Wedding vows are promises the couple makes to each other and pledge to keep throughout their marriage. They can be found in practically all religions and faiths, and are deep-rooted to many different cultures and traditions around the globe. Many cultures see them as the most significant part of the wedding ceremony.
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What are traditional marriage vows?
In this article we’re going to take a closer look at some of the most romantic wedding vows from around the world, spanning many different religions, traditions, and cultures. If you’re headed to the altar soon and looking for wedding vow inspiration, you’ll find it here.
What do you say in wedding vows?
You can use the wedding vows below as a starting point to create your own, one that captures the essence of your emotions and love for your spouse-to-be. That being said, if you find one that fits your feelings and sentiments, feel free to use it in its entirety.
Christian Wedding Vows
Christian vows are very romantic although they are also quite long. In fact, they’re some of the longest vows of all the religious wedding ceremonies.
They include many phrases that can be included in your wedding vows if you write yours yourself, including promises of providing the ‘tenderest care, fullest devotion, and deepest love’.
One of the most romantic lines from the traditional Christian wedding vow is a pledge on behalf of both husband and wife that says “I pledge to you my life‘.
Christian Wedding Vow Examples
“I, (NAME), take thee, (NAME), to be my wedded wife. To have and to hold from this day forward; for better or worse; for richer or poorer; in sickness and in health until death do us part. I promise to love you all my heart and to be a faithful husband/wife.”
“We, (NAME) and (NAME), take each other as husband/wife. We are so happy to be united in this marriage together. For better or for worse, in sickness and in health, I will love you today; tomorrow, for the rest of my life.”
“I, (NAME), take thee, (NAME), 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.”
Hindu Wedding Vows
Hindu weddings are elaborate and beautiful, but they also involve a lot of reading. Traditional Hindu ceremonies have seven traditional vows (or Saptapadi) that the wife/husband take to symbolize their commitment to one another along with Mangal Pheras (walking around a sacred fire).
These pledges revolve around honoring your partner’s feelings by supporting them in all things or celebrating with them when it is deserved. The idea behind these rituals is to make sure you keep your commitments even on bad days – because for every good day there will be bad ones too!
In a traditional Hindu ceremony, after exchanging garlands with their parents’ blessings, both parties recite their vows aloud to one another before placing them around each other’s necks. The groom repeats his wife’s name three times during this process.
In some cases, he also offers her sindoor or vermilion powder on her forehead. If you are having a modern Hindu wedding, you’re probably looking here for modern vows.
Hindu Marriage Vows Example
I (NAME), take thee, (NAME) to be my husband/wife. To have and to hold from this day forward, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, for better or worse, and in joy and sorrow. I promise to love and to cherish you. And with this ring, I take you as my husband/wife, for as long as we both shall live.
Muslim Wedding Vows
In the Muslim tradition, marriage is the union of the souls, and the ceremony itself is known as ‘Nikah’. Normally, the Imam or head of the Mosque will read directly from the Qur’an and talks about the requirements of marriage in the Muslim faith. These include the responsibilities that the couple has to one another, as well as to Allah.
Nikah is considered to be sacred, so the ceremony is always intimate and simple. At the conclusion, the wife/husband formally pledges their faithfulness and honesty to each other.
Muslim Wedding Vows Example
“I, (NAME), offer you (HUSBAND/WIFE name) myself in marriage, according to God’s holy plan and in accordance with the instructions of the Holy Koran and the Holy Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him.
I pledge, in honesty and with sincerity from this day forward, for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to be for you an obedient and faithful wife for as long as I shall live.”
Catholic Wedding Vows (The Origin of ‘In Sickness and In Health’)
If there’s one religion dedicated to its traditions it’s Catholocism – from the lovely bride being walked down the aisle by her father to the exchange of the wedding bands and much more. Marriage itself is one of the 7 holy sacraments of their faith according to God’s holy plan, with Bible verses specifically created for weddings.
In fact, one of the most often heard wedding vows comes directly from Catholic weddings. It’s been used in American TV shows and movies for decades and, while not incredibly romantic, certainly is memorable; “for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health.”
You can incorporate it into your wedding vows also, or use any variation you please. After all, it’s your wedding day!
Catholic Marriage Vows Example:
I, (HUSBAND/WIFE), take you, (WIFE/HUSBAND), 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 and for as long as I shall live.
Eastern Orthodox Wedding Vows
Many wedding vow traditions include the words “love, honor, and respect” and one of them is the Eastern Orthodox religion. Many find these three words quite romantic, especially the word ‘honor‘ which means to give great respect to someone.
What some find most romantic about Eastern Orthodox weddings is their tradition of the wife/husband performing many of the wedding duties three times.
Wedding rings, for example, are passed back and forth three times and the priest also leads the couple around the altar three times as well. This represents the ‘Holy Trinity’ (the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). It also is where the old adage “The third time’s the charm” comes from.
Nondenominational Wedding Vows
One fact about most weddings that are held in a specific faith or culture is that they are very structured. They happen in a certain, specific way with specific parts, timing, and words.
When a wife/husband decides to have their wedding outside of any specific faith they have what’s known as a nondenominational, or secular, wedding. In most nondenominational weddings the couple will also use their own nontraditional wedding vows during the ceremony.
Some folks find nonreligious wedding vows the most romantic of all because of this. Let’s be honest, it’s easy to simply use the same words from the same vows that have been used thousands of times before.
If you decide to write your secular vows, you can imbue them with as much romance as you like. Indeed, writing your own nontraditional wedding vows can bring out your inner poet and allow you to express your feelings more than most traditional vows allow.
Nondenominational Marriage Vows Example
“(NAME), I now take you to be my wedded wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, to live together after God’s ordinance in the holy relationship of marriage. I promise to honor, love and to cherish you. I promise to be loving and faithful, forsaking all others. For richer, for poorer, for better, for worse, I will be your wedded husband/wife for all the rest of the days of my life.”
“[NAME], you are my best friend. You are the one I want to share the days of my life with. I will be loving and faithful to you forever. I will always support you. I will stick by your side in sickness and in health, from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer or poorer.
I will encourage you in everything you do and promise to love and to cherish you. I will support you during your personal growth. I will strive every day to make our marriage stronger. I will be your friend, your love, your husband/wife, and your partner.”
“From this day forward I promise you these things: I will laugh with you in times of joy and comfort you in times of sorrow. I will support your dreams as you strive to accomplish your goals. I will listen to you with empathy and speak to you with encouragement.
I will be loving and faithful to you for better or worse, for richer or for poorer, and in times of sickness and health. You are my best friend, my husband/wife. From this day forward, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, and I will love and respect you, always.”
Buddhist Wedding Vows
When most people picture a traditional wedding, at least in the U.S., they think of the bride wearing a pure, white wedding gown. Buddhist weddings, on the other hand, are well known for the bride wearing a cacophony of colors.
In fact, she will usually wear many different layers of colors and adorn them on top with gold jewelry. The groom also wears colorful clothing, including a brocade suit made from gorgeous silk. It’s a colorful affair indeed, and a surprise to many who attend their first Buddhist wedding.
While the words of their traditional wedding vows aren’t what some might call romantic, we believe that there is a romance in them that belies expectations. For example, the officiant asks the couple this; “Do you pledge to seek to understand yourselves, each other, and all living beings, to examine your own minds continually and to regard all the mysteries of life with curiosity and joy?”
Those are some very powerful and intriguing words, no doubt, and take the romance to a whole new level more than traditional wedding vows.
Buddhist Wedding Vow Example
I, (husband/wife) take you (wife/husband) to be my husband/wife, my partner in life, and my one true love. I will cherish our friendship and love you today, tomorrow, and forever. I will trust you and honor you I will laugh with you and cry with you.
Through sickness and in health. Through the difficult and the worse, for richer and poorer. Whatever may come our way, I will always be there for you. As I have given you my hand to hold, so I give you my life to hold from this day forward.”
Celtic Wedding Vows
Bagpipes are not exactly a musical instrument that’s heard very often in the United States, especially at a wedding. If, however, you attend a Celtic wedding (or plan to have your own), you can expect to hear this unique and lovely wind instrument being played.
Not only that but you can also expect the people playing (called bagpipers) to wear traditional plaid-patterned kilts. These can be quite romantic when you realize that they’re decorated by the groom and wedding party.
Speaking of romance, some of the lines that are used in a Celtic wedding are right up there at the top. “I vow you the first cut of my meat, the first sip of my wine, from this day it shall only be your name I cry out in the night and into your eyes that I smile each morning”.
If that doesn’t move you to tears of romantic joy, nothing will. Another we quite enjoy is this one; “I shall not seek to change thee in any way. I shall respect thee, thy beliefs, thy people, and thy ways as I respect myself.” Romantic indeed, don’t you agree?
Jewish Wedding Vows
Traditionally no vows are spoken at a Jewish wedding although, today, some couples are including their own. If you’re Jewish and soon to be wed, this gives you the opportunity to write your own vows of love, respect, and faith, which many people consider to be incredibly romantic and touching.
During a traditional Jewish wedding, the couple may say these words (in English or Hebrew) as they exchange rings: “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.” Along with the exchange of rings, the Seven Blessings (Sheva Brachot) are recited.
Baptist Wedding Vows
There are many similarities between a Baptist wedding ceremony and a Christian wedding ceremony, to be sure. Wedding bands are exchanged, for example, and the father of the bride walks his daughter down the aisle. One very different tradition, however, is that the wedding reception usually does not offer alcohol or dancing, so it can be a bit of a somber (and sober) affair, to say the least.
A romantic tradition that they have is to lay a white carpet down for the bride to walk on as she makes her way down the aisle, a symbol of holy ground and purity where the two lives are joined as one. While she walks the bride is also serenaded, which is lovely to both see and hear.
Presbyterian Wedding Vows
“I, (wife/husband), take you, (wife/husband), to be my wife/husband, and I do promise and covenant, before God and these witnesses and part according to God’s plan, to be your loving and faithful husband/wife in plenty and in want, for richer or for poorer, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish you, for better or worse, as long as we both shall live.”
Apache Wedding Vows
“You will feel no rain, for you’ll be each other’s cover and shelter. You will not suffer any coldness either; the warmth of one another is all that there needs to be between both of your hearts and souls.
There shall never again exist loneliness in your world again because you are going to share an inseparable life together until their days come to a rest.”
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10 Romantic Wedding Vows You Can Use and Repurpose
Love is the most important thing in life. It can make or break you, but it also has the power to heal and repair any cracks that exist. When two people love each other deeply enough, they want to create a lifelong bond of togetherness that can’t be broken by anything. This is where wedding vows come in – they are an expression of your eternal commitment and dedication to one another as well as a promise for forever happiness.
Here are ten examples of romantic wedding vows:
- I love the way we were brought together by fate’s design like two puzzle pieces that lock so perfectly into place.
- You are my best friend who gives me unconditional support no matter what life throws our way, and I love you for that.
- I will cherish every moment with you from here on out.
- From the moment I met you, I knew our souls were inseparable.
- You are my heart’s desire—the voice inside me that sings of hope, faith, beauty, and truth. I want to be with you more than anything in this world.
- You inspire me every day to get out of bed because I am honored to spend my life with such an amazing person, and you only become more and more amazing the more I get to know you.
- But you changed all of that and now I can’t imagine life without you. You have given me everything.
- You are my friend, lover, confidant…my partner in crime, and my soul!
- I promise to be your anchor when the waves get too rough-you hold on so tight to me as if we will never let go.
- I promise to always look for you in a crowd and to never pass by without letting you know I love and cherish every inch of your being. And most importantly, my heart has chosen only one destination: yours!
The Origin of Some of the Most Well-Known Wedding Traditions
We’ve looked at many of the romantic traditions and wedding vows from some of the more prominent religions. Now let’s take a look at where some of the most well-known traditions started, and why. The history of some of them is quite interesting and surprising, to say the least. (Many involve the ancient Romans.)
The Wedding Cake
The tradition of the wedding cake can be traced back to ancient Rome. The bride’s father would give a dowry that included honey cakes or some other type of sweet, and these were used as offerings for the family gods. It is thought that this led to later couples giving it in lieu of presents at their own weddings.
In Ancient Greece, instead of having one big cake, there was often a number served in smaller portions with different flavors such as lemon or blackberry. This may have been because Greeks didn’t want to waste any food on an occasion where they had plenty!
In Medieval Europe, bakers began using fruit fillings like apples or cherries which gave way eventually to buttercream icing made from eggs and boiled sugar – yum!
Matching Bridesmaid Dresses
The Romans are responsible for this tradition as well. In fact, back then, the bride and bridesmaids were all dressed totally alike to fool evil spirits.
The Romans believe that evil spirits would come to the wedding and do their best to curse the wedding couple and so they dressed the bridesmaids and bride exactly the same to fool them.
The Bride’s Veil
Why do today’s modern brides wear veils? This one again goes back to the Romans (and the Greeks) who believed that evil spirits would try to attack the wedding couple on their wedding day.
The veil was used to protect the bride until after she was officially married.
The ‘Ring Finger’
Wedding rings have been a tradition for thousands of years, with the earliest wedding band being found in ancient Egypt. The ring finger is believed to carry an “energy meridian” that goes straight to the heart which makes it an appropriate place for wearing wedding bands. For some cultures and religions, wedding ceremony traditions go even deeper than just exchanging rings at your marriage ceremony—they require you to wear them all the time so as not to forget about your vows.
The Phrase ‘Tying the Knot”
There is a popular phrase that many people are familiar with. The expression “tying the knot” originated in ancient Rome, when marriages were sealed by simply tying two pieces of string around both partners wrists or upper arms. This was called “tying the wedding’s knots”. Today this symbolizes an unbreakable bond between spouses and usually occurs during wedding ceremonies.
The Groom Carrying the Bride “Over the Threshold”
In many cultures, the groom carries his bride ‘over the threshold’ of their new home.
This tradition is thought to have its roots in ancient Roman traditions where a married woman was deemed as being “owned” by her husband and therefore had no legal rights or identity until she passed into his house. The act of carrying over this symbolic threshold signified that he now owned both her body and soul.”
A little outdated, don’t you think? Nonetheless, it’s also said that this was to protect the bride from evil spirits.
In historic Jewish weddings, the groom carries his bride over a threshold that is symbolic of her converting to Judaism.
This tradition also dates back centuries and has its roots in ancient Rabbinic law. The custom was for a non-Jewish woman who married into the faith to convert before or after her wedding ceremony.”
In this case, it signifies bodily protection because now she’s part of the family too.
The Hindu version means “good luck” when an unmarried woman enters adulthood by crossing through her doorway with newlywed Indian husband.
The White Dress
Although we’ve seen that some religions and traditions allow for colorful dresses, the white dress that is most often associated with weddings comes from Queen Victoria of England.
The tradition of wearing white dresses among royalty goes back centuries, but it took on new meaning in 1840 when Victoria married her cousin Albert Edward.
It wasn’t just that she wanted to look good for everyone at the event; Victoria’s decision had been made on behalf of young girls who would be influenced by her actions and want to copy them later in life. She felt strongly about purity and modesty and believed that nothing showed those qualities better than a pure white gown trimmed with lace or pearls.
Traditions, pomp, and circumstance have surrounded weddings for eons and will continue to be used far into the future, we’re sure.
We hope that the information we’ve given you today will inspire you to create some of your own traditions and possibly write your own romantic wedding vows when you get married. If that day is coming soon, congratulations, and best of luck with your big day!