101 Wedding Vows
Your Vows, what are they?
They are the most personal sacred, romantic, loving and sincere, lifelong promises shared from the heart of one person to another. Vows are often the part we remember most about a marriage, renewal or reaffirmation of vows, commitment or gay wedding ceremony. They are emotionally and spiritually binding.
Are you writing your vows?
Vows can be religious, civil or non-religious, traditional or non-traditional vows. They can be simple vows, love vows or even humorous vows.
Are yours to be marriage vows, commitment or gay wedding vows?
Are you renewing or reaffirming your wedding vows?
If you are writing your personal vows and need inspiration, looking for something a little bit different or traditional vows - this collection of vows examples will be invaluable to you.
Vows are love made tangible.
Vows both reach and speak from the heart.
Vows create a blueprint for the love you intend to sustain, of promises you intend to keep. As you speak these words, you are making yourself accountable through intention to yourself and your partner, to live, love and behave in a certain way for a specified time.
They can and should be the most beautiful and moving collection of words spoken at a wedding ceremony, renewal or reaffirmation of vows ceremony or a commitment or gay marriage ceremony.
The Chinese classic text, I Ching, says……… “When two people are at one in their inmost hearts, they shatter even the strength of iron or of bronze. And when two people understand each other in their inmost hearts, their words are sweet and strong like the fragrance of orchids”.
Vows are entirely personal
They can be very simple and at the same time very beautiful. They can contain writings and readings from literature or be totally original.
"It is said that it takes two people to speak the truth - one to speak it and another to hear it". H D Thoreau 1817-1862
In speaking of truth, we understand honesty and fact and in talking of truth between each other, we understand reality and existence, just as surely as night follows day. We are supported and complemented by our truths.
There are likely to be people attending your ceremony, for who a non-religious ceremony is new. If your words are sincere and reflect your own beliefs, you will find that everyone will respect your chosen style of ceremony.
Who says the vows?
Vows can be spoken by the couple themselves or spoken by the celebrant or officiant and simply acknowledged by the couple.
If vows are personalized, they are almost always said by the couple.
Guests may also join in if that is the wish of the couple.
At the appropriate time in the ceremony, it is usual for the couple to be asked by the wedding officiant or marriage celebrant to face each other, to join hands and then to:
* Repeat their vows individually after him or her.
* OR to say/read them individually.
* OR to say/read them together.
* Or say/read alternately.
Vows need not be the same. Indeed, personalized vows are often different.
In a civil or non-religious ceremony, marriage vows and gay marriage or commitment vows would contain the following:
[i] A declaration from both partners that they are willing to take one another in marriage or commitment in the presence of witnesses. [A legal requirement for marriages in Australia] Example: "I ask everybody here today to witness that I, John, take you, Mary, as my wife" NB. This may or may not be legal requirement for marriage where you live. Ask your celebrant.
NB. Same sex marriage is not recognized by law in Australia, however a significant relationship is recognized, therefore commitment ceremonies are conducted.
[ii] Very personal and often solemn promises from each partner to the other, that they will remain faithful and love and care for each other come what may. Personal promises that may reflect day to day activities and may also be a little tongue in cheek or humorous, for example may include walking the dog, watching football or book or shoe sales. There are quite few included in this e-book.
From the 101 vows in the e-book, complete vows, ideas or themes you really like can be copied and pasted into your ceremony, adapted or just as they are. Because we are unique individuals you may add your own very personal promises as well. Only you know what is important to yourselves and to each other.
This is your one chance to declare your solemn intentions to the one person in the world who matters most to you. Make your vows really, really special...you will both remember them forever.
A sneak peek at some of the vows.........
".......As your wife, I will always try to love you for what you are, not what you have been or might become. I will hold your heart gently through all of our lives together. I will laugh with you. I will be responsible for my life and my person. With you I will dance to an equal music".
"......I promise to be there when you need me, to fill our days with laughter and food and sunshine, your favourite snuggly days and fishing opportunities. I will help when you need it and stand beside you when you don't. I want you to know........"
".....You are my best friend and complete our family of three perfectly. I promise to care for your dreams as though they were my own and your heart as if it were a tiny baby bird. I will give you the space and encouragement you need to follow your own dreams and passions....."
"....Mary and I pledge to remember the harmfulness of ignorance, anger and clinging attachment, to recall the kindness of others and our connection to them......"
"I vow to keep close to my heart those first tender steps we took towards each other with open arms and laughing eyes. Our world together is fulfilling, full of the seasons, walks, parrots, owls, beetles, worms and seagulls. I anticipate many more creatures to come and challenges. With my heart wide open I want to say .........."
".........I promise to always be there for you. I couldn’t ask for a more perfect soul mate, you’re my rabbit girl and I want you just as you are. I vow to honour you, protect you, cherish you, and to love you now till the end of time".
"...... I stand here today to start our journey of married life together and look forward to our endless days together. I give my all to you. My support for your achievements, my counsel for your problems, my remedies for your ills, my prosperity for yours, my shoulder for your tears, my ear for your voice, my hand for companionship and my embrace for our........."
"I commit to the celebration of life with you and to our journey of growth together. To be true to myself and to respect and honour you as a unique individual I commit to create and receive abundance into our lives........"
"I will feed you when you are hungry, give you rest when you are tired, Listen when you are grumpy, tell you when I am afraid, Hold you in your sadness and laugh with you in your joy.........."
Bride and Groom read together as their vows, “I Promise” Author unknown "..........I promise to share with you my innermost fears, feelings and dreams; I will grow along with you and be willing to change to keep our relationship alive and exciting. I promise to love you both in good times and bad with all that I have to give, and all that I feel inside, in the only way I know, completely and forever".
"......When cloudy, wintry, sad days come I hope I can bring some sunshine into your day just as you have brought sunshine into mine........"
".....I promise to listen to you, to trust you and to nurture our shared goals of self-awareness and living life with our eyes wide open. I also promise not to become a drunken fat sod!! You’ll be safe with me! I’m flattered that you want me in your life and with these people here as witnesses, I would be honoured to be.........."
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I'm Elizabeth Gray, a popular celebrant who gained a Diploma of Marriage Celebrancy at the International College of Celebrancy in Melbourne, Victoria in 2003.