Exchanging vows is often one of the most awaited parts of a wedding. However, a wedding vow is more than just a tradition; it is a heartfelt declaration of a couple’s promises for their future.
There are countless types of wedding vows, such as Catholic, Buddhist, and spiritual. However, these religious vows might not be a perfect fit for everyone—hence the need for non-religious and secular wedding vows.
Below are over 20 examples of non-religious vows for your wedding, ranging from lighthearted and humorous to serious and deep.
Lovely Non-Religious Wedding Vows to Get Inspired By
1. In the wise, beautiful words of Maya Angelou, “In all the world, there is no heart for me like yours. In all the world, there is no love for you like mine.”
As we strive to build a better life, I promise to grow with you and learn from each other. I promise to be patient, kind, and forgiving, and I promise to cherish every day that we have with each other.
2. I, (name), take you (partner’s name), to be my [husband/wife/spouse] and my lifelong confidante. My love, you are the one constant in this ever-changing world. You are my best friend, and I promise to always treat you with the love, respect, and kindness you deserve.
3. As Oliver Goldsmith once said, “Life is a journey that must be traveled no matter how bad the roads and accommodations.”
I promise to be your navigator, supporter, sidekick, and best friend. I promise you myself, for as long as we both shall live.
4. To quote Anne Louise Germaine de Staël, “Love is the emblem of eternity; it confounds all notion of time; effaces all memory of a beginning, all fear of an end.”
I take you as you are, loving who you are now and who you are yet to become. We can’t forget the past or pretend that it doesn’t exist, so I promise to take what we’ve learned and use those lessons to build a wonderful life together.
I promise to listen to you, to support you, and to accept your support. More than anything else, I promise to love you in all the ways I know and to constantly discover new ways of showing you my love.
5. (Partner’s name), you have been my best friend, my number-one fan, and my gentlest critique since we first met each other back in (a short description of or anecdote from when and how you met).
Today, as we stand in the presence of all our friends and relatives, I vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, in joy and in sorrow.
I promise to continue loving you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you, to cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we are alive.
6. I vow to be your partner in all things, working with you as a part of the whole. I recognize that our marriage does not mean that I possess you or that you own me; rather, it entails our hearts’ unity in weathering life’s toughest storms.
I promise to trust you and support you, not only as my partner but also as an individual with your own dreams, goals, and interests. Together, we will face all of life’s experiences and share in all the joys, sorrows, and mediocrities it has to offer.
7. From this day forward, I, (name), will dedicate to you, (partner’s name), all my faithfulness, love, and care. I promise to be your biggest fan and supporter as you work toward your goals, treat you with the love and respect you deserve, and share my life with you.
8. (Partner’s name), I know everyone here with us today will agree with me when I say that you are one of the most (describe your partner’s characteristics) people I know.
I promise to respect and encourage your individuality because that is what makes you who you are. I promise to nurture your dreams and interests because it is through them that your soul shines. Most of all, I promise to be right by your side, for there is nothing we cannot face when we are together.
9. I know it sounds clichéd, but life is a rollercoaster ride with plenty of unexpected twists and turns. I can’t promise that it will always be a smooth ride, but life is rarely ever smooth.
What I can promise is that I will always be your co-pilot, navigator, and snack provider throughout it all. For as long as you’ll have me, I promise to hold your hand and shout with you when the ride gets too tough (or exciting).
10. I, (name), take you, (partner’s name), to be my [husband/wife/spouse], my ride or die, and my soulmate. You’re my soulmate and one true love, and I vow to treasure our relationship and always show you the care, respect, and kindness you deserve.
I promise to always put my trust in you. I promise to share in your emotions—whether it is joy, sorrow, excitement, or disappointment. I promise that my love will be unwavering, through the good times and bad times, and in sickness and in health.
11. I vow to be your equal in everything that we do. I vow to actively listen whenever you talk and talk to you whenever I need you to listen. I vow to make our home a loving environment and a safe space where we and our future family can thrive.
12. “I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.” – Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets
13. From this day on, (partner’s name), I take you to be my spouse, my soulmate, and my lifelong companion. I promise to build our dreams together, support you during difficult times, rejoice with you, and share my life with yours fully.
14. Life is not always easy. I know we’ve faced some rough times and challenges, both individually and as a couple. However, we’ve also had our fair share of milestones and successes.
Amidst all of this chaos and unpredictability, I promise to help you love life, to always hold you with tenderness and to have the patience that love demands. I promise to speak when words are needed and to simply sit in silence with you when they are not.
15. “Whatever our souls are made out of, his and mine are the same…If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger.” – Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights
16. I want you to be no other than yourself, loving what I know of you and trusting who you will become. I promise to love you for who you are and everything that comes with it. I promise to respect you as a person, a partner, and an equal.
There is little left to say that you haven’t already heard. There is little left to give that is not already freely given. Before you even asked me to marry you, I was already yours and devoted to you in every way.
17. The law of conservation of mass implies that matter can neither be created nor destroyed. It makes me wonder where all this love I have for you is coming from—this love that is endless and boundless.
I promise to always replenish and nourish my love for you—a love that seems to spring from the Universe and the Earth itself. I promise to always look at you as my True North, a constant in this ever-tilted world. I promise to love you the way Mother Nature loves every being it houses, from the single-cellular to the ever-complex humans.
18. I promise to nurture our love and always make you a priority in my life. I promise to respect you, trust you, and support you in every way you need me to. Above all else, I promise to love you with every beat of my heart for as long as I am alive.
19. I remember you reading a quote from Cassandra Clare’s City of Glass when you gave me a promise ring all those years ago: “You could have had anything else in the world, and you asked for me.”
(Partner’s name), I enthusiastically said yes when you asked me to marry you because you are everything that I need in this world.
You are worthy of being loved, and you are worthy of everything you have and will get. I promise to support you in all your endeavors and to be by your side as we go through all the ups and downs of life.
20. Loving you has made me the best version of myself; I am kinder, happier, and brighter because of you. Thank you for always inspiring me to work toward my goals, achieve my dreams, and never forget the people who helped me along the way.
I can stand here all day and tell you all my promises and hopes for the future. For the sake of time, I’ll just say this: I promise that I will work hard to even be just half of the person you’ve been for me.
21. (Partner’s name), I promise to respect you as an individual, a partner, and an equal, understanding that we do not complete, only complement, each other. May we have an infinite number of adventures as we grow old together.”
22. “Love: a single word, a wispy thing, a word no bigger or longer than an edge. That’s what it is: an edge, a razor. It draws up through the center of your life, cutting everything in two. Before and after. The rest of the world falls away on either side.” – Lauren Oliver, Delirium
23. I once read a quote from Lao Tzu that goes, “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” I can attest to this because of the last several years that I’ve been with you.
I promise to always be strong and courageous as we go through life. I promise to be a source of strength and courage for us. Let’s hold hands and walk through this winding road together, for we can overcome anything if we are by each other’s side.
Writing Non-Religious Wedding Vows: Guide and Tips
Reflect on Your Relationship So Far
Preparing your vows is an excellent time to reflect on the life you have built and shared with your partner thus far. Think about how you two have grown and changed and what you can still do to improve your relationship.
At the same time, pinpoint the qualities you love about your partner and your relationship. This will allow you to see what aspects of your relationship you can work on in the future.
Look for Inspiration
Drafting your secular wedding vows can be intimidating, especially at the beginning. Examples like those from the list above can help you begin the process. Watching romantic movies or reading books can also be helpful—quotes are a wonderful way to start your vow.
Your own relationship is the best source of inspiration. Look back at your shared memories and milestones; think of inside jokes and anecdotes that encapsulate your partner’s personality.
Decide What Tone and Structure to Use
If starting with the words themselves is proving impossible, shift your focus to the technical aspects of your vows first.
Decide what tone you want your secular wedding vows to have. In other words, will your vows have a serious vibe, or do you want them to be lighthearted and humorous? Do the vows have to be formal, or can you use casual words and phrasing?
Moreover, deciding on a structure or outline will make it easier for you to write. Do you want to start with a quote from your favorite book or movie? Do you want to share a short anecdote before listing your promises?
Ask for Advice From Your Officiant
If you are still unable to write vows for your non-religious wedding ceremony, your officiant may have some templates or ready-made vows you can use. Decide with your partner if this is something you want to do.
Always Coordinate and Cooperate With Your Partner
As illustrated above, you have to strive to always be in agreement with your partner—especially during the wedding planning process.
Ideally, you should decide your vows’ tone, structure, and length together. Keep your non-religious wedding vows around the same length and vibe.
Start Writing Freely
Do not worry about getting your vows perfect on the first try; just write whatever comes to mind. Just remember to focus more on making promises, as these are your wedding vows.
Edit and Refine Your Draft
Once you think you have written everything you want, start making edits to the first draft. Try reading it out loud, and see where the flow or wording can be improved. Certain phrases may also sound better in your head than read out loud.
Be patient. Revising may take multiple tries until you feel satisfied.
If you are comfortable, seek feedback from people you trust. Read it to your best man or maid of honor. They can give you their thoughts and insights, which you can then use to improve your vows.
Practice Your Delivery
Once your first draft is ready, you should start thinking about how to deliver your vows. For example, you may want to indicate where to pause and how long to pause, where to take a breath, and whatnot.
Practicing can also help you maintain composure on your wedding day. You can anticipate during which parts you will probably get the most emotional and make the necessary adjustments.
Similar to the above step, this is a great time to ask for help from your best man or maid of honor. Have them listen to you as you practice. As a test audience, you can gauge people’s reactions and adjust your delivery from there.
Make Preparations for the Special Day
The last step is to prepare for the wedding itself. Print your wedding vows on high-quality paper, as the printed copy can be a special keepsake later on.
Do some breathing exercises and mindfulness practices. Stay in the moment. Do what you need to be calm.
Above all, the most important things your non-religious wedding vows need to have are authenticity and sincerity. Be yourself and be honest—everything will fall into place after.