8 Lovely Alternatives to Traditional Wedding Vows

Aaron Snow Photography

From the simple to the poetic, here are some of the most beautiful words expressed by couples during their wedding ceremonies. Hopefully this collection will inspire you when it comes time to choose your own wedding vows.

‘I love you’ means that I accept you for the person that you are…

…and that I do not wish to change you into someone else. It means that I will love you and stand by you even through the worst of times. It means loving you even when you’re in a bad mood, or too tired to do the things I want to do. It means loving you when you’re down, not just when you’re fun to be with. “I love you” means that I know your deepest secrets and do not judge you for them, asking in return that you do not judge me for mine. It means that I care enough to fight for what we have and that I love you enough not to let go.

– Jonathan Safran Foer

I choose you to be no other than yourself…

…loving what I know of you, trusting what I do not yet know. I will respect you as an individual, a partner, and an equal. I promise to laugh with you when times are good, and endure with you when they are bad. I will always adore, honor and encourage you. You are my best friend, and I will love you always.

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’re not, and to live within the warmth of your heart – and always call it home.

– The Vow

I take you to be my best friend, my faithful partner…

…and my one true love. I promise to encourage you and inspire you and to love you truly through good times and bad. I will forever be there to laugh with you, to lift you up when you are down and to love you unconditionally through all of our adventures in life together.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.

I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride: so I love you in this way because I know no other way than this, in which there is no I or you, so close that your hand on my chest is my hand, so close that when I fall asleep your eyes close.

– Pablo Neruda, Sonnet XVII

Today I marry my friend…

The one I have laughed with and cried with,
The one I have learned from and shared with,
The one I have chosen to support, encourage and give myself to
Through all the days given us to share;
Today I marry the one I love.

– Bertrand Russell

With this ring, I give you my promise…

…that from this day forward you shall not walk alone. May my heart be your shelter and my arms be your home.

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. I promise to love you in good times and in bad, with all I have to give and all I feel inside in the only way I know how. Completely and forever.

– Dorothy R. Colgan

Photography: Aaron Snow Photography