Humanist Wedding Vows for Your Ceremony Plus Tips on Customizing Them

Here is everything you need to craft your own humanist wedding vows.
Emily Halonen Bratcher - The Knot Contributor.
by
Emily Halonen Bratcher
Emily Halonen Bratcher - The Knot Contributor.
Emily Halonen Bratcher
The Knot Contributor
  • Emily writes a variety of articles for The Knot Worldwide.
  • Emily also writes service journalism and public interest pieces for other publications.
  • Emily holds a journalism degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Updated Jan 12, 2022

Humanists seek to live a secular yet moral and ethical life—and a humanist wedding ceremony reflects those values. At a humanist wedding ceremony, the marriage vows focus on the couple's love for each other and their public pronouncement of commitment to each other on their special day.

One of the biggest differences between humanist wedding ceremonies and civil ceremonies, which are also non-religious ceremonies, are the wedding officiants. In a humanist wedding ceremony, the officiant is called a celebrant, which is just another word for a non-clergy officiant. But it's important to note that you'll also need to make a stop at the County Clerk's office to legally register your marriage since celebrants do not have that authority.

With your wedding celebrant at your side to help gather all your wedding ideas, you can craft vows for your wedding day that reflect your love and values. Humanist vows can incorporate everything from poetry to music, book excerpts to the couples' own unique script. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to crafting your own wedding vows for your humanist marriage ceremony. Here are some tips on what to include in your humanist wedding vows, and some examples to get you started.

What to Include in Your Humanist Wedding Vows

As you're crafting your humanist wedding vows, you'll want to be sure you work with your celebrant. Your celebrant will be able to give you great advice about how to lay out your wedding ceremony script and what you might want to include as you craft your personal vows. At their most basic, humanist wedding vows include a declaration of intent to enter into matrimony, and they also include several promises the couple vows to keep to each other.

Traditional Humanist Wedding Vows Template

Because humanist wedding vows are intensely personal, there are really no traditional wedding vows to offer. Rather, here are a few examples of some basic humanist wedding vows to aid your wedding planning process:

Sample Wedding Vow 1

Couple repeats: I, ______, choose you, ______, to be my wife/husband. I will respect you, care for you, and grow with you, through good times and hard times, as your friend, companion, and partner, giving the best that I can, to fulfill our lives together.

Sample Wedding Vow 2

Celebrant: ______, will you receive ______ as your lawfully wedded wife/husband? Will you share your life with her/him, hold your love firm, and dutifully care for her/him in all the varying circumstances of your life?"

To-be-wed: I do.

Celebrant: ______, will you receive ______ as your lawfully wedded wife/husband? Will you share your life with her/him, hold your love firm, and dutifully care for her/him in all the varying circumstances of your life?"

To-be-wed: I do.

Sample Wedding Vow 3

Celebrant: ______, will you have ______ as your wife/husband, to live together in marriage? Will you love her/him, comfort her/him, and honor her/him, in sickness and in health, in sorrow and in joy, as long as you both shall live?

To-be-wed: I do.

Celebrant: ______, will you have ______ as your wife/husband, to live together in marriage? Will you love her/him, comfort her/him, and honor her/him, in sickness and in health, in sorrow and in joy, as long as you both shall live?

To-be-wed: I do.

Sample Wedding 4

Couple repeats: _________, I give to you everything I am and everything I will ever be. I love you, and I promise to be your best friend. I promise to share your dreams and help you achieve your goals. I will never stand behind you or in front of you but always beside you. I will listen to you with an open heart and an open mind pledging my honesty, compassion, fidelity and forgiveness. I promise to love you no matter what tomorrow brings. I will always be your most loyal friend and your loving husband/wife because you are my heart and my soul now and forever.

Personalizing Humanist Wedding Vows

Most humanist wedding ceremonies feature intensely personal wedding vows. Since they are non-religious wedding ceremonies, there aren't any traditions or do's and don'ts to abide by. That means you can have family members, loved ones or your celebrant offer readings during the ceremony that inform your vows. You can also write your own vows for your big day incorporating poetry, music or any other elements you like. While you're crafting your personalized exchange of vows, take note that you can customize your exchange of rings as well.

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