Traditional Wedding Vows From Various Religions Across The World

by Harini Natarajan

Deciding whether to opt for personalized wedding vows or use traditional prewritten wedding vows can often be hard. While it stands true that personal vows are meaningful and exceptionally intimate to the bride, groom, as well as the guests, going for this option can be overwhelming and stressful. Some couples even prefer to exchange vows in private instead of doing it in front of all their family and friends.

However, it is often overlooked that traditional vows can be just as intensely meaningful and beautiful as personalized vows. They are great for couples who want to eliminate the element of stress. Also, traditional vows are considered sacred and blessed.

Andrea Eppolito, an event designer and wedding planner, states, “The nice thing about traditional vows is that they tie you to all of the history that has come before you, and when it’s time to repeat them it’s almost like muscle memory. The rhythm kicks in, and you are able to relax and not worry about what you are going to say. Traditional vows are very classic, easy, and as close to fool-proof as possible. The final weeks leading up to a wedding can be busy and stressful, so using traditional wedding vows is truthfully one less thing you have to think about and practice. Your parents may have also read traditional wedding vows, [allowing you to create] an amazing video of your wedding vows and your parents made into one. If you are religious, your house of worship will have a set that you can look through. Otherwise, the internet has a large selection of traditional vows and verses you can somewhat mix and match, so they fit your relationship.”

If you and your partner decide to go for traditional vows, you have plenty of options to choose from. To help you, we have provided plenty of sample vows to help inspire you. Take a peek!

Traditional Wedding Vows

1. Catholic Wedding Vows

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Before getting to the vows, Catholic brides and grooms generally have to answer three questions from the priest:

  • “(Name) and (name), have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves to each other in marriage?”
  • “Will you honor each other as man and wife for the rest of your lives?”
  • “Will you accept children lovingly from God and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church?”

You both have to respond with either “yes” or “I will” and continue the vows yourselves:

“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.”

“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.”

2. Apache Wedding Vows

In Apache tradition, couples generally don’t exchange vows. Usually, a wedding blessing is read out to the couple:

“Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other. Now there will be no loneliness, for each of you will be companion to the other. Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you. May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years. May happiness be your companion, and your days together be good and long upon the earth.”

“Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together. Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness, and kindness that your connection deserves. When frustration, difficulties, and fear assail your relationship, as they threaten all relationships at one time or another, remember to focus on what is right between you, not only the part which seems wrong. In this way, you can ride out the storms when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives — remembering that even if you lose sight of it for a moment, the sun is still there. And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.”

3. Episcopal Wedding Vows

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“______, wilt thou have this woman/man to be thy wedded wife/husband to live together after God’s ordinance in the Holy Estate of Matrimony? Wilt thou love her/him? Comfort her/him, honor and keep her/him, in sickness and in health, and forsaking 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 have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.”

4. Protestant Wedding Vows

“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.”

5. Presbyterian Wedding Vows

“______, 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?”

“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 and want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live.”

6. Lutheran Wedding Vows

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“I take you, ______, to be my wife/husband from this day forward, to join with you and share all 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 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.”

7. Baptist Wedding Vows

There are two ways traditional Baptist vows are read. The first is a ‘call and response’ method that your officiant practices.

Officiant: “Will you, have _____ to be your (wife/husband)? Will you love her/him, comfort and keep her/him, and forsaking all others remain true to her/him, as long as you both shall live?”

Couple: “I will.”

The other option is a shorter version of the vows. It is a one-liner recited by both the bride and groom:

“I, _____, take thee, to be my (wife/husband), and before God and these witnesses, I promise to be a faithful and true (husband/wife).”

8. Cherok ee Wedding Vows

In the Cherokee tradition, a beautiful wedding blessing is read to the brides and grooms:

“God in heaven above, please protect the ones we love. We honor all you created as we pledge our hearts and lives together. We honor Mother Earth and ask for our marriage to be abundant and grow stronger through the seasons. We honor fire and ask that our union be warm and glowing with love in our hearts. We honor wind and ask that we sail through life safe and calm as in our father’s arms. We honor water to clean and soothe our relationship — that it may never thirst for love. With all the forces of the universe you created, we pray for harmony as we grow forever young together. Amen.”

9. Buddhist Wedding Vows

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Tibetan Buddhist brides and grooms answer a set of vows read by out the officiant. These vows are longer than the vows of most other religions, but they create a sense of companionship as the bride and groom have to respond in unison.

Officiant: “(Bride’s first name) and (groom’s first name) do you pledge to help each other to develop your hearts and minds, cultivating compassion, generosity, ethics, patience, enthusiasm, concentration, and wisdom as you age and undergo the various ups and downs of life and to transform them into the path of love, compassion, joy, and equanimity?”

Couple: “We do.”

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?”

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 regard all the mysteries of life with curiosity and joy?”

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?”

Couple: “We do.”

10. Methodist Wedding Vows

“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?”

“In the name of God, 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 to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.”

11. Hindu Wedding Vows

Hindu wedding ceremonies have many rituals and elements. There is no such thing as “vows” as in other cultures, but the Saptha Padhi, or the Seven Steps around a flame honoring Agni, the fire god, are ‘vows’ that the couple makes to each other:

  • “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.”

12. Muslim Wedding Vows

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Muslim couples do not read or recite vows. They hear the words of the Imam or the cleric, who explains the meaning of marriage, and the bride and groom’s responsibilities towards each other as well as to Allah during the nikah (the marriage contract). After the end of the ritual, the couple has to consent to become husband and wife. They are then blessed by the

congregation. However, in rare cases, some Muslim couples do recite vows – here’s a common recitation:

Bride: “I, ___, offer you 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.”

13. Jewish Wedding Vows

There is no actual exchange of vows in a traditional Jewish ceremony. The covenant is said to be implied in the ritual. The wedding ceremony rituals vary within Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist, and Reform synagogues, and among individual rabbis. Usually, the marriage vow is sealed when the groom puts a ring on the bride’s finger and says, “Haray at mekudeshet lee beh-taba’at zo keh-dat Moshe veh-Yisrael,” which roughly translates to, “Behold, you are consecrated to me with this ring according to the laws of Moses and Israel.”

In addition to the ring exchange, the Sheva Berakhot or Seven Blessings are recited. Here is a translated quote:

“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.

Blessed are You, Adonai, our God, Ruler of the universe, gladden the beloved companions as You gladdened Your creatures in the garden of Eden. Blessed are You, Adonai, Who gladdens this couple. Blessed are You, Adonai, our God, Ruler of the universe, Who created joy and gladness, loving couples, mirth, glad song, pleasure, delight, love, loving communities, peace, and companionship. Adonai, our God, let there soon be heard … the voice of the loving couple, the sound of their jubilance from their canopies and of the youths from their song-filled feasts. Blessed are You Who causes the couple to rejoice, one with the other.

We bless God for creating joy and happiness, bride and groom, mirth song, gladness and rejoicing, love and harmony, peace and companionship; and we thank God for letting this bride and groom rejoice together.”

14. Eastern Orthodox Wedding Vows

Most Orthodox churches now go for silent vows during the ceremony. It is an introspective prayer in which the bride and the groom promise to be loving and loyal to each other. However, in the Russian tradition, vows are often spoken out loud:

“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.”

15. Non-denominational Wedding Vows

In non-denominational weddings, the bride and the groom practice a knot-tying unity ceremony (where they have to make a fishermen’s knot, the one that grows stronger with the application of pressure). Then, they vow to each other:

” I, (name), commit myself to you, (name of significant other), as (wife/husband) to learn and grow with, to explore and adventure with, to respect you in everything as an equal partner, in the foreknowledge of joy and pain, strength and weariness, direction and doubt, for all the risings and settings of the sun. We tie these knots to symbolize our connection to one another. They represent our trust in each other and our combined strength together.”

“I, ______, take you, ______, to be no 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 abiding love for me, through all our years, and in all that life may bring us.”

“______, I take you as my wife/husband, with your faults and your strengths, as I offer myself to you with my faults and my strengths. I will help you when you need help and turn to you when I need help. I choose you as the person with whom I will spend my life.”

16. Quaker Wedding Vows

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“In the presence of God and these our friends I take thee, ______, to be my husband/wife, promising with Divine assistance to be unto thee a loving and faithful husband/wife so long as we both shall live.”

17. Unitarian Wedding Vows

The Unitarian Universalist Church allows individual ministers to choose the service structure and wording. But usually, the vows resemble Christian wording and themes:

“______, will you take ______ to be your wife/husband; love, honor, and cherish her/him now and forevermore?”

“______, 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?”

“______, will you have this woman/man, ______, to be your wedded wife/husband, to live together in marriage, will you love her/him, comfort her/him, honor her/him and keep her/him, in sickness and in health, in sorrow and in joy, so long as you both shall live?”

“______, do you take this woman/man, ______, to be your wife/husband? Do you pledge to share your life openly with her/him and to speak the truth to her/him in love?
(I do.)

Will you comfort her/him, honor her/him and keep her/him, in sickness and in health, in sorrow and in joy, so long as you both shall live?”
(I will.)

Whether you want to stick to traditional vows or go for personalized ones, it is totally up to you. However, just because they are traditional and old school doesn’t mean traditional vows are boring. The meanings behind these traditional religious vows are super romantic. In fact, they are a great reference point for writing your own vows. You can also alter them to suit you and your husband-to-be. Each religion has wedding practices and traditions that have been passed down and practiced through generations. The phrases may vary slightly from place to place and among different officiators, so talk to your officiant and discuss what you all want to go for. Congratulations have a very happy married

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Harini Natarajan

Harini has over 12 years of experience in content writing and editing for online media. She specializes in the areas of business, health and wellness, and lifestyle and is proficient in Medical Sciences (Biology, Human Anatomy and Physiology, and Biochemistry). As the Chief Editor, Harini ensures that her team delivers interesting, engaging, and authentic content. Her background in Biomedical Engineering helps her decode and interpret the finer nuances of scientific research for her team. Harini is a certified bibliophile and a closet poet. She also loves dancing and traveling to offbeat destinations.
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