Have you ever been to a wedding where the vows were a lot like this:
If you're here, it's because you're likely interested in having a non-traditional wedding where generic-sounding vows don't happen. Several of our readers have been generous enough to share their own non-traditional wedding vows to help other offbeat soonlyweds find the right words (no pun intended) for their own alternative wedding ceremony. And if you've got the vows down but are looking for a non-traditional ceremony script to draw inspo from, we have a whole archive of those too!
We've put together some snippets of our favorite non-traditional wedding vows to help you figure out what to say at an alternative wedding ceremony. There are endless ways you can approach your non-traditional wedding vows: funny, non-possessive, gender-neutral, science-y, and non-religious are just a few. There's also vows for blended families, too!
But first, even if you're committed to having a non-traditional wedding, just know you don't have to go completely “anti-traditional wedding” to write the perfect vows. So what if your vows have some cliches, familiar phrases, or well known pop culture references? If you feel like they perfectly describe your feelings for your partner, say it with your chest!
Now let's get inspired with these non-traditional wedding vows:
Remember, the most important thing about your vows is that they reflect your true feelings and commitment to each other.
Funny non-traditional wedding vows
I, Patrick, take you, Lyndsay,
to be my lawful wedded wife,
to share with me all the wonders life has to offer,
through good times and bad,
through laughter and tears,
through Fast and Furious sequels and Star Wars prequels,
until my watch has ended.
Read Lyndsay and Patrick's vows from their non-traditional wedding.
Non-possessive and gender-neutral wedding vows
Ron and Suzanna wanted wedding vow promises that were non-possessive and gender neutral. Suzanna said ““We've both had reservations about marriage: it's often associated with sexism, it implies that relationships should be permanent even though they often aren't. Still, we wanted to make our commitment official in a public way — but we wanted our wedding to reflect our ideas about marriage.”
The wedding ring is the outward visible sign of an inward and spiritual bond that unites two loyal hearts in endless love.
[Partner 1], I cannot bind you to [Partner 2]. Only you can choose to do this.
If it is your wish, say so at this time and place your ring in her hand.
It is my wish.
[Places ring in Partner 2's hand]
[Partner 2], if it is your wish for [Partner 1] to be bound with you, place the ring on their finger.
[Partner 2 places ring on Partner 1's left ring finger]
[Partner 2], I cannot form your bond with [Partner 1]. Only you can choose to do this.
If it is your wish, say so at this time and place your ring in their hand.
It is my wish.
[Places ring in Partner 1's hand]
[Partner 1], if it is your wish for [Partner 2] to be bound with you, place the ring on their finger.
[Places ring on Partner 2's left ring finger]
[Pronouncement of Marriage!]
Learn more about their non-possessive ring exchange and vows here.
Try writing each other's vows
Stacy explains why she and her husband wrote each other's vows:
We also chose to have our ceremony heavily story-based. I always love hearing other couples' stories, and we wanted to share ones from different parts in our relationship that everyone may not have heard.
…To us, a marriage is a partnership. So it made sense for me to write vows for my husband that I wanted from him, and for him to write vows for me, voicing what he wanted from me.
My sister did read the vows beforehand to verify that they weren't mismatched, and she also found some common points that we ended up reading in unison.
You've gotta see how writing each other's vows turned out here!
Wedding vows for a handfasting ceremony
Mark and Erin wrote vows that aligned with their values and reflected their promises to each other and themselves.
OFFICIANT: Mark and Erin – Will you please begin with your vows of Honesty and Partnership.
Erin: I will always be honest with you as I endeavor to always be honest with myself.
Mark: I accept you as a whole and imperfect being, just as you accept me.
Erin: I will explore and cherish the rewards of intimacy as I continue to explore my deeper self.
Together: With this understanding, I choose this partnership.
OFFICIANT: Please continue with your vows of Honor and Family.
Mark: I accept your family as my family, and will honor them accordingly.
Erin: I will support and celebrate your family as I do my own.
Mark: I will accept responsibility for them when they are in need.
Together: With this understanding, I choose this family.
OFFICIANT: Please continue with your vows of Loyalty.
Erin: I entrust you with my life and my future.
Mark: I accept responsibility for your life and happiness, while maintaining responsibility for my own.
Erin: I will strive to deliberately evolve alongside you, while never denying your individuality and always thinking of us as a family.
Together: With this understanding, I choose this way of life.
OFFICIANT: And finally, please exchange your vows of Love.
Mark: I will forever be your partner in adventure and your champion to the world.
Erin: I will prioritize you above all others and be a diligent steward of our love.
Mark: I will zealously uphold these vows, and remain at your side for the rest of my days.
Together: With this understanding, I choose this marriage.
Read the full wedding ceremony script from this Native American/Irish handfasting wedding.
Wedding vows for blended families
Will you or your partner be getting “bonus children”? Here are some sweet ways to include them in blended family weddings.
[Maddy and Joe turn to face girls as they stand in front of them. Maddy speaks as Joe puts heart necklaces on the girls]
Maddy to Kids: “Thank you for sharing Daddy with me, loving me and allowing me to love you with all of my heart. I was not there when you took your first steps, but I promise that now I will love and support you in every step that you take in your life. These necklaces are a symbol of our love and devotion to the two of you.
I love you, Tina and I am devoted to making your life full of happiness and accomplishments, nurturing your creativity, encouraging your independence, and making sure you always know what a gift you are to this world.
I love you, Missy and I am devoted to making your life full of happiness and accomplishments, ensuring that you thrive to your fullest potential, and that while you reach for the sky, you remain grounded by the love of our family and our home.”
Find more blended family wedding vows here.
A science-inspired non-traditional wedding vow
Finally… I do promise to love you… for richer and poorer, in sickness and in health… but not till death do us part… because my love for you can’t be contained in this one body, in this one lifetime. But science tells us that matter and energy cannot be destroyed, only change form. So many years from now… long after we’re gone… someone will find an old image of this wedding. Of us. And they’ll see who we were. How we felt in this moment. And the energy of this day will return once again. So I can love you for one more second in time.
The officiant was so moved by this vow they did an impromptu incorporation into the pronouncement!
Read the full ceremony script and vows from this queer wedding with a ring-warming ceremony.
Vow ideas for terminally ill people
A reader once asked us for vow renewal scripts for terminally ill people. Here's just one excerpt from the post.
For the partner who is not ill:
I, [Name], stand here today in awe of our love and commitment to one another. Our journey has been filled with highs and lows, but our love has stood the test of time. Though we face the difficult reality of our time together being limited, I vow to cherish every moment, every laugh, every tear, and every memory we have left to create.
I will be your strength and support through every trial, and I will hold you close and love you unconditionally. I am forever grateful for the life we have built together, and I promise to make the most of every day we have left.
For the partner who is ill:
I, [Name], am honored to stand before you today and declare my love and devotion to you once again. Though our time together may be short, my love for you knows no bounds. You are my heart and soul, and I am forever grateful for the joy and happiness you have brought to my life.
I vow to cherish every moment we have left together, to create new memories, and to hold your hand through every challenge. I will be your strength and support, your comfort and your joy, and I will love you with all my heart until the very end. Thank you for choosing me to be your partner in life, and for the gift of your love.
Find more examples of non-traditional wedding vows for terminally ill people here.
Wedding vows for atheists
Looking for non-traditional wedding vows that are also non-religious? Danielle and Christopher wrote their vows with a straight-up yet totally romantic announcement that they don't believe in heaven.
At this time, Christopher and Danielle have some words that they would like to share with each other.
In the words of Carl Sagan:
“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff. Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious… In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another. For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love. ”
Danielle and Christopher: Do you each take the other in marriage and agree to support, comfort, share truth, laugh, and respect one another today and for the rest of your days?
Make it so.
Read their “aggressively atheist non-religious wedding vows and ceremony script” here.
Those are just a few examples of how to deviate from traditional wedding vows.
But remember, what's more important than creating non-traditional wedding vows is crafting a wedding vow that's a reflection of your unique relationship! Ultimately what makes a non-traditional wedding vow truly special is how personal and meaningful it is to you.
Need more inspiration? Explore more non-traditional wedding vows here. Or if you're trying to craft the perfect non-traditional ceremony script, the Offbeat Wed Officiant Pack is your bestie. Plus there's even a workbook to help newlyweds craft their non-traditional wedding vows!
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