The words “I Do” are virtually universal in a wedding ceremony as the affirmation of your bond as husband and wife.
But the text and type of wedding vows have changed throughout the years and are as varied today as the couples that make them.
It’s perfectly fine to follow the traditions of your faith when choosing your wedding vows, as some religions follow guidelines as to what needs to transpire during this important part of the ceremony. Usually, though, within these rules, is the ability to make choices that express your feelings and personalities during this public declaration of commitment and love.
Talk to your officiant about what options are available within the approved liturgy. If your church allows you to create your own wedding vows, your officiant is also the perfect person for guidance and reference.
When writing your own vows speak from the heart. One of the compelling reasons for writing your vows is to personalize the ceremony, so make your vows a strong reflection of who you are and what you plan to become as a couple. Part of your vows should include why you have come together and what you are promising to your partner as you join your lives together. There is definitely a vow “vocabulary” with key words to consider including: always, cherish, commitment, devotion, dignity, divine, faithful, forever, happiness, honor, joy, respect, sincerity, and undying.
Unless you are an incredibly spontaneous wordsmith or an unbelievable dynamic speaker, it is usually best to take ample time well before the ceremony to both pen your prose and to practice your words of commitment. The most memorable vows are well thought out and spoken clearly and concisely. If you can memorize your vows, that’s great. But it’s still usually a good idea to keep a copy with you in case of an emergency. If you decide after all to simply say “I Do”, you’ll join millions who have done so before you.