similarities with other Christian denominations, so the template for wedding vows will look similar to traditional Christian ceremonies. However, music may be incorporated into the vows, including a choir, so consider this when planning your vows. It’s best to keep them short and simple when accompanied by the joyful sounds of the congregation.
Officiant: “Will you, have _____ to be your (wife/husband)? Will you love (her/him), comfort and keep (her/him), and forsaking all others remain true to (her/him), as long as you both shall live?”
Bride/Groom: “I will.”
Repeat: “I, ________, take thee ________, to be my husband/wife, and before God and these witnesses I promise to be a faithful and true husband/wife.”
Example 3: ( Rings Exchange)
“With this ring, I thee wed, and all my worldly goods I thee endow. In sickness and in health, in poverty or in wealth, ’til death do us part.”
3. Catholic Wedding Vows
Different faiths may have varying requirements for wedding vows. For example, in the Roman Catholic faith, some priests may have stricter control over the ceremony and may not allow the use of personal vows. Before including personalized Catholic wedding vows in your ceremony, it is important to consult with the priest who will be officiating. The priest may also ask questions of the couple before the vows to ensure that the relationship is consensual and based on love.
“_____ and _____, have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves to each other in marriage?”
“Will you honor each other as man and wife for the rest of your lives?”
“Will you accept children lovingly from God, and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church?”
4. Hindu Wedding Vows
A traditional Hindu wedding is a grand and elaborate affair, steeped in customs and rituals that are unique to the faith. Hinduism, being one of the oldest religions in the world, has its own distinct set of ceremonies that differ from those of Western religions. Unlike Western weddings, where the exchange of vows is a central feature, Hindu weddings do not have vows in the traditional sense.
Instead, there is a portion of the ceremony dedicated to exchanging promises. One of the most important traditions of a Hindu wedding is the Seven Steps, also known as the Saptapadi. During this ritual, the couple walks around a sacred fire, making seven promises to each other for their future. This is considered to be the most important part of the ceremony, where the couple takes the first step towards a lifetime of love and commitment.
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.
5. Jewish Wedding Vows
Jewish wedding ceremonies have evolved over time, and while traditional Jewish weddings did not typically include traditional wedding vows, the popularity of exchanging vows in Western cultures has led to the inclusion of this custom in modern Jewish weddings. Both Reform and Conservative sects of Judaism now allow couples to exchange vows during the ceremony.
If you are interested in incorporating this tradition, it is important to speak with the officiant beforehand to understand what is allowed and to get an idea of any templates or guidelines that may be followed. It’s worth noting that the traditional Jewish wedding ceremony features ‘Ketubah’ which is a legally binding document that contains the groom’s promises to the bride, and that is read aloud during the ceremony.
Example of Reform Vows:
“Do you,___, take_____ to be your wife/husband, promising to cherish and protect her/him, whether in good fortune or in adversity, and to seek together with her/him a life hallowed by the faith of Israel?”
Example of Conservative Vows: “Do you, ____, take _____ to be your lawfully wedded wife/husband, to love, to honor and to cherish?”
6. Methodist Wedding Vows
The Methodist ceremony is an example of a simple approach to wedding vows. The ceremony typically involves a call and response declaration of consent, where the officiant poses a question and the bride and groom respond with “I do.” This method is popularized by television and film, and it puts most of the speaking duties on the officiant, making it easy for the bride and groom to follow along.
While you can add some custom lines, the script usually remains unchanged and in accordance with tradition. Some couples opt for this approach as it is straightforward and eliminates the need for extensive planning or preparation. It’s worth noting that the Methodist Church encourages couples to personalize the ceremony to reflect their own beliefs and values.
Officiant: “Will you have this woman/man to be your wife/husband, to live together in holy marriage? Will you love her/him, comfort her/him, honor, and keep her/him in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, be faithful to her/him as long as you both shall live?”
Wedded couple: “I do.”
7. Lutheran Wedding Vow
Another simple and traditional approach to wedding vows can be found in the Lutheran faith. Lutherans follow a script that is quite similar to some of the suggested templates found here already.
The emphasis here is placed on the couple, who speak a majority of the vows to one another as a promise for the future. There is a lot of room for customization with this script, so take time to review the template and get an idea of how you can put a personal spin on some of the promises being exchanged.
Example 1: “I take you, ______, to be my wife/husband from this day forward, to join with you and share all that is to come, and I promise to be faithful to you until death parts us.”
Example 2: “I, ______, take you, ______, to be my wife/husband, and these things I promise you: I will be faithful to you and honest with you; I will respect, trust, help, and care for you; I will share my life with you; I will forgive you as we have been forgiven; and I will try with you better to understand ourselves, the world and God; through the best and worst of what is to come, and as long as we live.”
8. Episcopal Wedding Vows
The Episcopal approach to traditional wedding vows places emphasis on calling upon the love of God. This is a common aspect of many Christian wedding ceremonies and the template for an Episcopal exchange usually centers around the promises that the couple makes for their future. As such, couples have the flexibility to include personal promises that align with their beliefs. It is possible to add some personal touches to the traditional vows, without overwhelming them with religious imagery.
The Episcopal Church encourages couples to make their ceremony as personal as possible, and to reflect their own beliefs and values. It’s important to consult with the officiant beforehand to understand the guidelines and templates that are followed, and to ensure that the ceremony aligns with your personal beliefs and values. Additionally, if you want to add specific prayers or hymns, it’s best to discuss that with the officiant to see what can be incorporated into the ceremony.
“In the name of God, I, ______, take you, ______, to be my wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.”
“______, wilt thou have this woman/man to be thy wedded wife/husband to live together after God’s ordinance in the Holy Estate of matrimony? Wilt thou love her/him? Comfort her/him, honor and keep her/him, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others keep thee only unto her/him as long as you both shall live?”
“I vow to be your faithful husband/wife, understanding that marriage is a lifelong union, and not to be entered into lightly, for the purpose of mutual fellowship, encouragement, and understanding; for the procreation of children and their physical and spiritual nurture. I hereby give myself to you in this cause with my sacred vow before God.
9. Presbyterian Wedding Vows
When considering a Presbyterian wedding ceremony, there are two different approaches that you can take when it comes to exchanging vows. In one script, the bride and groom take on the role of exchanging the standard promises before God and those gathered as witnesses. This approach also allows for the inclusion of personal wishes.
Alternatively, in Presbyterian ceremonies, the officiant can also take on the role of a speaker, where the bride and groom will reply to the officiant’s statements with “I do”. The decision of whether to exchange the vows yourselves or have the officiant do it for you is entirely up to you. It’s worth noting that Presbyterian Church encourages couples to personalize the ceremony to reflect their own beliefs and values and to consult with the officiant to understand the guidelines and templates that are followed.
“I, _____, take you, _____, to be my wife/husband, and I do promise and covenant, before God and these witnesses, to be your loving and faithful husband/wife in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live.”
Officiant: “________, wilt thou have this woman/man to be thy wife/husband, and wilt thou pledge thy faith to him/her, in all love and honor, in all duty and service, in all faith and tenderness, to live with her/him, and cherish her/him, according to the ordinance of God, in the holy bond of marriage?”
Wedded couple: “I do.”
10. Quaker Wedding Vows
Quakers are one of the older and more traditional groups found across the United States, with an array of simple and meaningful traditions. The Quaker wedding ceremony is simple and straightforward, without any elaborate or complex elements.
The vows in a Quaker wedding ceremony are usually a simple exchange between the husband and wife, keeping the entire process as brief as possible. While some couples may wish to add a bit more to the ceremony, it’s important to consult with your church beforehand as different Quaker communities may have different guidelines and traditions. Quakers believe in the simplicity and the spiritual aspect of marriage, and the ceremony reflects this belief by keeping it simple and focused on the exchange of vows and the commitment of the couple to each other.
Example: “In the presence of God and these our friends, I take thee to be my wife/husband, promising with divine assistance to be unto thee a loving and faithful husband/wife so long as we both shall live.”
11. Non-Denominational Wedding Vows
“I ________, take thee ________, to be my husband/wife.
To have and to hold,
in sickness and in health,
for richer or for poorer,
and I promise my love to you forever more.”
12. Native American Marriage Vows
There are currently 547 recognized tribes of Native Americans across the United States, each with their own unique customs and traditions that vary greatly from one tribe to the next. It’s important to note that the term “Native American” is an umbrella term that lumps all indigenous peoples together, which is not entirely accurate. The different tribes have their own distinct cultures and practices that should be respected and understood.
It’s important to be aware that many non-natives may homogenize the ancient cultures and practices of Native Americans, making it seem like they were a unified group, which is not the case. It’s important to understand that if you are not Native American, you should not be using any customs in your own wedding. Instead, those of a particular tribe should consult with elders to learn more about the correct way to conduct the ceremony, and to ensure that the traditions and customs are respected and honored.
“Now you will feel no rain, for you will be shelter to each other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warm to the other. Now there is no more loneliness, for each of you will be a companion to the other. Now you are two bodies, but there is only one life before you. Soon you will go to your resting place, to enter into the days of your togetherness. May your days be good and long upon the earth.”
13. Unitarian Wedding Vows
The Unitarian faith offers a lot of freedom when it comes to wedding ceremonies. While there are a few parameters that must be followed, the template for a Unitarian service is quite flexible. This allows couples to tailor the ceremony to their own personal beliefs and values.
When planning your wedding ceremony, sit down with your partner and discuss the route you would like to take with your vows. Whether you prefer something more traditional or a modern approach to the exchange, the freedom offered by the Unitarian faith can be a huge help when crafting your own personal vows. You can explore different options and find what works best for both of you. The Unitarian Universalist Association encourages couples to create a ceremony that reflects their own beliefs and values and is meaningful to them. It’s important to consult with the officiant to understand the guidelines and templates that are followed and to ensure that the ceremony aligns with your personal beliefs and values.
Officiant: “________, will you take ________ as your wife/husband, will you pledge to share your life openly with her/him, to speak the truth to her/him, in love? Will you promise to honor and tenderly care for her/him, to encourage her/him fulfillment as an individual through all the changes in your lives?”
Wedded couple: “I do.”
14. Muslim Wedding Vows
Traditionally, followers of Islam do not exchange vows during a wedding ceremony. Instead, it follows a similar approach as some Christian ceremonies, where the weight of speaking is on the officiant, usually the imam. The imam will speak to the couple and the guests about the meaning of marriage and the importance of the roles of husband and wife.
However, in recent years, many modern Muslim couples have started to include vows in their wedding ceremony, as it has become a popular choice. In such cases, there are ways to create appropriate vows that follow Muslim customs. It’s important to consult with the imam or the mosque to ensure that the vows align with the Islamic customs and beliefs. The traditional Muslim wedding is a simple and straightforward ceremony that focuses on the legal contract of marriage, and the couple’s commitment to each other and to Allah.
Bride: “I, ________, offer you in 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.”
You May Also Like:
- Traditional Wedding Vows for Different Religions
- 45 Wedding Vows for Him: Templates and Guide
- Funny Wedding Vow Examples and Tips
- 40+ Best Wedding Vows for Her