What are “vows of marriage”? Marriage vows are promises made by couples to one another in the event of a wedding ceremony. The nature and wording of wedding vows can vary from person to person, depending on factors such as religion, personal beliefs, personality, and circumstances. Although most people associate marriage vows with the typical "to have and to hold, till death do us part," each culture and couple's marriage vows are truly unique.
Cultural Wedding Vow Ideas
Previously, we’ve discussed cultural wedding vows ideas in our blog, “Wedding Vows Ideas from Across Cultures,” for couples wanting to create a ceremony that beautifully reflects their union. We have eight more cultural weddings vow ideas for those who are planning a wedding.
1. Lutheran Wedding Vows
The Lutheran religion is a denomination of Christianity based on the belief that the Bible is the written word of God. In the Lutheran tradition, which in the United States is made up of three major Lutheran church bodies (the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod), matrimony is a covenant of fidelity. This covenant is grounded in a couple's steadfast love of God, faithfulness and commitment.
For Lutheran couples, your wedding service is an opportunity to honor your Christian faith and celebrate your lifelong commitment to one another under God's blessing. A Lutheran wedding ceremony is a pastor-led worship service, with couples exchanging vows in the presence of God, family members, and friends.
Lutheran vows may include words such as these, or similar: “I, ________, take you, __________, to be my wife/husband/spouse/life partner 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.”
2. Roman Catholic Wedding Vows
From the bride being escorted down the aisle by her father to the exchange of wedding bands, if there's one religion that is dedicated to its tradition, it's Catholicism. The exchange of vows is the most important part, as these proclamations are what unite Catholic couples in holy matrimony.
A traditional Catholic wedding is highly liturgical and follows a structural form. As part of a wedding ceremony in the Catholic church, couples generally don't exchange their own wedding vows. Instead, they customarily recite traditional wedding vows to enter into Christian marriage.
The vows include: “I, (name), take you, (name), 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 in health, until death do us part."
3. Presbyterian Wedding Vows
Presbyterian wedding vows will generally adhere to the format established by the Presbyterian Church (USA) (PCUSA) or the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). Presbyterian vows are the promises that bind a couple together in matrimony. Usually, the pastor will explain before the vow exchange, and the words used are generally drawn from the Common Book of Worship.
Wedding vows in the Presbyterian Church are vows of love and faithfulness given in accordance with God's ordinance. Before exchanging vows, you and your partner will affirm your desire and intention to enter into the covenant of marriage with declarations of intention.
Presbyterian wedding vows include: “In the name of God, I, (Partner One), take you, (Partner Two), to be my (wife/ husband/ spouse), 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.”
4. Episcopalian Wedding Vows
A union in the Episcopalian church is understood to be intended by God for the couple’s mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; and, when it is God’s will, for the procreation of children and their nurture in the knowledge and love of the Lord.
During an Episcopalian wedding, at the Declaration of Consent, the couple pledges to love, comfort, honor, and keep their spouse, in sickness and in health, and, forsaking all others, to be faithful to their spouse as long as they both live.
These promises are witnessed by the congregation, which also promise to do all in their power to uphold the couple in their marriage. During the ceremony, the couple may promise their lives to each other by the giving and receiving of rings as symbols of their vows. When desired, other suitable symbols of their vows may be used in place of rings.
5. Anglican Wedding Vows
Anglicanism (also known as The Church of England) is one of the major branches of the 16th-century Protestant Reformation. It is a form of Christianity that features both Protestant and Roman Catholic practices and beliefs.
An Anglican wedding ceremony is based upon a public and life-long covenant between a man and a woman. This ceremony is spoken and celebrated in the presence of God and in front of witnesses. On their wedding day the bride and bridegroom face each other, make their promises and receive God's blessing.
The vows taken include: “I [Name] take you [Name] 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, till death us do part, according to God's holy law.”
6. Civil Wedding Vows
If religious vows aren't for you, a civil wedding ceremony may be a better choice. Civil wedding ceremonies are often short affairs, held in venues ranging from the courthouse to the family home, the mountains, a hotel, or the beach.
You can exchange traditional wedding vows or personal vows during civil ceremonies. Civil wedding vows are very customizable, and an excellent choice for couples seeking traditional marriage vows that are not faith-based.
7. Nondenominational Wedding Vows
Most weddings that are held in a specific faith or culture are structured and follow tradition. Nondenominational Christians, on the other hand, are not bound by the traditions of a church governing body or denomination; hence, nondenominational wedding vows provide a lot of flexibility. Couples can decide, in partnership with their officiant, what vows best fit their relationship and what they want to proclaim before God and loved ones.
A nondenominational, or secular, wedding occurs when couples decide to have their wedding outside of any specific faith and also will use their own nontraditional vows.
8. Eastern Orthodox Wedding Vows
Traditional Greek Orthodox wedding vows are unique because often, the vows are completely silent. In private, the couples reflect on their commitment to their faith and to one another through a handwritten letter. Orthodox Christians view the marriage ceremony as the bride and groom coming together in the eyes of God.
Vows are not exchanged since God, not the legal system, makes the couple a married couple. Some Russian Orthodox ceremonies, however, include a spoken vow. Traditional prayer is also recited three times to bind the couple together.
Whether you decide to integrate cultural tradition into your wedding vows or create your own, Jeanne's Hair and Makeup Studio values and respects all of our clients' cultures and traditions. We provide a relaxing space for hair and makeup and offer on-site hair and makeup for brides and their bridal parties.
For couples wanting to hold a small ceremony or elopement, we also offer a beautiful area on-site space for exchanging vows, as well as a getting-ready room. Our team is dedicated to making sure you look and feel your absolute best. If you’d like to learn more about Jeanne’s Hair & Makeup Studio, visit our website or contact us.