In traditional wedding ceremonies, there are three “sets” of vows. The first is the “Declaration of Intent.” This is a short vow (about four lines long) at the beginning of the ceremony. Essentially, it is the officiant asking the bride and groom to state specifically that they wish to be married. The second set of vows are the ones with which most people are familiar. Whether written by the bride and groom or drawn from another source, this vow exchange is the heart of the ceremony. Normally, after these most important vows, brides and grooms will exchange rings. In doing so, a third set of vows is offered–the ring vows. In setting the stage for the ring vows, the officiant will describe the symbolism of the rings. For example, their round shape represents the unending nature of love or the materials used in the rings creation are precious, as is the love between the bride and groom. In addition, if there is something particularly unique about the ring (a family heirloom, for instance), it is nice to incorporate that fact, too. Below are several popular vows for the ring exchange.
With this ring,
I give you my promise to honor you,
To be faithful to you,
And to share my love and my life with you
In all ways, always.
Bride/Groom, I give you this ring
As a symbol of my love for you,
And of my promise to honor you,
And be faithful to you and to our marriage
For as long as we both shall live.
As a sign of my love
And my knowledge that in marrying you,
I am becoming much more than I am,
I give you this ring
With the promise that I will love you
And keep my heart open to you
All the days of my life.
Bride/Groom, with this ring
I am giving you my promise
To always love you, cherish you,
Honor you, and comfort you,
I will always be grateful for your presence in my life.
This ring is my gift to you,
May it always remind you
That from this day forward,
You will be surrounded by my love.