We wanted traditional vows, but couldn’t find any that were fully satisfactory. The first ones we came across, the man promises to ‘love’ and the woman promises to ‘respect’, which had implications of inequality and priorities that we don’t hold true. Others omitted pieces we viewed as important, such as the symbolism of the rings, or reflected aspects of a relationship that aren’t true for us. In the end, I took a bunch of different forms of traditional vows and merged them into one. The only problem was that I hadn’t realized how much longer they would take to say than to read — and how easily I would start crying. Because of the many post-wedding comments on how beautiful and thoughtful our vows are, I thought it’d be good to post them here.
[Kate/Keller], I take you to be my [wife/husband],
To have and to hold from this day forward,
To share the joy and sorrow side by side,
For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer,
In sickness or in health, to love and to cherish, ‘til death do us part.
I humbly give you my hand and my heart
As a sanctuary of warmth and peace,
And pledge my faith and unconditional love to you.
I will be yours alone as long as God allows us to live.
I love you today, and I promise to love you tomorrow, always and forever.
I will honor and respect you, comfort and cherish you.
I will stand by you as God guides us to do His will.
Just as this circle is without end, my love for you is eternal.
Just as it is made of incorruptible substance,
My commitment to you will never fail.
This ring I give you is a token and pledge of my constant faith, bold hope, and abiding love.