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How Long Should Wedding Vows Be?

I was recently thinking about writing my own vows for my future wedding and I was wondering about how long wedding vows should be.

So how long should wedding vows be? Wedding vows should be anywhere from 45 seconds to 2 minutes long, per person. You can have your officiant read both of your vows ahead of time to make sure they are of similar length.

Many people struggle with writing their wedding vows, let alone keeping them at the right length. There are a lot of great tips and ideas for shortening your vows, or increasing them, if needed.


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Examples of Short Wedding Vows

If you’re an emotional person who will likely cry through your vows, you’ll probably want to stay in the 45-second range and keep things simple. Longer vows may include your own embellishments, loving words, and humor.

Here are some examples of vows of various lengths:

{Name}, I love you. You are my best friend. I promise to love and care for you and I will try in every way to be worthy of your love. I promise to encourage and inspire you, to laugh with you, and to comfort you in times of sorrow and struggle. Together we will face all of life’s experiences and share one another’s dreams and goals. I eagerly anticipate the chance to grow together, getting to know the person you will become, and falling in love a little more each day. I give you my hand, my heart, and my love, from this day forward for as long as we both shall live. This vow takes approximately 40 seconds to recite, per person
I, {Name}, take you {Name}, to be my {husband/wife}, my constant friend, my faithful partner in life, and my one true love. On this special, holy day, I give to you in the presence of God and all these witnesses my sacred promise to stay by your side as your {husband/wife} in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, as well as through the good times and the bad. I promise to join with you and to share all that is to come, to give and to receive, to speak and to listen, to inspire and to respond. Through all of the uncertainties and trials of life, I promise to be faithful to you and love you, so that together we may grow in the likeness of Christ and that our home may glorify and praise Him. This is my commitment made in love, kept in faith, and made new day-by-day, as long as we both shall live. This vow takes approximately 1 minute to recite, per person

You may choose to make your wedding vows humorous. Here are some great examples:

I promise to get up and get our remote from across the room, even if it was not I who placed the remote so very far away. I promise never to steal your covers unless you are hogging them. I can’t believe how lucky I am to be marrying my BFF.

Here are the traditional wedding vows where the bride and groom repeat the lines as directed by the officiant. These vows take approximately 2 minutes for both the bride and groom to recite together:

Officiant: {Groom}, do you take {bride} to be your lawfully wedded wife, to love her, honor and keep her in sickness and in health and forsaking all others, keeping only unto her so long as you both shall live.

Groom: I do. I {Name} take you, {Name} to be my lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as we both shall live.

Officiant: {Bride}, will you take {Groom} to be your lawfully wedded husband, to love him, honor and keep him in sickness and in health and forsaking all others, keeping only unto him so long as you both shall live.

Bride: I will. I {Name} take you, {Name} to be my lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as we both shall live.

The Format for Saying Wedding Vows

First, the officiant will ask the bride and groom to face each other and join hands. If you have memorized your vows or repeating after the officiant, this is a very intimate way to recite you vows. However, if you choose to read your vows, holding hands might not work. Holding one hand while holding your paper in the other is the best option.

Usually, in a traditional wedding, the Groom says his vows first. This is true whether the vows are facilitated by the officiant or are custom.

Couples may choose to say their vows in unison as led by the officiant.

How you say your vows is completely up to you. Those who know they’ll cry through their vows may choose the “repeat after me” method or to read them instead of memorizing.

If you decide to memorize your vows, it’s a good idea to make a copy for your officiate. This way, if you get stuck or forget any words, your officiant can discreetly whisper them to you.

After reciting your vows, then the rings are exchanged. You may choose to make the ring exchange a separate part of the ceremony or include it as part of your vows.

How Do You Write Your Own Vows?

A great way to start is to read some examples (like the ones above) to give you inspiration. You’ll also want to discuss with your future spouse if you want a specific format or tone. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Do you both want to say the same thing?

  2. How long do you want your vows to be?

  3. Do you want to include humor in your vows?

  4. Do you want to keep your vows a secret until the day, or share them before hand?

  5. Do you want to write them separately or work on them together?

Take some time to think about your future spouse and write down all the things that made you fall in love with him/her. Think about the challenges and good times that you’ve already been through together. Just start by jotting down notes about these things

Next, think about the promises you want to make to your spouse. For example, you might say “I promise to always be there to love and support you, no matter what life throws our way.”

When writing your wedding vows, it may be helpful to have an outline like this:

  1. State your love – Example, “{Name}, I love you. You are my best friend.”

  2. Offer promises – Example, “I promise to stay by your side as your {husband/wife} in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, as well as through the good times and the bad.”

  3. Final vow – Example, “This is my commitment made in love, kept in faith, and made new day-by-day, as long as we both shall live.”

Once your vows are written, you’ll find it helpful to practice saying them out loud every day for a month leading up to your wedding day. This is helpful whether you plan on memorizing or reading your vows. It will help you not stubble over your words and clearly speak for your spouse and witnesses to hear.

What is the Purpose of Marriage Vows?

The purpose of vows is the express your love and commitment to each other before a group of witnesses.

The depth of meaning is different for each couple. Some see it as a binding commitment before God that they will love and serve each other all the days of their life. Others see it as a time-honored tradition to express lifelong commitment and deeper trust toward the other person.

The wedding vows are meant to be promises that are kept throughout the couples life, no matter what challenges and trials might come their way. They promise to remain by the other person’s side for life.

Marriage vows also show the witnesses that you have dedicated your life to this one person and none other.

Related Questions

Are wedding vows in the Bible? Technically, the Bible does not mention anything about marriage vows. However, there are many Bible verses that talk about marriage and committing yourself to your spouse which people use as part of their vows.

What does “for better or worse” mean? The phrase “for better or worse” means that you will love and support each other whether the outcome of a situation is good or bad. It means that no matter what happens, your love for the other person will not change.

What does “to have and to hold” mean? The phrase “to have and to hold” refers to the physical and emotional intimacy that is reserved to your spouse and him/her only. By saying these words, you are committing to fulfill these needs for your spouse.

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kristin-the-wedding-blogger-2020-300x300.png

Hi, I’m Kristin. While I haven’t found my Prince Charming yet, I’ve been dreaming of getting married for a long long time. I started this site as a place to record all the things I’ve found and researched in preparation for my own wedding someday. I can’t wait to share it all with you!

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