As a wedding celebrant I consider the marriage vows to be the very heart of the ceremony. They are, after all, your promises to each other for your future together. Some couples are very confident about writing their  own very personal vows, using this part of the ceremony to express and declare their aspirations and  feelings for each other.  Others prefer to use, or adapt, the traditional or more tried and true. I had one groom promise all the usual things like love, honour and respect but he also vowed he would give the bride a cat. It's a very personal choice!

Legal requirements

It is a legal requirement that the Bride and Groom say "I call upon the persons here present to witness that I Groom take you Bride to be my lawful wedded wife" OR words to that effect, so bearing in mind the legalities here are a few ideas. 

 Traditional

  • I take you to be my wife, 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, take you to be my 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.
  • I take thee to be my wedded wife/husband, and I do promise and covenant, before these witnesses, to be thy loving and faithful wife; in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live."
Contemporary
  • Bride and Groom, you have written this promise together and undertake it here today with each other. You have prepared these words to reflect your intentions both as individuals and as a couple. You agree, that your marriage to one another is eternal and as important as life itself We do  That to support each other through all life's adventures is the answer to a long and happy life together We do That long lasting happiness requires energy, caring and dedication We doYou promise that the family you have created since you met will always be full with the joy and happiness that brings you here to this special place and this special day We do
  • I promise you my love and my partnership for life. I am honored by your choice, which has us here in front of one another. I pledge to embrace your history, your family and your friends as I do my own. I promise to be tender with you when you're troubled, laugh with you when you're funny, and conspire with you when you're mischievous. I do and will respect you as an individual, my partner and my equal. I will support you and accept your support. I will encourage you and feed your dreams. I will celebrate your triumphs and mourn your losses as though they were my own. You are my best friend, and I will love you always.
  • Before our friends and those so special to us here, on this wonderful day of gladness and good fortune, I take you as my wife, in friendship and in love, in strength and weakness, to share the good times and misfortune, in achievement and failure, to celebrate life with you forevermore.
  • I take you to be my wife/husband. To share the good times and hard times side by side as husband and wife. I humbly give you my hand and my heart as a sanctuary of warmth and peace, and pledge my faith and love to you.
  • I take you to be my lawfully wedded husband. Before these witnesses I vow to love you and care for you as long as we 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.
  • Today I join with you. My aim is not to change you, but rather to grow with you. I bring a stronger heart to this choice than I have brought to any other. But I sense that it will grow stronger still with days lived along side you. Stay with me. Learn with me. Live by my side. I will do the same faithfully and joyously. I will base my life with you on love and caring. I will be considerate of your wishes and desires, and respect your integrity and intentions. I will support your dreams and goals, and strive to keep our lives with laughter and joy. Where there are troubles, I will stand with you. I bring to you the very best person that I can be, now and forever. .Having found you I have decided that there is no moment in my life more significant than this one. The moment I offer myself and all that I will become to you. May we share with each other, from this day on, the unending joy of growth and discovery.
  • I love you. You are my best friend. Today I give myself to you in marriage. I promise to encourage and inspire you, to laugh with you, and to comfort you in times of sorrow and struggle. I promise to love you in good times and in bad, when life seems easy and when it seems hard, when our love is simple, and when it is an effort. I promise to cherish you, and to always hold you in highest regard. These things I give to you today, and all the days of our life.
  • Let us be grateful for the capacity to see, feel, hear, and understand. Let us be grateful for this incredible gift of life. Let us be especially grateful for the ties of love which bind us together, giving dignity, meaning, worth, and joy to all our days. This is indeed a day which the Lord has made. Let us rejoice in it and be glad, and let us count our many blessings.
  • On this special day, I give to you, in the presence of all these witnesses, my promise to stay by your side, in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, as well as through the good times and the bad. I promise to love you without reservation, comfort you in times of distress, encourage you to achieve all of your goals, laugh with you and cry with you, grow with you in mind and spirit, always be open and honest with you, and cherish you, for as long as we both shall live.
  • I offer you my Love. I offer you my strength. I offer you my weaknesses. I offer you my support. I offer you my loyalty. I offer you my faith, for as long as we both shall live.
  • I promise to always be patient, honest, and compassionate with you. I will be your best friend, your sweetheart, your helpmate throughout life, always putting you first above my own needs. I promise to live a life that will honor the vows we have spoken, and make you glad to have married me this day.
  • I take you to be my lifetime partner, secure in the knowledge that you will be my constant friend, and my one true love.
  • I promise to love you with all my heart and mind and strength. I vow to be your best friend and do everything in my power to make you as happy as I am today. I will trust you with my dreams and support you in fulfilling your dreams. I don't know what challenges lie ahead but I know that we will face them together.
  • All that I am, I give to you, All that I have, I share with you, I will stand by you and support you, whatever the future may hold. I promise to love you for the rest of my life.
  • Our choice is made. Our minds are clear and our hearts strong. This love means more to us than anything else in life. There is no person, precondition, or approval I value more than your love. There is no obstacle I would not overcome to reach you. I give myself to our union. I welcome you as my partner in life. May our love forever keep us strong.
  • We are joining here today because we love, respect, and honor each other. And because we are committed to sharing equally in both the triumphs and trials of the days to come. I take you as my partner. I offer all that I am in return, and pledge to remember, over every day of our partnership, why we unite here today. Join me in celebrating our love.
  • When you need strength, I will offer mine. When you need words of encouragement, I will listen and provide support. When you need solace and comfort and the silent speech of love, I will understand. I place you in my heart today, before all others, and I pledge to work from this hour forward to make our commitment a sound and challenging one.
  • You have captured my mind and soul, and I here commit them to our union. From this hour, may we surrender to one another, completely rejoicing in the power of our new partnership, secure in our own identities, and certain in our bond. May we dare to dream dreams not yet dreamt. May we find constant reward and challenge as we pursue the ongoing adventure of learning who we are and where we want to go. May we always have a special sense of our mission in life together, and may we never tire of the endless possibilities of exploring our shared existence.
  • I, take you as my husband, I promise to love and cherish you, to respect, trust and care for you, be faithful to you and help you in any way I can for all the days of our lives. May our love and commitment continue to bathe and support each other, may our dreams and passions flow with strength and vitality, and may our friendship deepen so it can withstand anything the world throws at us. I accept you as you are, now and in the future, and I promise to share my life, thoughts and dreams with you.
  • I, take you as my wife, I promise to love and cherish you, protect you, to look after your heart, head and soul, to respect, trust and care for you everyday. If you will marry me I will walk by your side for the rest of my days and do everything I can to fill your life with joy. May our love deepen like the roots of a tree, may the branches of our friendship strengthen to protect us from what the world throws at us, and the trunk of our commitment hold strong in the wildest storm. I will accept you as you are, now and in the future, and I promise to share my life, thoughts and dreams with you as long as we both shall live. Together we will have a life full of love, laughter and friendship. 
  • I take you to be my partner in marriage and in life. All that I am and all that I have, I give to you with love and sincerity. I promise to love and comfort you, care for you, respect you, be faithful to you, and prize you above all others for the rest of my life.
  • I take you to be my husband, from this day forward. I will love and honr you, stand by you and walk with you down all the paths of life, wherever they may lead. I vow t be a caring and devoted mother to our children and to be faithful and true to you until the end of time.
  • I call upon those here today to witness that I take you as my wife, to have and to hold, to love and to cherish, to honour and to nurture, as lover, companion, and mother of our children. I promise you my never-ending love and fidelity.
  • I take you to be my husband. I give my whole self to you, holding nothing bacj, promising you my love, devotion and faithfulness. I vow to love and cherish you every day of our lives.
I do leading into Vows
  • Groom do you take Bride to be your lawful wedded wife, to love and to care for her and your children, through sickness and in health, And from this day forward to live together in accordance with your vows of marriage? Groom:  I will, I will also love you, trust you, encourage and comfort and protect you for as long as we both shall live.  I promise to fill your life with love, and with laughter. I promise to be honest and faithful to you and to always cherish you. I pledge to respect your unique talents and abilities, to lend you strength for all of your dreams. As I have given you my hand to hold, I give you my life to keep.

Seaside Wedding

  •  As we stand beside the ocean today, may our love be as continuous and unchanging as the tides, flowing endlessly from the depths. Just as the waves lap against the shore, so your love came into my heart. Just as the waves will continue to rise and swell for all eternity, so will my love for you continue. Today I promise to be your loving wife/husband as constant and dependable as the tide.

Garden Wedding

  • Here we stand together in this garden, amongst the beauty of nature's creation. I pledge my love and commitment to you. Like the flowers, and the trees, our love will continue to grow and bloom, becoming stronger and more beautiful as each day passes. Like the saplings, that stretch their branches up towards the sun, so will we constantly strive to fulfil the promises that we have made here today. Just as this garden will continue to live, grow and flourish, so may our love thrive. 

Native American (Cherokee)
  • God in heaven above please protect the ones we love. We honor all you created as we pledge our hearts and lives together. We honor Mother Earth and ask for our marriage to be abundant and grow stronger through the seasons. We honor fire and ask that our union be warm and glowing with love in our hearts. We honor wind and ask that we sail through life safe and calm as in our father's arms. We honor water to clean and soothe our relationship -- that it may never thirst for love. With all the forces of the universe you created, we pray for harmony as we grow forever young together. 

Vows including children
  • Bride and Groom, as you make your vows to each other will you also promise your children Jarad, Christopher, Michael and Leigh that you will continue to honour and respect them as individuals, and always cherish and nurture them? Will you always be aware of the unseen ties that bind them to you and to respect these special bonds? Bride and Groom:  We will And now I have a question for Jarad, Christopher, Michael and Leigh, will you always support and strengthen this marriage between Bride and Groom with your love, respect and care for each other? Jarad, Christopher, Michael and Leigh : We will.