Sample Wedding Vows

The Importance of Vows

“To have and to hold; for better or worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health…”

Set up a no-obligation meeting with Pastor Joseph and get over twenty free samples of vows.

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At the very heart of wedding ceremony are the vows. All the other elements, the decorations, the reception, the dance, even the bride’s dress are in some sense secondary to your vows. This is one part of your wedding that you really want to be true to your hearts and the message delivered with excellence.

With the exception of the Bride’s Grand Entrance no other element in your ceremony may be so important. This is the moment that everyone has been waiting for, as they listen with anticipation, cameras flashing, you are the center of attention, the Bride, the Groom and time stands still forever.

Bride and Groom walk

This is also one of the primary areas where a seasoned professional and experienced officiant can make an incredible positive impact on your ceremony. Less experienced officiants might get tongued tied or “feed” the groom or bride too many words, and then the couple makes a mistake and everybody laughs but inside the wedded pair feels despair.

Over the years, we have learned so much to help our brides and grooms share their vows with great success. We’ve learned from our mistakes and the mistakes of others. You have our absolute commitment that during your vows we will do everything possible to make you feel comfortable, look good, and share your heart with everlasting meaning.

As a part that commitment when we meet during our first no cost, no obligation meeting, we share over twenty different samples of vows that we have used over the last two decades. You can use one of our time tested vows or use them as a springboard to design your own personalized vows. Either way we provide the maximize opportunity for you to personalize and express your hearts with freedom.

Types of Vows

A “vow” is a solemn, unconditional promise, made in the presence of witnesses. The promise can include commitments that will be said or done, and commitments about things that will not be said or done.

Nicole and Carl repeat their vows

Here’s Pastor Joseph off to the side as Nicole and Carl repeat their vows at Barnes’ Place in Adel, Iowa.

Traditionally the Groom says his vows first, followed in turn by the Bride. In some cases the couple may choose to say them in unison to each other or alternate back and forth. Usually the couple will face each other and join hands for their vows. One of the things we love to do is to allow our brides and grooms to have the opportunity to be the center focus during their vows.

There are basically three different ways to exchange wedding vows:

  1. Question and Answer Vows
  2. Responsive Vows, Monologue and Dialogue
  3. Bride and Groom Read and Recite
    • Bride and Groom Read their vows to each other
    • Bride and Groom Recite their Personally Written Wedding Vows
    • Bride and Groom share Personal Promises from their hearts

Question and Answer Vows

With these vows the bride and groom simply answer “I do” or “I will”. The main advantages of these vows are that they are “quick and easy”, and are preferred by couples who may be a bit shy, self-conscious, are more private or not overly romantic. This style is quite commonly used by judges at a courthouse wedding and in Las Vegas-style wedding chapels. The main disadvantage for this kind of vow is that it may not seem very serious, but that can be overcome with the context in which we present it during your ceremony.

Responsive Vows, Monologue Form

The most common form of vows is for the wedding officiant to state each vow, in short phrases, each of which is repeated by the Groom, and then in turn by the Bride.

One of the greatest advantages of this vow is that it also gives your guests the best chance to hear the words of vows – despite your best intentions; you might become a bit too emotional to say them in a loud, clear voice.

Responsive Vows, Dialogue Form

In dialogue form, vows are made in the form an intimate personal conversation between the bride and groom, which they have invited their guests to witness, capturing the beauty of their love and commitment to each other. The Groom and Bride alternate back and forth as they speak and share their vows, repeating after each vow as it is shared in short phrases by your wedding officiant. Vows in the dialogue form can beautifully emphasize the bride and groom’s union being made up of two distinct people of equal worth as well as creating a powerful living example of the team, partnership and unity they are creating.

Bride and Groom Read and Recite

Jonathan and Liz vows

Jonathan and Liz on the High Trestle Bridge

The third kind of wedding vow, is actually prepared and spoken by the Groom and Bride as they express their feelings for the other, along with promises to do (and/or not to do) certain things.

It can include a simple statement of your love, your promises and your heart (a personal promise), and/or your complete vows.

Most couples write them out and read them to the other during the ceremony. A few brave souls have tried to memorize them, but usually needing to sneak a look at their written vows at some point.

The main advantage, and challenge, of this type of wedding vow is the opportunity for the Groom and Bride to put their deepest thoughts and feelings for each other into their own words.

Remember, you don’t have to make exactly the same vows: some couples choose to start with the same basic vows and then add special promises to one another.

You may also choose not the share your vows with each other before the ceremony, and instead make it a heartfelt surprise on your wedding day. If you like this idea we can work with you to make sure that both sets of vows separately are of a similar length, style and tone, coaching you without letting you in on the other’s secret!

Don’t worry about having to memorize your vows. Unless you are a star performer under pressure, it is best to read them or repeat them after I recite them. If you write your own vows or plan to read them, make sure that I have a copy of your vows, so that I can encourage and assist you in the completion of your vows, in the event that you get caught up in the moment and begin to struggle or lose your place.