What Are Traditional Marriage Vows?


Quick Answer

Marriage vows are exchanged between partners during a ceremony. They are declarations of how each partner will treat the other during the marriage. The term "traditional vows" varies depending on what tradition you come from, but for most English-speaking countries, medieval England is the birthplace of the traditional wedding vow.

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What Are Traditional Marriage Vows?
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Full Answer

Marriage vows vary depending on the tradition of those getting married. Regardless of what your tradition is, these vows are extremely important. Seen as a promise between partners, they are accompanied by public or private affairs.

The ceremony rituals consist of several lines of written promises spoken by both parties. The vows are made in a public display to hold the partners accountable for their oaths symbolically. The vows normally are prewritten and standard. The most common vows recited consist of basic promises, such as "I promise to love, cherish and obey" and "To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part." Differences exist between the marriage vowels for the groom and those for the bride. The difference usually is confined to the groom promising to protect and the wife promising to obey.

Beyond the standard marriage vows, custom vows can used. Another set of wedding vows can be recited during the wedding ceremony when the rings are exchanged.

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