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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.