Choosing traditional marriage vows shows that you have a respect for the past and favor a more conservative view of marriage. There is something deeply emotional and utterly romantic about repeating words that have been declared for centuries.
A sense of warmth and comfort usually accompanies a ceremony steeped in rich tradition. It also keeps you from having to come up with some wonderfully romantic prose of your own!
Traditional marriage vows usually go something like this:
“I, (insert your name here), take you, (insert your partner’s name here), to be my lawfully wedded husband. To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, to love and to cherish until death do us part.
At some point “with this ring, I thee wed” is said. (This is the part where you get your new bling!)
It often ends with the minister or reverend declaring, “I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride!”
More examples can be found at About.com's wedding vow page.
Adding a Twist
If you like the idea of respecting the past while adding a unique spin, why not incorporate your own special wording? Here are a few tips to help you do just that:
- Avoid adding funny variations to conservative wording. I once went to a wedding where the groom added that he would take his wife in sickness and in health...unless she got sick on the carpet. Needless to say, the congregation didn’t laugh and the bride sure as heck didn’t think it was funny either! Keep it clean and keep it somewhat serious. Save the jokes for the reception.
- Keep it short! There’s nothing worse than a ceremony dragging on and on. It’s difficult for guests to stay "in the moment" of a long ceremony and it’ll be hard for you too! We often underestimate how we’ll feel dressed in layers of tulle and tuxedo. I guarantee you won’t want a two hour ceremony filled with grandiose wording.
Granted, traditional marriage vows can run fairly long in general, but do what you can to shorten the rest of the ceremony. Keep it short, sweet and simple. Trust me on this one.
- Finally, I’d suggest keeping your ideas between the two of you until you're ready to reveal them at your wedding. What I mean by that is, don’t go getting everyone’s opinion about what you should and shouldn’t include. These are YOUR vows. They are highly personal and you shouldn’t care what other people think. Consider seriously what you want to convey. What are you promising to the love of your life, for the rest of your life? xoxo