My West Michigan Wedding
Marriage Ceremony Officiant and Wedding Pastor Tom F. Hamel
Serving West Michigan Since 2005
Your Wedding Vows
When I meet with couples as their wedding officiant, I am frequently asked what to do about marriage vows. This is one area where prospective brides are often as confused as prospective grooms.
SO LET'S TALK ABOUT WEDDING VOWS
What is it about this element of the marriage ceremony that intimidates so many couples? Maybe it's because deep inside they recognize the importance of the words they will share with each other. Intuitively, we know that promises are a big deal. Not to be broken. A binding agreement. But wedding vows, unlike everyday promises, are made on the premise of our love for just one other person. Marriage transcends every other earthly relationship, and it stands to reason that vows made in this context need to rise to the occasion. That's why the words that are said should embrace the ebb and flow of life. We promise our love through good AND bad, richer AND poorer, sickness AND health. Wedding vows need to reflect this unwavering commitment through the totality of life together. They are more than mere sentiment or a list of things we like about the other person. So it's reasonable to think that a lot of thought needs to go into the choosing of the right wording. Tom Hamel and My West Michigan Wedding can assist you in writing wedding vows that reflect this level of commitment to the one you love.
WRITING YOUR OWN VOWS IS A WONDERFUL WAY TO EXPRESS YOUR LOVE. OR YOU CAN USE VOWS THAT HAVE BEEN PROVIDED FOR YOU
The vows listed below are tried and true. They are arranged from the most simple to the longest. Feel free, however, to amend any vow to make it more personal or meaningful. You may want to use the samples below as a springboard for your own creativity. Also feel free to pick different vows for the bride and the groom.
1) (Name), I love you. You are the one I want to spend the rest of my life with. By all that we hold sacred, I promise my faith and devotion to you. I take you to be my (husband/wife).
2) I, (Name), take you (Name), to be my (husband/wife). To have and to hold from this day forward. For better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; in joy and in sorrow; to love and to cherish; and to be faithful to you alone, all the days of my life. This is my promise to you.
3) (Name), all that I am, and all that I have, I offer to you, in love and in joy. From this day forward I will love and comfort you, hold you close, prize you above all others, and remain faithful to you all the days of our lives.
4) (Name), I take you to be my (husband/wife). I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life; this is my promise to you.
5) (Name), I take you to be my (husband/wife); to have and to hold, from this day forward. I give to you my unending love and devotion. I promise to be true to you. I promise to cherish you. I promise to share my hopes and dreams with you. I look forward to spending the rest of my life with you, my best friend. I will love you forever.
6) (Name), in the presence of God and before these witnesses, I take you to be my (husband/wife). I give you my hand, I give you my love, and I give you myself. I pledge to stand by you as long as we live. Come, travel with me, and share the road both when it is hard and when it easy.
7) (Name), I commit my life to our partnership in marriage. I promise to comfort you, to encourage you in our journey through life. I promise to express my thoughts and emotions to you and to listen to you in times of joy and in times of sorrow. (Name), I love you, and you are my closest friend. Will you let me share my life and all that I am with you? (Response: "I will.")
8) (Name), 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 share in your dreams, and support you as you strive to achieve your goals. I will listen to you with compassion and understanding, and speak to you with encouragement. I will help you when you need it, and step aside when you don't. I will remain faithful to you for better or worse, in times of sickness and health. You are my best friend, and I will love and respect you always.
9) (Name), I take you to be my husband/wife. From this day forward, I promise you these things. I will be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow. I will be faithful to you all the days of my life. You are my best friend, and this is my promise to you.
10) In the presence of God and these witnesses, I (Name), take you (Name), to be my husband / wife. I will cherish our friendship, and love you today, tomorrow, and forever. I will trust you and honor you. I will love you faithfully through the best and the worst, through the difficult and the easy. Whatever may come I will always be there. As I have given you my hand to hold, so I give you my life to keep. And I will love you every day with the help of God.
ARE YOU THINKING YOU WOULD LIKE TO MEMORIZE YOUR VOWS?
Some couples consider memorizing their vows and while memorizing seems like a good idea, it is seldom successful. But there is a positive aspect to this. Typically, when your memory fails, you will speak from the heart, and this becomes a beautiful spontaneous moment. Personally, I suggest you read your vows from a card. ThIs can help reduce your stress and let you enjoy the moment.