Your Guide to Traditional Wedding Vows

How to write heartfelt traditional wedding vows

The exchange of vows — whether personal or traditional — is one of the most important parts of a wedding ceremony. While the latter can feel impersonal, religious couples know that their wedding isn’t just about them; Christians believe their marriage is instituted by God, Jewish people consecrate their love according to the laws of Moses and Israel, Muslims commit to both their partner and Allah, and so on. By exchanging vows that are historically a part of something they believe in, brides and grooms pledge themselves to each other on a bigger level. What’s more romantic than that?

Also, traditional wedding vows don’t have to be religious. Though some of the more popular vows have secular origins, they don’t actually have any religious wordings.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you and your S.O. to decide what type of vows you want to exchange — unless you’re getting married in a specific church or by a particular officiant. Either will sometimes require traditional wedding vows, so be sure to check ahead of time! On that same note, if you want to swap out a word or two, you might be allowed. Over the years, many brides (including Meghan Markle!) exchanging traditional vows have chosen to nix the word “obey,” when promising “to love, cherish, and obey.” Men, on the other hand, only promise “to love, cherish, and worship.” Whether or not you can make changes just depends on the church or officiant; some are more flexible than others.

Traditional wedding vows obviously vary by religion, and since they’ve been passed down through generations, there are a few different iterations per denomination. Whether you’d like to use them or just garner inspiration, we’ve gathered some of the standard traditional wedding vows below.

Religious

Catholic

“I, _____, take you, _____, for my lawful wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part. I will love and honor you all the days of my life.”

SEE MORE: 9 Wedding Vows That Will Totally Inspire

Episcopal

“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 in health, to love and to cherish, until parted by death. This is my solemn vow.”

Lutheran

“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.”

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Methodist

“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 in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.”

Muslim

Bride: “I, _____, offer you 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.”

Presbyterian

“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.”

Protestant

“I, _____, take thee, _____, to be my wedded wife/husband, 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.”

Quaker

“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.”

Unitarian/Universalist

“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 in health, to love and cherish always.”

Interfaith

“I,_____, take you, _____, to be my wife/husband. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love and honor you all the days of my life.”

Nondenominational

“_____, I now take you to be my wedded wife/husband, to live together after God’s ordinance in the holy relationship of marriage. I promise to love and comfort you, honor and keep you, and forsaking all others, I will be yours alone as long as we both shall live.”

Non-religious

“I, _____, take you to be my lawfully wedded wife/husband. Before these witnesses I vow to love you and care for you as long as both shall live. I take you with all your faults and your strengths as I offer myself to you with my faults and strengths. I will help you when you need help, and I will turn to you when I need help. I choose you as the person with whom I will spend my life.”

“I ,_____, take you, _____, to be my wife/husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish as long as we both shall live.”

“______, I take you as my wife/husband, with your faults and your strengths, as I offer myself to you with my faults and my strengths. I will help you when you need help, and turn to you when I need help. I choose you as the person with whom I will spend my life.”

“I, _____, take you, _____, to be my wedded wife/husband, and in doing so, I commit my life to you, encompassing all sorrows and joys, all hardships and triumphs, all the experiences of life. A commitment made in love, kept in faith, lived in hope, and eternally made new.”

“_____, I give myself to you to be your wife/husband, I pledge to share my life openly with you, to speak the truth to you in love. I promise to honor and tenderly care for you, to cherish and encourage your own fulfillment as an individual through all the changes of our lives.”

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