So what’s all the fuss about anyway? If the vows of love and commitment are not exchanged between you and your loved one on the big day, than those hours of guest list sweating and cake-tasting were for nothing. Now is your chance to hear THE perfect words straight from your loved one’s mouth. And remember, there’s a reason we can recite many of these vows from memory already: because they’re great, and they’ve been working for centuries. As, they say, don’t fix it if it ain’t broke.
Following are a few brief examples of traditional vows that get the deed done tastefully and memorably. Keep in mind that some officiates may have their own variations or will let a couple tweak the wording if they desire. Your officiate will be the best person to go to for more insight, as will your loved ones, many of whom have done this before!
“Do you, _______, take _______ to be your wife/husband? Do you promise to love, honor, cherish and protect her/him, forsaking all others and holding only unto her/him?” (“I do”)
(Repeat) “I, _______, take thee _______, to be my wife/husband. To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, and I promise my love to you.”
(Exchange of rings) “With this ring, I thee wed; all my love, I do thee give.”
“______, will you take ______ here present, for your lawful wife/husband according to the rite of our Holy Mother, the Catholic Church?” (“I will”)
(Repeat) “I, _______, take you, ______, for my lawful wife/husband, to have and to hold form this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part.”
(Exchange of rings) “With this ring, I thee wed, and pledge thee my troth.”
“Do you _________, take ________to be your wife/husband?” (“I do”) Do you promise to love, cherish and protect her/him, whether in good fortune or in adversity, and to seek with her/him a life hallowed by the faith of Israel?” (“I do”)
(Exchange of rings) “_________, as you place this ring upon the finger of _______, speak to her/him these vows.” ‘Behold you are consecrated to me with this ring according to the laws of Moses and Israel.’
“________, wilt thou have this woman/man to be thy wife/husband, and wilt thou pledge thy faith to her/him, 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?” (“I will”)
(Repeat) “I, ______, take thee _______, to be my wedded wife/husband, and I do promise and covenant, before God and these witnesses, to be thy loving and faithful wife/husband; in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live.”
(Rings) “This ring I give thee, in token and pledge, of our constant faith and abiding love.”
The selection of vows is a great tool to become more comfortable with your officiate, if that is not already the case. It is also an opportunity for inter-faith marriages to bring all participating parties together to discuss ways a ceremony can honor both traditional backgrounds. Forget that nagging “To Do” list for a moment and take the time to go over the words, their meaning and the traditional significance of the ceremony that is bringing you and your loved one together in marriage.