Renewing your wedding vows? Congratulations! You may have chosen a vow renewal for any of a variety of reasons, such as reaching a milestone, navigating through a rough time, or simply wanting to reaffirm your love for one another. The exchange of vows is one of the most important parts of the day, so you'll want to select the wording that meets your special needs.
What is a Wedding Vow?
A wedding vow is a solemn promise, pledge, or personal commitment spoken by the couple during a marriage ceremony.
Many people write their own vows, emphasizing the reasons that they have chosen to "do it all over again." The following sample vows can, of course, be personalized—but they're a great place to start.
For an Anniversary
"(Spouse's name), 25 years ago, I pledged my love and commitment to you, but it seems like only yesterday. I promised to love you, honor you, comfort, and keep you. I pledged to be by your side in sickness and in health, in times of want, and times of plenty, for better or worse, for the rest of our lives. We have had all of those things, and you have been by my side as we created a family, a home, and a life together. Today, at the beginning of our 26th year as husband and wife, in the presence of God and our family and friends, I renew my vows to you, pledging my eternal love for you and eagerly awaiting what life may bring us."
After an Infidelity
"On our wedding day, I pledged many things to you, including my faithfulness. With great sorrow and regret, I acknowledge that I broke that vow, but I realize now the enormity of my mistake. Others come and go, but you are the constant in my life whom I will always love. I believe in this marriage more than ever, and I reaffirm my love and commitment to you."
After a Stressful Time
"On our wedding day, I pledged to love you in sickness and in health and for better or worse. The past year has tested those vows, but our enduring love for one another has prevailed. I come here today to make a fresh start; to renew our vows of love, honor, and fidelity; and to reaffirm my love for you."
After an Illness
"Six years ago, I promised to love you for as long as we both should live. I never imagined that I would face the possibility of losing you so soon or the depths of despair I would feel at that prospect. Today, we are on the other side of the mountain, and I am so ecstatic that I get to continue life's journey by your side. Once again, I promise to love you, honor you and keep you, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, for as long as we both shall live."
After a Private or Small Wedding
"With great joy, I pledged my love and commitment to you on our wedding day. But a loving relationship does not exist in a vacuum. Our family and friends first showed us how to love, helped us grow, and supported us when we found each other. I hope they will continue to love and support us as we love and support them. Therefore, I am delighted today, in the presence of these witnesses, to reaffirm my commitment to you and, once again, to promise to love you, honor you, and comfort you, in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, for better and for worse, as long as we both shall live."
In a Religious Setting
Typically, the words you say at a vow renewal are the same words you would say at any type of wedding. The officiant may make remarks about renewal, and any songs or readings may speak especially of lasting love or rebirth. Speak with your officiant about what is appropriate in your religion.
Writing Your Own Vows
You may choose to write your own renewal vows. Write them alone or with your spouse. Here are a few tips on how to write from the heart by thinking of your vows in terms of an outline.
- Beginning: Lovingly address your spouse in a couple of sentences that include why you're there together.
- Middle: Talk about what you love and appreciate about your spouse and your marriage. Use humor if you'd like. Then discuss new promises you'd like to make to your spouse and how you envision this new phase of your marriage.
- Closing: End the vow with a strong statement of emotion and love for your spouse and your marriage.