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Choosing Your Vows

Dear Couple:
Your vows basically come in two parts.
The first is “TheCharge,” otherwise known as the Declaration of Consent orStatement of Purpose.
Its function is to ask the question, “Are you ready to do this, and have you given your consent to the vows you will nowsay?”
The second part is your actual vow, and can be expressed invery formal/traditional or personal/contemporary ways. It functions as your official response to the charge and isshould reflect the manner in which you want to commityourself to your spouse.
The ChargeDeclaration of Consentor Statement of Purpose
Traditional (One)
Officiant: ______ (groom), will you have this woman to be your wedded wife to live togetherafter God’s ordinance, in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love her, comfort her, honorand keep her, in sickness and in health, and, forsaking all others, keep yourself only for her solong as you both shall live?
Groom: I will.
Officiant: ______ (bride), will you have this man to be your wedded husband to live togetherafter God’s ordinance, in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health, and, forsaking all others, keep yourself only forhim so long as you both shall live?
Bride: I will.
Traditional (Two)
Officiant: ______ (groom), do you purpose to live with ______ (bride) in a fashion consistentwith God’s design for marriage? Do you purpose to love her, honor her, and be faithful to herin times of personal need and personal blessing? Do you pledge, with God’s help and to thebest of your ability, to seek to establish and maintain honest, open, and loving communicationbetween yourself and ______ (bride)? Forsaking all others, do you promise to remain faithfulto ______ (bride) as long as you both shall live?
Groom: I do.
Officiant: ______ (bride), do you purpose to live with ______ (groom) in a fashion consistentwith God’s design for marriage? Do you purpose to love him, honor him, and be faithful tohim in times of personal need and personal blessing? Do you pledge, with God’s help and tothe best of your ability, to seek to establish and maintain honest, open, and lovingcommunication between yourself and ______ (groom)? Forsaking all others, do you promiseto remain faithful to ______ (groom) as long as you both shall live?
Bride: I do.
Alternative Declaration of Consent (One)
Officiant: __________ and __________, is it your intention to try to share with each otheryour joys and sorrows and all that the years might bring each another and to live as husbandand wife? Response: We do.
Alternative Declaration of Consent (Two)
Officiant: “______, will you take ______ to be your wife/husband? Do you commit yourselfto her/his happiness and self-fulfillment as a person? Do you promise to love, honor, and trusther/him in sickness and in health, in adversity and prosperity, and to be true and loyal toher/him so long as you both shall live?” Response: I do.
Alternative Declaration of Consent (Three)
Officiant: “______, will you have this woman/man to be your wife/husband to live togetherin marriage? Will you love her/him and give her/him your respect? Will you comfort, honor, and keep her/him in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, so long as love and life shallendure? Response: I do.
Alternative Declaration of Consent (Four)
Officiant: “______, do you now choose ______ to be your wife/husband, to share your lifeopenly with her/him, to speak truthfully and lovingly to her/him, to accept her/him fully asshe/he is and delight who she/he is becoming, to respect her/his uniqueness, encourage her/hisfulfillment, and compassionately support her/him through all the changes of your yearstogether.”Response: I do.
Alternative Declaration of Consent (Five)
Officiant: ___________, (bride) will you tell your family and friends why you are heretoday?
Bride: Friends and loved ones, I am here today to tell you all that I have found a person withwhom I desire to share my life and hopes, with whom I yearn to form the greatest intimacythat two persons can share — the intimacy of love and of passion combined.
Officiant: _____________, (groom) will you tell your family and friends why you are heretoday?
Groom: I am here because I have found a woman. ____________, to love, to trust, to sharewith — a woman with whom I desire to build a home and family. I plan to give her of mypossessions as well as my passions, and I wish all my loved ones to know that.
Traditional Vows
Repeat after me:
“I, _______, do take you, _______, to be my lawful wedded wife; to have and to holdfrom this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, tolove and to cherish till death do us part.”
Repeat after me:
“I, _______, do take you, _______, to be my lawful wedded husband; to have and tohold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and inhealth, to love and to cherish till death do us part.”
Updated Traditional Vows
(Groom first; then bride)
“As a further sign of your heartfelt desire, I invite you to repeat these words after me:
In the presence of God, and before these witnesses, I, ______, take you ______, to bemy wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse; for richer, forpoorer; in sickness and in health; in joy and in sorrow; to love and to cherish and to be faithfulto you alone, as long as we both shall live.”
“As a further sign of your heartfelt desire, I invite you to repeat these words after me:
In the presence of God, and before these witnesses, I, ______, take you ______, to bemy husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse; for richer, forpoorer; in sickness and in health; in joy and in sorrow; to love and to cherish and to be faithfulto you alone, as long as we both shall live.”
Denominational Vows

Basic Protestant Vows “I, ______, take thee, _______, to be my wedded wife/husband, to have and to hold, from thisday forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love andto cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge theemy faith[or] pledge myself to you[or] plight thee my troth.”
Lutheran Vows“I take you, ______, to be my wife/husband from this day forward to join with you and shareall that is to come, and I promise to be faithful to you until death parts us.”
“I, ______, take you, ______, to be my wife/husband, and these things I promise you: I willbe faithful to you and honest with you; I will respect, trust, help, and care for you; I will sharemy life with you; I will forgive you as we have been forgiven; and I will try with you better tounderstand ourselves, the world, and God; through the best and the worst of what is to come, as long as we live.”
Episcopal Vows“______, wilt thou have this woman/man to be the wedded wife/man to be thy weddedwife/husband to live together after God’s ordinance in the Holy Estate of matrimony? Wiltthou love her/him? Comfort her/him, honor and keep her/him, in sickness and in health, andforsaking all others keep thee only unto her/him as long as you both shall live?”
“In the name of God, ______, I, ______, take you, ______, to be my wife/husband, to haveand to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness andhealth, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.”
Methodist Vows“Will you have this woman/man to be your wife/husband, to live together in a holy marriage?
Will you love her/him, comfort her/him, honor and keep her/him in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, be faithful to her/him as long as you both shall live?”
“In the name of God, I, ______, take you, ______, to be my wife/husband, to have and to holdfrom this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, tolove and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.”
Presbyterian Vows“______, wilt thou have this woman/man to be thy wife/husband, and wilt thou pledge thyfaith to her/him, in all love and honor, in all duty and service, in all faith and tenderness, tolive with her/him, and cherish her/him, according to the ordinance of God, in the holy bond ofmarriage?”
“I, ______, take you, ______, to be my wedded wife/husband, and I do promise and covenant, before God and these witnesses, to be your loving and faithful husband/wife, in plenty andwant, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live.”
Baptist Vows“Will you, ______, have ______ to be your wife/husband? Will you love her/him, comfortand keep her/him, and forsaking all others remain true to her/him, as long as you both shalllive?”
I, ______, take thee, ______, to be my wife/husband, and before God and these witnesses Ipromise to be a faithful and true wife/husband.”
Roman Catholic“I, ______, take you, ______, to be my wife/husband. I promise to be true to you in goodtimes and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of mylife.”
“I, ______, take you, ______, for my lawful wife/husband, to have and to hold from this dayforward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do uspart.”
For the giving of your vows of commitment, I invite you now to face each other and joinhands.
Non-Denominational Vows
Ceremony One“I love you. And I look forward to being your friend and companion, your wife/husband andlover for life. I promise to love you and respect you/; to stand by you and be faithful to you; to be open and honest with you; and to always work toward our mutual growth. I promise thiswith the help of God, for the good times and the bad times, till death do us part.”
Ceremony Two
I, ______, cherish you, ______,
For being all that you are,
All that you are not,
And all that you can be.
Know that I am here for you,
And that your pain will be mine,
And your joy mine as well.
All I ask is you – your love—your trust – your caring.
I choose you to be my wife/husband.
Ceremony Three
“I take you to be my wife/husband, my friend, my love, and my lifelong companion: to sharemy life with yours. To build our dreams together, while allowing you to grow with yourdreams; to support you through times of trouble, and rejoice with you in times of happiness; totreat you with respect, love, and loyalty through all the trials and triumphs of our livestogether; and to give you all the love I can give my whole life long. This commitment ismade in love, kept in faith, lived in hope, and eternally made new.”
Ceremony Four
I, ______, choose you to be wife/husband, my friend, my love, the mother/father of mychildren. I will be yours in plenty and in want, in sickness and in health, in failure and intriumph. I will cherish you and respect you, comfort you and encourage you, and together weshall live, freed and bound by our love.”
Ceremony Five
“I, ______, take you, ______, as my wife/husband, to care for you and trust you, to cherishyou and respect you, to forgive you and be forgiven by you. I will love you in good times andin bad, when we are together and when we are apart. I promise to be ever faithful, today andfor all our tomorrows.”
Ceremony Six
“______, I promise to be faithful, supportive, and loyal and to give you my companionshipand love throughout all the changes of our life. I vow to bring you happiness, and I willtreasure you as my companion. I will celebrate the joys of life with you. I promise tosupport your dreams, and walk beside you offering courage and strength through allendeavors. From this day forward, I will be proud to be your wife/husband and your bestfriend.”
Ceremony Seven
“I choose you, ______, to be wife/husband, as my friend and love. On this day I affirm therelationship we have enjoyed, looking to the future and to keep and strengthen it. I will beyours in plenty and in want, in sickness and in health, in failure and in triumph. Together, wewill dream, and live as one while respecting one another, we will stumble but restore eachother, we will share all things. I will cherish, comfort, and encourage you, be open with you, and stay with you as long as I shall live.”
Ceremony Eight
“I, ______, take you, ______, for my wedded wife/husband from this day forward, to haveand to hold as equal partner in my life, to whom I give my deepest love and devotion. Ihumbly open my heart to you as a sanctuary of warmth and peace, where you may come andfind a refuge of love and strength. I will love you enough to risk being hurt, trust you when Idon’t understand, weep with you in heartache, and celebrate life with you in joy. I willreceive you as my equal throughout all of our days.”
Ceremony Nine
“I ______, take you, ______, to be on other than yourself. Loving what I know of you, trusting what I do not yet know, I will respect your integrity and have faith in your abidinglove for me, through all our years, and in all that life may bring us.”
Ceremony Ten
In the presence of God, and before our witnesses and friends,
I, ______ (groom’s name), with joy and in love, take you to be my wife, to be the mother ofmy children, and the companion of my days. I promise to fully share my life with you, through days of happiness or sadness, abundance or want. I pledge to you my unfailing lovealways.
In the presence of God, and before our witnesses and friends,
I, ______ (bride’s name), with joy and in love, take you to be my husband, to be the father ofmy children, and the companion of my days. I promise to fully share my life with you, through days of happiness or sadness, abundance or want. I pledge to you my unfailing lovealways.
Civil Vows
Ceremony One
“ ______, do you take ______ as your lawfully wedded wife/husband?”
Ceremony Two
“______, do you take ______ to be your legal wedded wife/husband, to have to hold from thisday forward?
Ceremony Three
“______, I take you to be my lawfully wedded wife/husband. Before these witnesses I vow tolove you and care for you as long as we both shall live.”



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