When Ron and Suzanna got married in Seattle, they chose to have wedding vow promises and a ring exchange that was non-possessive and gender neutral.
As Suzanna told us, “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.”
Working with an officiant supported their desire for a gender-neutral ceremony, they made a point to never use the words or husband or wife… and they walked up the aisle together.
When it came to their wedding vow promises, Suzanna said, “This isn't about owning each other, so I gave my ring to Ron to put on my finger, and vice versa.”
Here's how their wedding vow promises and ring exchange worked if you'd like to use this example for your own wedding ceremony:
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!]