TRADITIONAL WEDDING VOWS FOUND IN DIFFERENT RELIGIONS & CULTURES
For many couples, their wedding is more than a commitment to their partner—it’s also a celebration of their faith. And reciting those faith-based, traditional wedding vows is one of the most significant moments of the ceremony. Though you may not have written the vows and promises yourselves, you can still feel the meaning and power behind the words just as deeply and personally.
These religious vows have been passed down from generation to generation, so exact phrasing may differ a bit, but the sentiment remains the same. This page presents different sample vows from various faiths; your officiant will likely have their preferred version, but he or she may be open to your preference. Or, simply use these poignant vows as a jumping off point for writing your own.
CELTIC WEDDING VOWS
A look at traditions: There are a few Celtic wedding traditions that are often incorporated into wedding ceremonies of various faiths and cultures across the globe. Quite often the bagpipes are a predominant instrument featured at a Celtic wedding. The bagpipers traditionally will wear plaid patterned quilts, which will also be adorned by the groom and wedding party. An act of handfasting, which involves tying a knot in a ribbon around the bride and groom’s embraced hands is another iconic event taken from a traditional Celtic wedding.
Celtic Wedding Vows Sample 1:
“Ye are blood of my blood, and bone of my bone.
I give ye my body, that we two might be one.
I give ye my spirit, 'til our life shall be done.
You cannot possess me for I belong to myself
But while we both wish it, I give you that which is mine to give
You cannot command me, for I am a free person
But I shall serve you in those ways you require
and the honeycomb will taste sweeter coming from my hand.”
Celtic Wedding Vows Sample 2:
“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; I shall be a shield for your back as you are for mine, not shall a grievous word be spoken about us, for our marriage is sacred between us and no stranger shall hear my grievance. Above and beyond this, I will cherish and honor you through this life and into the next.”
Celtic Wedding Vows Sample 3:
“I, (groom’s name), in the name of the spirit of God that resides within us all, by the life that courses within my blood and the love that resides within my heart, take thee, (bride’s name), to my hand, my heart, and my spirit, to be my chosen one. To desire thee and be desired by thee, to possess thee, and be possessed by thee, without sin or shame, for naught can exist in the purity of my love for thee. I promise to love thee wholly and completely without restraint, in sickness and in health, in plenty and in poverty, in life and beyond, where we shall meet, remember, and love again. 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.”
“I, (bride’s name), in the name of the spirit of God that resides within us all, by the life that courses within my blood and the love that resides within my heart, take thee, (groom’s name), to my hand, my heart, and my spirit, to be my chosen one. To desire thee and be desired by thee, to possess thee, and be possessed by thee, without sin or shame, for naught can exist in the purity of my love for thee. I promise to love thee wholly and completely without restraint, in sickness and in health, in plenty and in poverty, in life and beyond, where we shall meet, remember, and love again. 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.”
BUDDHIST WEDDING VOWS
A look at traditions: Buddhist weddings are known for elaborate colors and attire. While brides are traditionally dressed in white in other religions and cultures, it is not uncommon in a Buddhist ceremony to see the bride dressed in layers of bright colors and fabric adorned in gold jewelry. The groom is often dressed in a brocade garment made of beautiful silks and threads. If the ceremony takes place near a Buddhist temple, often times there will be candles lit, incense burned, and offerings presented in honor.
Buddhist Wedding Vows Sample 1: Repeat After Officiant
“I, ________, take you, ________, 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 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.”
Buddhist Wedding Vows Sample 2: “We Dos”
Officiant: “Recognizing that the external conditions in life will not always be smooth and that internally your own minds and emotions will sometimes get stuck in negativity. Do you pledge to see all these circumstances as a challenge to help you grow, to open your hearts, to accept yourselves, and each other; and to generate compassion for others who are suffering? Do you pledge to avoid becoming narrow, closed, or opinionated, and to help each other to see various sides of situations?”
Wedded couple: “We do.”
Officiant: “Understanding that just as we are a mystery to ourselves, each other person is also a mystery to us. 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?”
Wedded couple: “We do.”
Officiant: “Do you pledge to preserve and enrich your affection for each other, and to share it with all beings? To take the loving feelings you have for one another and your vision of each other's potential and inner beauty as an example and rather than spiraling inwards and becoming self-absorbed, to radiate this love outwards to all beings?”
Wedded couple: “We do.”
Buddhist Wedding Vows Sample 3: Spoken in Unison
“Knowing how deeply our lives intertwine with each other and with all beings, we undertake the practice of protecting life.
Knowing how deeply our lives intertwine with each other and with all beings, we undertake the practice of taking only what is offered.
Knowing how deeply our lives intertwine with each other and with all beings, we undertake the practice of cultivating loving-kindness and honesty as the basis for speaking.
Knowing how deeply our lives intertwine with each other and with all beings, we undertake the practice of using sexuality wisely and using it to protect our commitment to each other.
Knowing how deeply our lives intertwine with each other and with all beings, we undertake the practice of avoiding substances or practices that may cloud my perception of the present moment.”
HINDU WEDDING VOWS
A look at traditions: The wedding date for a Hindu wedding is traditionally selected through an astronomical assessment of the wedding couple’s birthdates. Once a date is set, there is usually a grand party called a sangeet hosted before the actual wedding ceremony where families can dance and sing for each other. Garlands of flowers are also very prominent at a Hindu wedding. The wedding couple will give each other wedding garlands to wear and then later in the ceremony those garlands are joined together as one.
Hindu Wedding Vows Sample: The Seven Steps
“Let us take the first step to provide for our household a nourishing and pure diet, avoiding those foods injurious to healthy living.
Let us take the second step to develop physical, mental, and spiritual powers.
Let us take the third step to increase our wealth by righteous means and proper use.
Let us take the fourth step to acquire knowledge, happiness, and harmony by mutual love and trust.
Let us take the fifth step so that we are blessed with strong, virtuous, and heroic children.
Let us take the sixth step for self-restraint and longevity.
Finally, let us take the seventh step and be true companions and remain lifelong partners by this wedlock.”
JEWISH WEDDING VOWS
A look at traditions: Most Jewish weddings you attend will have a four-post wedding canopy, called a Chuppah, that the couple will be married under. This canopy represents the home that these two are now creating for each other. Often times the bride will circle the groom under the Chuppah a symbolic number of times. The ceremony concludes when the groom breaks a glass with his right foot enthusiastically. The guests in attendance can then shout “mazel tov”, which translates to “congratulations.”
Jewish Wedding Vows Sample:
There are no vows exchanged in a traditional Jewish ceremony, though many couples are now including spoken vows of their own. Traditionally, the marriage vow is completed when the groom places a ring on the bride’s finger and recites (in English transliteration), “Haray at mekudeshet lee beh-taba'at zo keh-dat Moshe veh-Yisrael," which, in English, reads, "Behold, you are consecrated to me with this ring according to the laws of Moses and Israel."
MUSLIM WEDDING VOWS
A look at traditions: Muslim weddings are also called a “nikah”. If you are attending a Muslim ceremony and see a program of events, understand that the nikah is the actual event where the couple is married. Dating back centuries, it is common for the groom to gift the bride something significant, which is called the Mahr. Think of this as a dowry of jewelry, money, or property given to the wife. While a Muslim reception will be full of dancing and excitement, do keep in mind that alcohol will not be served.
Muslim Wedding Vows Sample:
Bride: “I, ________, offer you in myself in marriage in accordance with the instructions of the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet, peace and blessing be upon Him. I pledge, in honesty and with sincerity, to be for you an obedient and faithful wife.”
Groom: “I pledge, in honesty and sincerity, to be for you a faithful and helpful husband.”
CHRISTIAN WEDDING VOWS
A look at traditions: Christian weddings traditionally feature the bride wearing a white dress and veil. The bride will enter the church and walk down the aisle and meet her groom along with the priest at the front of the church where the ceremony will take place. A few unique traditions that may or may or may not be incorporated into the wedding are the braiding of the cord of three strands and foot washing. The cord of three strands is essentially three separate pieces of rope meant to represent the bride, groom, and God, that are then braided together by the bride and groom to represent how the three individuals will come together as one. A foot-washing ceremony may also take place where the bride and groom wash each other’s feet, which references the story of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples.
Christian Wedding Vows Sample 1:
Officiant: “ ________ do you take ________ to be your husband/wife? Do you promise to love, honor, cherish and protect him/her, forsaking all others and holding only to him/her forevermore?”
Groom/Bride: “I do.”
Christian Wedding Vows Sample 2:
Groom: “I, ________, take you, ________, to be my wedded wife. With the deepest joy, I receive you into my life that together we may be one. As is Christ to His body, the church, so I will be to you a loving and faithful husband. Always will I perform my headship over you even as Christ does over me, knowing that His Lordship is one of the holiest desires for my life. I promise you my deepest love, my fullest devotion, my tenderest care. I promise I will live first unto God rather than others or even you. I promise that I will lead our lives into a life of faith and hope in Christ Jesus. Ever honoring God's guidance by His spirit through the Word, And so throughout life, no matter what may lie ahead of us, I pledge to you my life as a loving and faithful husband.”
Bride: “I, ________, take you, ________, to be my wedded husband. With the deepest joy, I come into my new life with you. As you have pledged to me your life and love, so I too happily give you my life, and in confidence submit myself to your headship as to the Lord. As is the church in her relationship to Christ, so I will be to you. ________, I will live first unto our God and then unto you, loving you, obeying you, caring for you and ever seeking to please you. God has prepared me for you and so I will ever strengthen, help, comfort, and encourage you. Therefore, throughout life, no matter what may be ahead of us, I pledge to you my life as an obedient and faithful wife.” (Source: Bible.org)
Christian Wedding Vows Sample 3:
Groom: “I love you, ________, and I know that God has ordained this love. Because of this, I desire to be your husband. Together we will be vessels for His service in accordance with His plan so that in all areas of our life Christ will have the preeminence. Through the pressures of the present and the uncertainties of the future, I promise to be faithful to you. I promise to love, guide, and protect you as Christ does His Church, and as long as we both are alive. According to Ephesians 5 and with His enabling power, I promise to endeavor to show to you the same kind of love as Christ showed the Church when He died for her, and to love you as a part of myself because in His sight we shall be one.”
Bride: “I love you, ________, and I know that you love me. Because of this, I desire to be your wife. For ________ years I have prayed that God would lead me to His choice and I am confident that His will is being fulfilled tonight. Through the pressures of the present and the uncertainties of the future, I promise to be faithful to you. I will love, serve, and obey you as long as we both are alive. Christ told us that the wife must submit herself unto her own husband as unto the Lord. For as Christ is Head of His Church so is the husband head of his wife. ________, I submit myself to you.”
CATHOLIC WEDDING VOWS
A look at traditions: Catholic weddings are full of tradition and historical practice. The act of getting married is one of the seven holy sacraments of the faith. The Sacrament of Matrimony is the precise terminology. For this reason, the marriage ceremony should take place in a Church and follow a certain formula of Bible readings and prayers. There are also traditions that involve the bride being walked down the aisle by her father, rings being exchanged, and even select days of the year where the Church will not host a wedding such as Good Friday.
Catholic Wedding Vows Sample 1:
“I, ________, take you, ________, 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 health, until death do us part.”
Catholic Wedding Vows Sample 2:
“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. I will love and honor you all the days of my life.”
BAPTIST WEDDING VOWS
A look at traditions: For the most part, a baptist wedding will look very similar to a traditional Christian wedding. The father of the bride will give away his daughter, hymns are sung, prayers are read, rings are exchanged, vows are exchanged, and the married couple is announced. There are a few subtle nuances such as the tradition to have a white carpet laid down for the bride to walk down the aisle on. The wedding reception is usually tamer, sometimes void of alcohol and dancing.
Baptist Wedding Vows Sample 1:
Officiant: “Will you, ________, have ________ to be your husband/wife? Will you love him/her, comfort and keep him/her, and forsaking all others remain true to him/her as long as you both shall live?"
Wedded couple (together or individually): “I will.”
Baptist Wedding Vows Sample 2:
Repeat: “I, ________, take thee ________, to be my husband/wife, and before God and these witnesses I promise to be a faithful and true husband/wife.”
Baptist Wedding Vows Sample 3 (Rings Exchange):
“With this ring, I thee wed, and all my worldly goods I thee endow. In sickness and in health, in poverty or in wealth, 'til death do us part.”
EASTERN ORTHODOX WEDDING VOWS
A look at traditions: There are some common traditions that are uniquely present in Eastern Orthodox weddings. A procedure of performing tasks three times, to represent the Holy Trinity, can be found throughout the ceremony. For example, wedding Stefana crowns are moved in the pattern of the sign of the cross three times over the bride and groom. Wedding rings are passed back and forth between the marriage couple three times. And the priest will also guide the married couple around the altar three times after receiving the Eucharist. Another staple element to an Eastern Orthodox wedding is the lighting of candles that will be held by the bride and groom for the duration of the ceremony, which references how God will light the way for their future together.
Eastern Orthodox Wedding Vow Sample:
“I, ________, take you, ________, as my wedded wife/husband and I promise you love, honor and respect; to be faithful to you and not to forsake you until death do us part. So help me God, one in the Holy Trinity and all the Saints.”
Note: Most traditional Eastern Orthodox weddings have silent vows during the ceremony, during which the wedded couple privately commit to being good, faithful spouses. However, in Russian ceremonies these vows are spoken aloud.
EPISCOPAL WEDDING VOWS
Episcopal Wedding Vows Sample 1:
“I, ________, take thee ________, to be my wedded husband/wife,
to have an to hold from this day forward, for better for worse,
for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish,
'til death do us part, according to God’s
ordinance; and thereto I pledge thee my troth.”
Episcopal Wedding Vows Sample 2:
“I vow to be your faithful husband/wife, understanding that marriage is a lifelong union, and not to be entered into lightly, for the purpose of mutual fellowship, encouragement, and understanding; for the procreation of children and their physical and spiritual nurture. I hereby give myself to you in this cause with my sacred vow before God.”
Episcopal Wedding Vows Sample 3:
Groom: “In the name of God, I, ________, take you, ________, to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.”
Bride: “In the name of God, I, ________, take you, ________, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.”
LUTHERAN WEDDING VOWS
Lutheran Wedding Vows Sample 1:
“________, our miracle lies in the path we have chosen together. I enter into this marriage with you knowing that the true magic of love is not to avoid changes but to navigate them successfully. Let us commit until death parts us.”
Lutheran Wedding Vows Sample 2:
“I, ________, take you, ________, to be my wife/husband, and these things I promise you: I will be faithful to you and honest with you; I will respect, trust, help, and care for you; I will share my life with you; I will forgive you as we have been forgiven; and I will try with you better to understand ourselves, the world, and God; through the best and worst of what is to come, and as long as we live.”
METHODIST WEDDING VOWS
Methodist Wedding Vows Sample 1: United Methodist Declaration of Consent
“I take you, ________, to be my husband/wife from this day forward, to join with you and share all that is to come, and I promise to be faithful to you of God and this congregation to declare your intent.”
Methodist Wedding Vows Sample 2:
Officiant: “Will you have this woman/man to be your wife/husband, to live together in 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?”
Wedded couple: “I do.”
PRESBYTERIAN WEDDING VOWS
Presbyterian Wedding Vows Sample 1
“I, ________, take thee ________, to be my wedded husband/wife,
and I do promise and covenant, before God and these witnesses,
to be thy loving and faithful wife/husband; in plenty and in want,
in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health,
as long as we both shall live.”
Presbyterian Wedding Vows Sample 2
Officiant: “________, wilt thou have this woman/man to be thy wife/husband, and wilt thou pledge thy faith to him/her, in all love and honor, in all duty and service, in all faith and tenderness, to live with her/him, and cherish her/him, according to the ordinance of God, in the holy bond of marriage?”
Wedded couple: “I do.”
PROTESTANT WEDDING VOWS
Protestant Wedding Vows Sample:
“I, ________, take thee, ________, to be my wedded husband/wife, 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 [or] pledge myself to you.”
UNITARIAN WEDDING VOWS
Unitarian Wedding Vows Sample 1:
Officiant: “________, will you take ________ as your wife/husband, will you pledge to share your life openly with her/him, to speak the truth to her/him, in love? Will you promise to honor and tenderly care for her/him, to encourage her/him fulfillment as an individual through all the changes in your lives?”
Wedded couple: “I do.”
Unitarian Wedding Vows Sample 2:
“I, ________, take you, ________, to be my 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 cherish always.”
Unitarian Wedding Vows Sample 3:
Officiant: “________, will you take ________ to be your wife/husband; love, honor, and cherish her/him now and forevermore?”
Wedded couple: “I do.”
NONDENOMINATIONAL WEDDING VOWS
A look at traditions: Nondenominational weddings occur when the wedding couple may want to break away from the traditional confines of a structured wedding routine. They can also occur when the wedding couple shares two different religious backgrounds or one or both parties are atheists. An officiant leads the marriage ceremony which can draw from traditions preferred by the wedding couple. For example, the bride could opt to wear a dress that isn’t white, there could be religious references from multiple beliefs, and the wedding guests could be asked to each hold candles. The ceremony is molded by the wishes of the wedding couple.
Nondenominational Wedding Vow Sample 1
“I ________, take thee ________, to be my husband/wife.
To have and to hold,
in sickness and in health,
for richer or for poorer,
and I promise my love to you forevermore.”
Nondenominational Wedding Vow Sample 2
“I, ________, take you, ________, to be my husband/wife. To share the good times and hard times side by side. I humbly give you my hand and my heart as a sanctuary of warmth and peace, and pledge my faith and love to you. Just as this circle is without end, my love for you is eternal. Just as it is made of incorruptible substance, my commitment to you will never fail. With this ring, I thee wed.”
Nondenominational Wedding Vow Sample 3
“Before our friends and those so special to us here, on this wonderful day of gladness and good fortune, I, ________, take you, ________, as my husband/wife, in friendship and in love, in strength and weakness, to share the good times and misfortune, in achievement and failure, to celebrate life with you forevermore.”
WEDDING VOWS IN SPANISH (VOTOS MATRIMONIALES EN ESPAÑOL)
Wedding Vows in Spanish Sample 1:
Groom: “Yo, ________, te quiero a ti, _______, como esposa, y me entrego a ti, y prometo serte fiel en las alegrías y en las penas, en la salud y en la enfermedad, todos los días de mi vida.”
Bride: “Yo, ________, te quiero a ti, ______, como esposo, y me entrego a ti, y prometo serte fiel en las alegrías y en las penas, en la salud y en la enfermedad, todos los días de mi vida.”
Wedding Vows in Spanish Sample 2:
“Hoy, ‘nombre del novio o la novia’, uno mi vida a la tuya, no solo como tu marido/mujer, sinó como tu amigo/a, tu amante y tu confidente. Déjame ser el hombro en el que te apoyas, la roca sobre la que descansas, el/la compañero/a de tu vida. Desde este día caminaré junto a tí.”
Wedding Vows in Spanish Sample 3:
“Yo, _________, prometo amarte, honrarte y apreciarte siempre. Prometo permanecer junto a ti en lo bueno y en lo malo. Prometo ser un esposo/a fiel y amante. Prometo ser el/la más comprensivo/a en la enfermedad y la tristeza. Prometo entregarte mi alma. Prometo ser tu compañero/a y tu mejor amigo/a. Y prometo amarte con toda mi alma y mi corazón por toda la eternidad. Por favor, acepta este anillo como símbolo de nuestro amor y de nuestra amistad. Te quiero _____________.”
We hope our list of traditional wedding vows from various faiths and cultures inspires you in selecting your own unique vows. We have some great additional posts on helpful tips on creating your own wedding vows, vow ideas for him, vow ideas for her, funny wedding vows, and romantic wedding vows. From sentimental one-liners to in-depth excerpts, we think you will discover a vow or two that catches your eye.
Photo: Cassidy Carson Photography