Traditional Wedding Vows: 6 Ways to Add Your Own Twist

We’ve all heard traditional wedding vows recited at weddings whether in real life or in a movie.

But with custom wedding vows being a growing trend, you likely don’t want to go 100% the traditional vow route. 

Are you looking to embrace some traditional details while also wanting your own unique flare intertwined into the ceremony? 

We’re going to detail how you can take traditional wedding vows and make them your own with these 6 tips. 

Remind me, again. What are traditional wedding vows? 

Within many Christian-based religions, you can expect traditional wedding vows to sound like this:

"I, _____, take you, _____, 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. I will love and honor you all the days of my life."

bride and groom recite traditional vows.jpg

Tip #1: Use the Same Vow Template but Change the Words 

A really quick and easy way to personalize traditional marriage vows is to swap out the words for more meaningful phrases. 

Example

"I, _____, take you, _____, for my lawful wife/husband, to dance and to laugh with, to support and encourage, to cherish and to serve, through every argument and through every burst of laughter, when we’re counting pennies, and if we’re swimming in cash, in flu season and in your healthiest of days, until death do us part. I will love you, respect you, and trust you for all the days of my life.”

The format and flow is the same as traditional vows. In this version, the sentiment is also very similar. But the style is what makes these vows different. Instead of simply saying, “in sickness” we playfully said, “in flu season.” 

These unique details turn traditional vows into a more modern version. 

Tip #2: Use Traditional Vows as an Outline 

Traditional vows do a really good job at covering all the essentials that one could wish to say on their wedding day. Why not use these elements as an outline? You’ll then reference this outline to write your own vows. 

Example:

  • Start by addressing your partner 

  • Describe how you’ll work through better and worse times

  • Describe how you’d manage being poor and being rich

  • Describe how you’ll be there for your partner when they’re sick and healthy

  • Close with a loving line

Use this outline by filling in your own details. The vows will be custom to you but they’ll still take on the feeling and loose structure of traditional marriage vows. 

Tip #3: Embrace the Spirit of Traditional Vows

When you really look at traditional marriage vows, what do you see? The idea that no matter what—you’ll be there. 

Write your vows with this idea as your main theme.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to come up with more material.

  • What challenges have you endured together as a couple? How did you work through them? 

  • How has your partner always been there for you?

  • How do you show up for your partner?
    How do you provide your support?

  • How do you encourage your partner to achieve their goals and dreams?

traditional wedding ceremony.jpg

Tip #4: Get Specific and Go into Detail

Many of the couples I work with to write their custom wedding vows, want vows that are between three to six minutes in length. Traditional vows are less than one minute. 

You can have longer-form vows by using traditional vows as the structure. Then go into detail with specific examples for each section. 

Start your vows by using the exact phrasing from the traditional vows as your base. Then write in more around each section. 

Vow Script Example:

"I, _____, take you, _____, for my lawful wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward.

From the good times of laughing together and having spontaneous dance parties to the more challenging moments when we leaned on each other for support and encouragement.  

From when we could barely make rent to successfully building our business together—I’ll stand by your side no matter what stands in our bank account.

From head colds and keep-you-up-all-night shingles to feeling like the best version of ourselves—I’ll never get sick of you and I’ll always pray for your health. 

...until death do us part. I will love and honor you all the days of my life."

Tip #5: Just Change the Beginning and the End

You don’t have to completely rewrite traditional marriage vows to make them sound more like you.

Revise the first and last sentence to give this traditional set of vows a new twist.

Vow Script Example

"Mark, I take you today as my best friend, my trustworthy partner, and my beloved husband. I give you my heart to have and my hand to hold from this day forward. 

...for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health...

...until I take my final breath. I am forever yours and I will forever love you.”

The first and third sections are personalized while the middle section remains true to the traditional vows. 

Tip #6: Work with a Vow Writer

If you’re still stuck with how to put your own spin on traditional vows, consider hiring a professional vow writer

I’ve worked with couples to write everything from funny wedding vows to non-traditional vows, and non-religious vows

Get in touch to learn how we can work together to put your unique twist on traditional vows.