Traditional Wedding Vows


03/11/2011

Traditional Wedding Vows

Choosing between traditional or personalised vows is the first decision you will need to make. Unless you are planning on a medieval themed wedding, complete with jousting and a bride who vows to be ‘buxom in bed’ it won’t be appropriate to recite traditional vows which pre-date The Book of Common Prayer. A widely used traditional vow from the Episcopal Church’s current Book of Common Prayer is as follows:

N., will you have this man to be your husband; to live
together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love him,
comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health;
and, forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you
both shall live?


The Woman answers
I will.

The Celebrant says to the man

N., will you have this woman to be your wife; to live
together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love her,
comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health;
and, forsaking all others, be faithful to her as long as you
both shall live?


The Man answers
I will.

A modernized variation of this is:

I, (Bride/Groom), take you (Groom/Bride), to be my (wife/husband), to have and to hold from this day forth, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish(or keep); from this day forth until death do us part.

Australian film, Muriel’s wedding also provides an apt example of very brief and simple wedding vows:

(Wife/Groom) do you take (Wife/Groom) to be your (wife/husband)?
Do you promise to be true to her/him in good times and in bad?
In sickness and in health and to love and to honour her/him all the days of your life?
I do/I will

For more examples of traditional and personalised vows it may be useful to refer to the wedding vow examples. Ultimately it doesn’t matter whether you adopt traditional vows or write your own so long as they accord with your intentions.


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