Non-Traditional Wedding Vows
To love is not to possess,
To own or imprison,
Nor to lose one’s self in another.
Love is to join and separate,
To walk alone and together,
To find a laughing freedom
That lonely isolation does not permit.
It is finally to be able
To be who we really are
No longer clinging in childish dependency
Nor docilely living separate lives in silence,
It is to be perfectly one’s self
And perfectly joined in permanent commitment
To another–and to one’s inner self.
Love only endures when it moves like waves,
Receding and returning gently or passionately,
Or moving lovingly like the tide
In the moon’s own predictable harmony,
Because finally, despite a child’s scars
Or an adult’s deepest wounds,
They are openly free to be
Who they really are–and always secretly were,
In the very core of their being
Where true and lasting love can alone abide.
— To Love is Not to Possess – James Kavanaugh
I will join you in full partnership to co-create the life we both envision.
I will join you in living consciously, purposefully, passionately, congruently.
I will join you in creating true community and a more compassionate world in which to live.
I will laugh and dance and sing and have fun with you.
I will tell you the truth even when I think you might not want to hear it, and I will hear you when you tell me your truth.
I will afford you your humanity and not expect you to always be at your best.
When you forget who you really are, I’ll remind you of your power, spirit, integrity, intelligence, creativity, athleticism and beauty.
I will remember that any anger, resentment, frustration I show toward you is more about me than about you and will refuse to hold ill will toward you.
I will be true to you and honor the commitments that we make to one another for all our days.
I will open my heart to you and love you with all my being.
I will be authentically me. Bringing all my gifts and challenges and willingly using all the tools I have to fully live out my life’s purpose.
I will be your mirror. Reflecting the truth and reminding you of who you are, listening attentively, with an open heart and mind as I seek to better understand and support you in fully living your life’s purpose.
I will be your helpmate. Willingly sharing our responsibilities and honors, owning my part in creating our life, readily and fully forgiving, and working together to put us back on course when we stray from our path.
I will be your partner. Treating you with respect and equality, being creative and flexible in living interdependently in a way that reflects who we are individually and as a couple.
I will be your lover. Passionate and playful, tender and loyal, sharing myself fully and nurturing our love so that we grow ever more intimate.
I will be your friend. Honest and trustworthy, compassionate and committed, sharing all that life brings us.
I will be your companion. Honoring these sacred vows as we walk together, hand in hand, heart to heart, soul to soul, for all our days, giving all that we have and being all that we are, to create a world full of peace, love, and understanding.
Vows used by: Bruce & Shonnie
I,____, take you, ____, to be my lawful wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward. For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health…for all eternity.
I, _______, take you now, in the presence of God and these witnesses, to be my wife/husband. I promise to love you, to hold you and to honor you, in good times and in bad, to enjoy you, to communicate with you always, and to console you when you need consoling. I will give thanks for you each and every day, and cherish you with all of my heart until our time together on earth has ended.
________, I promise to be a good and faithful husband/wife to you, and also a patient, loving father/mother to (children’s names), caring for them and providing for them as my own. I promise to be their strength and their emotional support, loving them with all my heart forever.
(Name), I take you to be my lifetime partner, secure in the knowledge that you will be my constant friend, and my one true love. On this special day, (Name), I give to you, in the presence of [God and] all these witnesses, my promise to stay by your side, in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, as well as through the good times and the bad. I promise to love you without reservation, comfort you in times of distress, encourage you to achieve all of your goals, laugh with you and cry with you, grow with you in mind and spirit, always be open and honest with you, and cherish you, for as long as we both shall live.
I ______, take you, ______, to be my husband/wife. I will be a loving husband/wife. I promise to respect and encourage your fulfilment as an individual.
In marrying you, I want to continue to build on the love and friendship which we have developed during our time together. I want to continue to cherish the joy of being with you.
I recognise that part of our strength comes from the little things that make us happy. I want to love you through good fortune and adversity, while we both shall live.