You decide to write your own wedding vows. You’re racking your brain for inspiration. You want to compose a vow that would bring down the house and make more than a few eyes well up. A few hours later, that empty piece of paper is still glaring at you.
Let’s admit it, DIY-ing your wedding vows is no piece of cake. You might choose to go for traditional marriage vows or maybe you’re looking to mix and match just a little bit to make them feel like yours. Once you’ve decided that you want to write your vows, you have to own it. It’s not the cake and champagnes, not even that beautiful dress, your vows are what makes the moment special.
We’ve compiled a sampling of vows from books, poems, movies and TV shows. Use them in full or as an inspiration as you write your own wedding vows. Not everyone wants to quote Corinthians you know.
The Day Sky by Hafiz
Let us be like
Two falling stars in the day sky.
Let no one know of our sublime beauty
As we hold hands with God
Into a sacred existence that defies—
Every description of ecstasy
Hafiz, c. 1320 to 1389, a beautiful, mystic, Sufi poet from Persia
[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in] by e.e. Cummings
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
Edward Estlin (E.E.) Cummings 1894–1962
How do I love thee? by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
A Vow by Wendy Cope
I cannot promise never to be angry;
I cannot promise always to be kind.
You know what you are taking on, my darling –
It’s only at the start that love is blind.
And yet I’m still the one you want to be with
And you’re the one for me – of that I’m sure.
You are my closest friend, my favourite person,
The lover and the home I’ve waited for.
I cannot promise that I will deserve you
From this day on. I hope to pass that test.
I love you and I want to make you happy.
I promise I will do my very best.
I Promise by Dorothy R. Colgan
I promise to give you the best of myself
and to ask of you no more than you can give.
I promise to respect you as your own person
and to realize that your interests, desires and needs
are no less important than my own.
I promise to share with you my time and my attention
and to bring joy, strength, and imagination to our relationship.
I promise to keep myself open to you,
to let you see through the window of my world into my innermost
fears and feelings, secrets and dreams.
I promise to grow along with you,
to be willing to face changes in order to keep our relationship
alive and exciting.
Wedding Quotes from Books
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
At night, there was the feeling that we had come home, feeling no longer alone, waking in the night to find the other one there, and not gone away; all other things were unreal. We slept when we were tired and if we woke the other one woke too so one was not alone. Often a man wishes to be alone and a woman wishes to be alone too and if they love each other they are jealous of that in each other, but I can truly say we never felt that. We could feel alone when we were together, alone against the others. We were never lonely and never afraid when we were together.
The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
I will love you forever; whatever happens. Till I die and after I die, and when I find my way out of the land of the dead, I’ll drift about forever, all my atoms, till I find you again… I’ll be looking for you, every moment, every single moment. And when we do find each other again, we’ll cling together so tight that nothing and no one’ll ever tear us apart. Every atom of me and every atom of you… We’ll live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pine trees and in clouds and in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams… And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me, we’ll be joined so tight…
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
“I have for the first time found what I can truly love – I have found you. You are my sympathy – my better self – my good angel; I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my center and spring of life, wraps my existence about you – and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.”
Mark Twain’s Letters arranged with comment by Albert Bigelow Paine
“This will be the mightiest day in the history of our lives, the holiest, & the most generous toward us both — for it makes of two fractional lives a whole; it gives to two purposeless lives a work, & doubles the strength of each whereby to perform it; it gives to two questioning natures a reason for living, & something to live for; it will give a new gladness to the sunshine, a new fragrance to the flowers, a new beauty to the earth, a new mystery to life; & it will give a new revelation to love, a new depth to sorrow, a new impulse to worship. In that day, the scales will fall from our eyes & we shall look upon a new world.”
Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
“If my like for you was a football crowd, you’d be deaf ’cause of the roar. And if my like for you was a boxer, there’d be a dead guy lying on the floor. And if my like for you was sugar, you’d lose your teeth before you were twenty. And if my like for you was money, let’s just say you’d be spending plenty.”
Wedding Vows from Movies and TV Shows
Paige: “I vow to help you love life, to always hold you with tenderness and to have the patience that love demands, to speak when words are needed and to share the silence when they are not, to agree to disagree on red velvet cake, and to live within the warmth of your heart and always call it home.”
Leo: “I vow to fiercely love you in all your forms, now and forever. I promise to never forget that this is a once in a lifetime love. And to always know in the deepest part of my soul that no matter what challenges might carry us apart, we will always find our way back to each other.”
Big Bang Theory: Penny and Leonard
Leonard: Penny, we are made of particles that have existed since the moment the universe began. I like to think those atoms traveled 14 billion years through time and space to create us so that we could be together and make each other whole.
Penny: Leonard. You’re not only the love of my life. You’re my best friend. And you’ve got a friend in me. You got troubles. I got ’em too. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you. We stick together and we can see it through, because you’ve got a friend in me.
The Big Bang Theory: Bernadette and Howard
Bernadette: Like you, this is going to be short and sweet. I love you with all my heart and soul and promise to be with you forever.
Howard: Until I met you, I couldn’t imagine spending my life with just one person. And now, I can’t imagine spending one day of it without you.
“My heart, it feels like my chest can barely contain it. Like it doesn’t belong to me anymore. It belongs to you. And if you wanted it, I’d wish for nothing in exchange. No gifts. No goods. No demonstrations of devotion. Nothing but knowing you loved me too. Just your heart, in exchange for mine.” – Yvaine