A Guide To Non-Religious and Humanist Wedding Vows

The vows you make to each other are the cornerstone and key moment of your wedding.

I always strongly encourage every couple to make their vows as personal and meaningful as possible. They are a formal dedication to each other which truly marks the start of your wonderful married life.

Vow Formats

You may find a marriage vow you feel is appropriate, but want to convert it into a different format. Any vow can be changed to suit the way you want to exchange your pledges to one another.

Recited: “(Name), please share with us your pledges to (Name).” with the couple then reciting or reading their previously memorized or written vows.

Responsive: “(Name), please look into (Name’s) eyes as I ask you; “Do you / Will you….” to which the couple responds “I will” or “I do.”

Repetitive: “(Name), please look into (Name’s) eyes as you repeat after me, …” prompting the couple in a series of easily repeated lines.

Combination: The couple may opt to combine two of the above vow styles. Vows can begin in the repetitive style and then transition into responsive.

Vow Language

You may stumble across a vow containing the sentiments you wish to express, but find it either too stilted or too casual. By altering a few words, using full names or nick names, you can easily change a vow to suit your personalities and the tone of your wedding. The vows below say essentially the same thing, but I think you’ll agree convey a different tone.

I, (name), take you (name), to be my lawfully wedded (wife/husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better and for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, keeping myself only unto you until death we do part.

I, (name), take you, (name), to be my beloved (wife/husband), to honor and treasure, to be at your side in times of sorrow and in times of joy, to love and comfort you always, pledging my faithfulness to our union, for all the days of my life.

Sample Vows

The following list of vows is far from exhaustive, but hopefully will give you some ideas. It does not begin to touch the creativity we can bring to your own ceremony. You can find more vows at other sites on the internet and in wedding planning books. I am always happy to help you craft your own unique vows if you would like some assistance.

1. I, (name), take you (name), to be my lawfully wedded (wife/husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better and for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, keeping myself only unto you until death we do part.

2. I, (name), take you, (name), to be my beloved (wife/husband), to honor and treasure, to be at your side in times of sorrow and in times of joy, to love and comfort you always, pledging my faithfulness to our union, for all the days of my life.

3. I, (name), take you (name) to be my husband./wife. I promise to be true to you through the inevitable changes life brings. I will remain by your side in times of want and times of plenty. When we are ill and when we are well, when we grieve and when we rejoice, I will love and honor you all the days of my life. I offer my trust in you, vowing to be faithful and understanding from this day forward.

4. (Name), I give to you everything I am and everything I will ever be. I value our friendship beyond measure. I promise to share your dreams and help you achieve your goals. I will never stand behind you or in front of you but always beside you. I will listen to you with an open heart and an open mind pledging my honesty, compassion, fidelity and forgiveness. I promise to love you no matter what tomorrow brings. I will always be your most loyal friend and your loving husband/wife because you are my heart and my soul now and forever.

5. (Name), you are the person I want to share my life with. I want to be the one to give you warmth when you are cold, comfort when you are in pain, joy when you are sad. I will care for you as you care for me, sharing equally in the responsibilities we both bring to our marriage. I will support you in all your endeavors. I give you my trust and promise to be worthy of your trust. I will remain by your side now and forever as your husband/wife.

6. I, (name), vow to love you, (name), and care for you as long as we both shall live. I take you, with all 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 will turn to you when I need help. I choose you as the person with whom I will spend my life.

7. I, (name), am proud to marry you, (name), the woman/man I want by my side for the rest of my life. I promise to give you all the love, courtesy, respect, and attention a good union demands. I dedicate myself in mind, body, heart and soul to bring you happiness and comfort from this day forward.

8. (Name), you are the love of my life, the inspiration I have always sought. I pledge my dedication to you for the rest of my life. I love you with all of my heart and soul. I will do everything within my power to ensure your happiness and well-being. I, (name), take you, from this day forward, to be a part of me, and promise to look upon you forever with dedication, understanding, and unconditional love.

9. (Name), I love you with all my heart and soul. You are everything I could hope to find in a woman/man. You are loving, thoughtful, caring, smart, and beautiful/handsome in my eyes. Your love always makes me feel like the happiest and luckiest man/woman alive. I am proud to have you as my life’s partner and promise I will always be at your side.

10. (Name), I love you. You are my best friend. Today I, (name), commit myself to you. I promise to encourage and inspire you, to laugh with you and comfort you. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, when life seems easy and when it seems hard. When our love is simple, and when it is an effort. I promise to cherish you, and to always hold you in highest regard. These things I give to you now and forever.

11. Today I marry my best friend, the one I will live with, dream with, and love. I (name) take you to be my husband/wife/partner. From this day forward I will cherish you, looking with joy down the path of our tomorrows knowing we will walk it together side by side, hand in hand and heart to heart.

12. (Name), I pledge my heart, body and soul to our union. I promise to support you in your endeavors and counsel you when you need my guidance. I will accept your counsel with an open heart and open mind. I will share my thoughts, dreams, hopes and fears with you. I will hold you close when you laugh and when you cry. I vow to be a strong individual within a solid union so we may both grow in love and wisdom for the rest of our days.

13. I, (name), take you, (name) to be my husband/wife/partner. I pledge myself this day to trust and appreciate you. I promise to respect and cherish your uniqueness and to support, comfort and strengthen you through life’s joys and sorrows. I promise to build a life together based upon mutual concern, compassion and honor. I will be faithful and loving, in good times and in bad, from this day forward.

14. I, (name) give to you, (name) my vow of sacred matrimony. I acknowledge our individuality and respect the natural space that will reside comfortably between us. I promise to bridge that space with open communication, silent understanding and heartfelt compassion. I promise to act loving so as to be loving. I promise to love passionately, argue fairly and support you unfailingly. I gladly accept the responsibilities that come with our relationship. I love you and pledge my fidelity all the days of our lives.