Traditional wedding vows

Traditional wedding vows

Traditional wedding vows

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Modifying traditional wedding vows

To Write Personal Vows or Not

Are you trying to decide whether to write your own vows or to use the traditional vows? It’s a tough decision. Writing your own vows allows you to customize exactly what you want to say to your mate, but sometimes the stress of trying to put into words how you feel is so overwhelming. I wrote a blog post about writing your own vows to give you a few ideas, but don’t feel pressured to write personal vows. I absolutely love the traditional wedding vows. 

Traditional Wedding Vows

Traditional wedding vows have been spoken by millions of people for hundreds of years. There is something so powerful about speaking those words which bind you to a wider community and connect you to history. As much as I love customized, personalized wedding vows, I have to say I often get goosebumps hearing my couples recite the traditional vows to one another. Those words have lasted this long because they are meaningful and succinctly cover all aspects of pledging your life to another human. 

Here are the traditional wedding vows that can be repeated after your officiant:

I, [name], take you, [name], to be my lawfully wedded [wife/husband]. I promise to love and cherish you, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, for richer for poorer, for better for worse, and forsaking all others, keep myself only unto you, for so long as we both shall live.

Here are the same traditional vows but responded to with an “I do” rather than being repeated after your officiant: 

[name], do you take [name] to be your lawfully wedded [wife/husband]? do promise to love and cherish her/him, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, for richer for poorer, for better for worse, and forsaking all others, keep yourself only unto her/him, for so long as you both shall live?

Modified Traditional Wedding Vows

Here’s a modification to the traditional vows where the response is “I will.”

[name], will you have [name] as your lawfully wedded wife/husband, to live together in the covenant of matrimony? Will you love her/him, comfort her/him, honor and keep her/him, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, keep you only unto her/him, for the rest of your life?

I’ve also seen couples speak both the traditional vows and then share something they’ve written for their partner. That’s a nice way to incorporate both the old (tradition) and the new.

Here are the modified traditional vows which my husband and I spoke at our first wedding (yes, we had two!). 

Do you, Maria, promise to be Nick’s friend? To comfort him and to listen to him? To celebrate his successes and to support his struggles? To love him, respect him and tenderly care for him, through all the days of your life? [to which I enthusiastically replied, “I do!”]

As you can see, there are many ways to modify the traditional vows to make them work for you. What do you think? Will you use the traditional wedding vows or write your own? 


COVID-19: I’m booking small, safe weddings for 2020 and all weddings for 2021 and 2022. Check your availability