Real Couples' Wedding Ceremony Vows

Penning your own vows is also one of the loveliest ways to personalize your wedding. These six couples pulled it off beautifully—read their sentiments and you'll be inspired to start writing your own

Updated 06/14/10
01 of 04

Classic Readings & Personal Sentiments

Graphic designer Viola Sutanto and branding-and-design-agency owner Phillip Ting read poems to each other before reading their vows during their Napa, Calif., ceremony. The groom chose E.E. Cummings' "I Carry Your Heart With Me," while Viola selected passages from I Like You by Sandol Stoddard, a favorite children's book. The readings were followed by their personal vows:

Phillip to Viola

So what have I to offer you?

The promise to take you as my

only love from this day forward,

and to embark on a journey full

of adventure and wonder.

To stand by your side while

you face the world. To listen to

you when you speak.

To comfort you when you cry.

To join your laughter with my own.

To scratch your back where you

can't reach.

And to help you raise a kid

(or two). Please take this ring

and be my wife. Let's play.*

Viola to Phillip

You have made me feel more

loved than I ever thought possible.

Today, I give you all that I am,

and all that I have.

Just as I give you my hand to

hold today, I give you my heart,

my faith, my life.

I choose you today. And I

would choose you again tomorrow.

I would go on choosing you the day

after, and every day for the rest

of our lives. You are my once-in-a-

lifetime. I love you and I too will

always carry you in my heart.

*All vows have been edited for space.

02 of 04

Unstructured Sentiments

For their Temecula, Calif., nuptials, Brooke Peterson, a benefits specialist, and Steven Triplett, who is in retail management, penned their feelings in a spontaneous manner. The result: vows that were unstructured, yet completely heartfelt.

Brooke to Steven

I love that you open doors for

little old ladies.

I love that you would spend

your last five dollars just to see

somebody else happy.

I love that you have "blonde

moments"—like thinking Jamaica

is part of Hawaii. But more than

that, I love that you can laugh

at them afterwards.

I love that you're strong

and honorable, yet warm and

compassionate, loving and

accepting of all people.

But most of all, I love that you

and I both love each other so much.

I promise to stand by you, and

to be the president of your fan club.

I promise to never let anything

come between us, to fight for us,

to love you through good times

and challenging times, and to

always maintain a sense of humor

and adventure as we take our next

steps together into the unknown

and beautiful future.

Steven to Brooke

You are beautiful, kind, gentle,

loving, caring—and did I

mention that you're funny?

So funny that sometimes only

YOU laugh at your jokes.

When I really think about it,

spending forever with you just

doesn't seem like it's going to be

long enough.

03 of 04

Promises To Each Other

Kristin Van Handel, a textile designer, and Dennis Russo, a theatre professor, both structured their vows as promises to each other—but they didn't plan it that way; they actually wrote their vows separately. The couple love how they just happened to express their feelings for each other in the same way.

Dennis to Kristin

*As the cliché says, you showed up

when I was least expecting you.

I intend to love you, hold you,

and grow very, very old with you.

These are my promises:

I promise to always be there

when you have troubles, and

to know that sometimes simply

letting you talk about your

problems is enough.

I promise to be the most

dependable person in your life.

I promise you that laughter

will always be commonplace

in our house.

I promise to do my best to age

gracefully in body and soul, and

not to become a cranky old man.

I promise, from this day

forward, to live my life as a

member of a band, and not a

solo artist.

I promise to lead and follow

accordingly, and to keep our

relationship in good balance.

To quote a favorite writer,

"You fill up all those empty

spaces." For that I am grateful,

and every day you will see that

appreciation. *

Kristin to Dennis

I am truly blessed to be a part

of your life, which as of today

becomes our life together.

I promise to encourage your

dreams, because that is what

makes you so unique.

I promise to celebrate the joy

of every day with you.

I promise to stand by your side

through life's most joyous

moments and challenging ones.

I promise to be kind, patient

and forgiving.

I promise to always honor

your passion for hockey.

I promise to always remember

that laughter is life's sweetest

creation, and I will never stop

laughing with you.

But most of all, I promise to

be your true companion always.

For one lifetime with you could

never be enough.

04 of 04

A Playful Riff

For their Camarillo, Calif., wedding, Asia Ledbetter, who runs a tutoring business, and Craig Citro, a mathematician, decided to skip the solemn, traditional vows and go for a playful, Dr. Seuss-inspired version. "We love making people laugh, so the vows really tied that all together for us," says Asia.

Officiant: *Will you love with all your heart? From now until death do you part? *

Asia and Craig: *Yes, we will love with all our heart

From now until death do us part,

And we will love if we are rich,

And if we're broke and in a ditch,

And when we're fit, and when we're sick,

(Oh, CAN'T we get this finished quick?)

And we will love through good and bad,

And we will love when glad or sad. *

Asia: *And I will have, and I will hold.

(I think this might be getting old!)

I'll love him my entire life. *

Craig: *Please, can't I take her as my wife?

Officiant: Then if you'll take her as your wife

And if you'll love him all your life

And if you'll have, and if you'll hold,

From now until the stars grow cold,

And if you'll love through good and bad,

And when happy and when sad,

And love in sickness, and in health,

And when you're poor, and when in wealth,

And if you'll love with all your heart,

From now until death do you part,

Yes, if you'll love through and through,

Please answer with these words: *

Asia and Craig: *I DO! *

Officiant: *Good! Now we can finish up with thingsIf you would both exchange the rings. *

Officiant: You're married now! So kiss the bride,But please, do keep it dignified.

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