Vows may run from traditional to customized. Below are examples of some common vows. Feel free to add your own embellishments, loving words, funny promises (eg. I promise to take the trash out!) and inside jokes. Also, couples may like pieces of several of the vow examples, while not finding any one example that completely reflects their preferences. Pieces from several can be blended together to make the "perfect" one. There are 3 formats or "styles" for vows (and also ring exchanges):
1. Echo - Officiant says "Please repeat after me", then reads the vow one line at a time, with participant repeating each line, one line at a time, until the vow is complete.
2. I Do - Officiant begins with "Do you", then reads the entire vow, followed by the participant's response of "I do"
3. Recital - a more personal vow, spoken from memory while looking directly into the partner's eyes, and without prompt by officiant. This format can be tricky, especially if the vows are long and complex. A written text (cheat sheet) tucked in a sleeve for backup is a good idea for this option. "Do you ____________, take _____________ to be your lawfully wedded wife, promising to love and cherish, through joy and sorrow, sickness and health, and whatever challenges you may face, for as long as you both shall live?"
"Do you ________________, take _____________, to be your partner in life and sharing your path; equal in love, a mirror for your true self, promising to honor and cherish, through good times and bad, until death do you part?"
Do you ____________, take __________ to be your (wife/husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do you part?"
"Do you _________ choose _________ to be your partner in life, to support and respect (her/him) in (his/her) successes and as well (his/her) failures, to care for (him/her) in sickness and in health, to nurture (him/her), and to grow with (him/her) throughout the seasons of your life together?"
"Do you _____________, accept _______________ as your life mate and one true love, promising to share in all that life offers and suffers, to be there for (him/her) in times of need, to soothe (him/her) in times of pain, and to support (him/her) in all endeavours, big and small."
"I __________, accept you __________, as my companion and my (wife/husband). I promise to care for you, honor you, and cherish you, for as long as we both shall love." "I take you to be my spouse, in equal love, as a mirror for my true self, as a partner on my path, to honor and to cherish, in sorrow and in joy, till death do us part."
"I take you as my wedded [wife/husband], to share my life with you, and pledge that I will love, honor, and care for you in tenderness and affection in all the varying circumstances of our lives." "I acknowledge my love and respect for you and invite you to share my life as I hope to share yours. I promise always to recognize you as an equal individual and always to be conscious of your development as well as my own. I shall seek through kindness and understanding to achieve with you the life we have envisioned."
"I promise to always be there for you, to shelter and hold your love as the most precious gift in my life. I will be truthful and honor you. I will care for you always and stand by you in times of sorrow and joy."