Steal these vows

Customized cake toppers
Photo by Morgan at movephotography.com
A week ago I went into a bookstore looking for something that would make me feel ok for having "weird" notions about what I wanted my wedding to be like. I found Offbeat Bride! I just finished the book and adored it!

My request? Any ideas for vows that are simple, cool, easy — whatever.

Thanks! You rawck! — Alexis

Alexis, yay! Thanks for the sweet words — I'm so glad you found the book (or the book found you?).

As far as vows, of course there are a bazillion books to inspire you, but have you read these posts of ours?

You'll find some great advice and suggestions there.

That said, maybe you're just looking to steal — er BORROW some vow inspiration from real weddings, here's a selection of vows submitted to the Offbeat Bride Tribe to inspire you in your planning:



From Tribe member SaraM:

Today is mostly an ordinary day….the sun rose, babies were born, people slept in and we just so happened to be getting married.
But the not-so ordinary part is how we are making promises to each other for the rest of our days, no matter how ordinary or unusal they may be.
So I promise to you:
to always laugh with you and to never go to bed angry.
to comfort you in times of sorrow, including rough Buckeye, BlueJacket and Bengals seasons.
to always listen to what you have to say, even when we don't see eye to eye, and to remember love is saying 'I feel differently' instead of 'you're wrong'.
to continue to love your children, as if they were my own, as I officially become your partner in their lives.
But most of all, I promise to love you, under any circumstances; happy or sad, easy or difficult, through the sunshine and through the rain for the rest of my days.
I am the luckiest and I couldn't imagine growing old with anyone else.

A little nod to the inevitability of the zombie apocalypse from Viki:

Do you take [name] to be your husband,
to have and to hold from this day forward for better or for worse,
for richer or for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish until death or zombies do you part?

Me: I do

A short and sweet twist on tradition from HeidiCamille:

I, [name], take you, [name], to be my [husband/wife], in equal love, as a mirror for my true Self, as a partner on my path, to honor and to cherish in sorrow and in joy, till death do us part.

Sarah71 and her groom mixed and matched their own thoughts into a complete set of vows:

I am proud to take you as my husband/wife.
For all the time we have been together, there has always been the kind of mutual understanding which is only shared when there is true love.
You have helped me triumph over challenges presented,
Encouraged my personal growth and boosted my self-esteem.
You have helped me become the person I am today,
And with your help, I will be a better person tomorrow than I was yesterday.

I vow to trust and value your opinions, and stand by your actions.
I pledge to always treat you as my best friend and equal.
I will ask for help when I need it, and offer help to you always.
Let us be friends and lovers, and grow old disgracefully together.

This is an excerpt from Raquel's Edgar Allen Poe-inspired handfasting ceremony:

Once upon an evening splendid we all gathered and intended,
To witness marriage of two people we most certainly adore
After that unique procession there might be some apprehension
If there will be more digression from what we thought would be in store
But now we must all get serious for the rest that is in store,
Just the vows and nothing more

How distinctly you'll remember on this Tuesday in December
when each and every family member traveled to the gulf bay shore
So eagerly you planned this wedding that sometimes you were forgetting
with all the stressful days of fretting what the ceremony's for
But the day has come and you'll learn what the ceremony's for
As you vow forever more

With this ribbon I'll be binding hearts that will be intertwining
This honored tradition dated back from the Celtic days of yore
The fasting of their hands together symbolizes their forever
So united I will tether as was done in ancient lore
Clasping hands are tied together as was done in ancient lore
To symbolize forever more

Lomo's vows were inspired by a heavy dose of realism:

I promise to leave my apple cores and dirty butter knifes on the counter
I promise to overdraft the checking account
I promise to complain about the kitty litter
I vow to encourage us to try new and strange things
I vow to fill your 'I love you' Bank every day
I vow to never use a recipe when fixing dinner
I vow to be the best parts of me that fit perfectly with the best parts of you
Although I will be imperfect, I pledge to be sensitive and respectful of your unique talents, abilities and quirks
I pledge to lend you strength for all of your dreams
Through our union we can accomplish more than I could alone
I believe in you

I promise to forget to stack the dishes on the right and leave stagnant water in the sink
I promise to always drive the speed limit, even on the freeway
I promise to cuss loudly at video games
I vow to snuggle you as often as possible
I vow to make you really really laugh out loud
I vow to always try one bite of any meal you create
I vow to be the best parts of me that fit perfectly with the best parts of you
Although I will be imperfect, I pledge to be sensitive and respectful of your unique talents, abilities and quirks
I pledge to lend you strength for all of your dreams
Through our union we can accomplish more than I could alone
I believe in you

Brie626's vows hark of marriage as adventure.

I promise today to be your navigator, best friend, and wife; honor, love, and cherish you through all of life's adventures. I swear to always and forever be your confidant and you mine. I vow to grow old with you and to kep the kid in you alive. I take you today to be my co-captain of team Mulligan.

Chloe posted these cheeky nupitals that their friend's used:

Groom

I _____, before these nutter's assembled; take this strumpet, to be my wife, my friend, my lover,
my hot water bottle, my companion in life, my enabler in trouble and my poster of bail.
I will care for and protect you, nurture you and support you, and tell you when you are being a
numpty and adore everything about you.
I promise to love you tirelessly through perfect times and the merely fabulous times, regardless
of how often you get distracted by something shiny. I vow above all things to remain unchanged
in this, even if I should; Look a birdee!, be momentarily distracted by something shiny myself.
I hereby promise to use plenty of lube before trying to poke things in your bellybutton. No
promises about your ears though.
In the presence of our these nutte… err our beloved family and friends, who found us despite
the several venue changes, I offer you my solemn vow to be your godlike partner and lover; in
sickness and in health, despite your hippie frou frou crap. and duck squeezing and tree hugging
ways.
In good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow, I give you my heart, my love, my soul.
I love you, now and fore…Birdie!…ever

Bride
I ______, take you babyfaced one to be my husband, my friend, my lover, my tormentor, my
companion in life and my instigator in trouble.
I will love you unconditionally, support you in your goals, honor and respect you, without TOO
much sass (except on fridays).
I promise to love you faithfully through perfect times and the merely fabulous times, regardless
of how often you are ADD boi.
I hereby promise to resist the urge to beat your ass when you are difficult to get out of bed.
In the presence of our family and friends who insisted on bloody tagging along, I offer you my
solemn vow to be your Brat in sickness and in health, despite your nancy boi whining.
In good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow,I give you my trust, my love and my
soul.

Heidi's PIRATE vows! These be mighty arrrtful (groooan):

Groom: I, Mad Dog _______________ take ye, Saucy ______________________ as me Heart, me Soul, me Good Wench with a stout right hook, the bright dawn of each new day and the soft bed of each day's night. I promise to love ye and honor ye; to make ye laugh when yer feelin' out of sorts and pretend to listen to ye when ye babble on and on about nothin' in particular. I will protect you from the elements and the elephants should we ever encounter them as it is my understanding that they can be very large and unpredictable. I will love thee through scurvy and through fire, in wealth or poverty whether ye be near or far. And when I speak of treasure, as I am wont to do, everyone within the sound of me voice will know that what I am really speaking about is you. All of this will I undertake until there are no horizons left to chase and the rum is gone.

Bride: I, Saucy _________________ take ye, Mad Dog __________________ as me Heart, me Soul, me Salty Jack with a crooked smile, the foggy haze of each new day and the lumpy (but familiar) mattress of each day's night. I promise to love ye and honor ye; to make ye laugh so hard the rum comes out yer nose and pretend to listen to ye when ye babble on about nothin' in particular. I will protect you from my wrath and from giraffes which I understand are very tall and will sometimes step on people because they are not looking where they are stepping. I will love thee through scurvy and through fire, in wealth or poverty whether ye be near or far. And when I speak of treasure, as I am wont to do, everyone within the sound of me voice will know that I am day dreaming again. All of this will I undertake until there are no horizons left to chase and the rum is gone.

Loba pulled from Lord of the Rings, Bruce Lee, and zombies:

I promise to always love you. As sure as the sun will rise tomorrow. I will always love you. Your love is inspiring to me every day. You are the kindest, most sincere person I know. I promise to never take your love for granted. I promise to always respect you. I promise to kill any insects that wander into our home. I am so excited to spend the rest of my life with you. Everything I am and have is yours. I love you! Will you be my wife?

I promise to always love you. As sure as the stars shine at night, I will always love you. Your love is like water. Formless. Shapeless. It is peaceful, strong and always just what I need. You are my heart. I promise to honor you. I promise to support you. And I promise that if there is ever a zombie apocalypse that you can count on my axe! I am so excited to spend the rest of my life with you. Everything I am and have is yours. I love you! Will you be my husband?

Megan and Daniel:

[Megan's cousin Shannon stands up in the front of the room with Megan and Daniel. We've been coy about who our officiant would be, so this is a bit of a happy surprise for the family.]

Hello all, and welcome! We are gathered today to celebrate Megan and Daniel's love for one another. Each of us has strengthened their character and brought happiness into their lives. It is through our continued support that they stand before us together. And, because you are so dear to their hearts, they have decided to make this ceremony short and sweet so we can all get to the food a little faster.

Do you, Megan Raley and Daniel Solis, realize that this ceremony is the biggest real-deal, unplugged, sincerely meaningful, and everlasting thing you'll ever do?

"We do!"

And are you prepared to support and love each other unconditionally, throughout your many years together, no matter how silly or serious, geeky or nerdy, artsy or fartsy, the situation may be?

"We do!"

Do you, Daniel, agree to be Megan's technical support, spellchecker, jogging companion and loving life partner?

"I do."

Do you, Megan, agree to be Daniel's playtester, barber, life coach, and loving life partner?

"I do."

The rings, please.

[Shannon's sister Amelia holds up rings.]

Megan and Daniel made these rings from a single piece of silver. They may look simple, but creating them by hand was not easy to do. Sawing. Forging. Hammering…. Acid baths. It's ironic how many ways you can lose finger when trying to make a ring, but they made it through with all ten digits.

[Megan and Daniel wiggle their fingers and make a heart shape together.]

Awww. Okay, here comes the big important part!

Daniel, do you like it?

"I do!"

Then put a ring on it! Megan, do you like it?

"I do!"

Then put a ring on it! By the power vested in me by the state of Oklahoma, I now pronounce you… hitched!

[Megan and Daniel remove their glasses and smooch.] [Music: "Never gonna give you up" by Rick Astley]

I would suggest using a few of these for some general ideas, and then writing your own. It's hard work, but it's worth it!

More ideas to steal:

  1. I maintain that the main reason to wrote one's own wedding vows is to have the most important conversation that a couple can ever have.

    24 agree
  2. I agree, Linda, and it's something I mention in this interview — writing your vows together is great pre-marital therapy! That said, it's sure not easy…and I say this as a writer!

    12 agree
  3. I just want to say, THANK YOU OFFBEAT BRIDE!! This website has been a lifesaver in so many ways. I've been getting uber stressed about this vows thing — I mean, I have trouble committing to anything and it just didn't feel right to me getting up and saying, "i promise blah i promise blah i promise promise promise…" I was like, how can I say those things? we are human! We are all hopelessly flawed.

    I LOVE the "realistic" vows from Lomo and I'll be stealing that idea!! Thank you for helping to take the pressure of perfection off!

    8 agree
  4. I cannot get over the modded version of The Raven. I'm finally having that wonderful, identifying moment everyone on here seems to have – OMG, that's just so ME!!!!!!!!!!!

    3 agree
  5. My and my FH have decided not to have vows at all as we're not sure what we would say that would be apropriate for a crowd.

    Sometimes people get carried away with them but these look punchy enough that they could work.

    4 agree
  6. I don't remember the whole vow, but my absolute favorite included the phrase "to call you on your shit…"

    It was truly an amazing, unique wedding!

    1 agrees
  7. I found this post so helpful when I wrote my vows – that I thought I would share! Here are mine from our wedding in Thailand recently….

    I promise to always leave the lights on in the bathroom
    I promise to mysteriously take three hours to make a simple omelet
    I promise to create a life for us of unexpected and strange adventures
    I promise that I will love you

    I pledge to listen to your advice, and occasionally take it
    I pledge to never take score… even if I'm totally winning
    I pledge to always admire your huge, strong, kind and determined heart
    I pledge that I will love you

    I vow to listen, for as long as it takes for you to feel heard
    I vow to watch in awe as you kick ass and take names
    I vow to be your unrelenting cheer squad on the days it feels too much
    I vow that I will love you

    I believe that 'Julie time' is an actual concept, that can be proven by science
    I believe that carefully folded socks make you happy
    I believe there is no time or place I'm more content than when you're close
    Because of this and so, so much more… I believe that I will always love you

    11 agree
    • Julie Winterbottom, your vows are absolutely perfect! I am planning a surprise ambush/kidnap vow renewal for our 20th anniversary here, in Okinawa, where we are currently stationed. We actually met and got engaged here 21 years ago, and I wanted to make a fun memory for us. I am writing his vows for him, since he has no idea what is about to happen, and I wanted them funny, quirky, and kind. I am "stealing" some of your lines for his vows. Thank you!

      Julie Foreman

      0 agree
  8. This was a super helpful post for us when we were trying to decide how to do our vows. We read loads of examples online and pieced parts/customized phrases that worked for us. We alternated speaking each "stanza" so that it would flow between us a little more rhythmically. Also it's a super lovey-dovey mush fest.

    I choose you to be my husband/my wife, my partner in life.
    I promise you my unconditional love,
    my fullest devotion, my most tender care.
    Through the pressures of the present
    and the uncertainties of the future,
    I promise to love you, honor, respect
    and cherish you all the days of our lives

    You are everything I need
    And at this moment I feel that all of
    my prayers have been answered.
    I know that our love is heaven sent
    and I promise to be here forever and always

    I pledge to respect your unique talents and abilities,
    to lend you strength to reach your dreams
    I promise to take care of you, to encourage and inspire you,
    asking that you be no other than yourself

    From this day forward you shall not walk alone
    My heart will be your shelter and my arms will be your home

    4 agree
  9. this website and this post have been the best things on the internet since my extremely offbeat fiancee asked me to marry him in an extremely offbeat way. because our wedding will be so extremely OFF the BEATen path, i assumed we would not even do vows. But my love had different ideas. Thank you for bailing me out with these samples!!!!!

    0 agree
  10. I just wanted to say thank you for all of the great ideas, as our wedding is just short of two weeks away it's a little late for me/us to apply but your examples of vows here have really been and fun!

    0 agree

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