All the Ideas and Inspiration You Need to Write Interfaith Wedding Vows
If you and your partner come from different religious backgrounds you might be wondering if choosing to honor only one of your beliefs is the only option for your wedding ceremony. However, we're here to tell you that interfaith wedding ceremonies are more common than ever, and with the right intel, figuring out how to structure an interfaith ceremony is a piece of cake.
Whether you're mixing Christian and Jewish wedding traditions, or Hindu and Buddhist ones on your wedding day, choosing a wedding officiant who specializes in interfaith ceremonies will be key to creating authentic nuptials. That person will help come up with meaningful rituals to include that also respect your family members' diverse views of God and religion. For example, you might choose a loved one from each side to read a wedding blessing, poem, or prayer during the ceremony before the pronouncement, as Celine Eid of New York City-based Honeybreak Officiants suggests. Or, she says, you might choose to include a blend of different traditions during your ceremony, like doing the breaking of the glass (part of most Jewish weddings) while standing under a mandap (per Hindu tradition) instead of a Jewish chuppah. You can also opt to simply feature a nondenominational tradition like lighting a unity candle together as a part of your exchange of solemn vows.
Together, you'll also want to create a wedding program that reflects your different traditions and acknowledges the presence of God in your matrimony from two points of view. Doing so will help your loved ones learn and understand the various traditions you'll include in your interfaith ceremony and help them to follow along. And, of course, at the core of your day and the ceremony (before an exchange of rings) will come your wedding vows, which you'll imbue with ideas from your different faiths. As for exactly how to do that? We've got some ideas. Plus, we've also gathered some additional insight from officiant Celine Eid, who shares some ideas below.
What to Include in Your Interfaith Wedding Vows
As Eid puts it, "in an interfaith ceremony, wedding vows hold the same meaning as in a religious or non-religious ceremony. It is an opportunity for spouses to share their intention and commitment with their partner to as many people who will listen." As such, your interfaith vows can take many forms. But whether you write your own vows or go a more traditional route, ultimately they will consist of the promises you're making each other in the name of God and plan to uphold in your new home and for the rest of your married life. "They are a chance to share what this moment, this commitment, and this partnership mean to you and what makes it special," Eid explains.
Traditional Interfaith Wedding Vows Template
Interfaith marriage vows are by nature untraditional, so there isn't exactly a set of traditional wedding vows to follow. But that simply means you have total freedom to craft vows that speak to you as a couple as well as the values held by your different faiths. In need of some inspiration for your own wedding vows? Here are some templates that Eid often uses as a starting point for the interfaith ceremonies she officiates:
Now, please join hands to say your vows. [Spouse A], please repeat after me: "I, [Spouse A], take you [Spouse B], as my friend and love, beside me and apart from me, in laughter and in tears, in conflict and in tranquility, asking that you be no other than yourself, loving what I know of you, trusting what I do not know yet, in all the ways that life may find us."
I [Spouse A] promise to you, [Spouse B], before our family and friends, to stand by your side, to share and support your hopes and dreams. I vow to always be there for you. When you fall, I will catch you. When you cry I will comfort you. When you laugh I will share your joy. No matter what lies ahead of us, I will see it as a journey that can only be completed together. I promise this now and forever.
With all my heart, I [Spouse A] take you [Spouse B] to be my wife/husband/partner. I promise to be your lover, companion, and friend, your partner in parenthood, your ally in conflict, your greatest fan. I will be your comrade in adventure, your comfort in disappointment, your accomplice in mischief, your strength in times of need. I will listen with understanding, and trust you completely. All the days of my life.
Personalizing Interfaith Wedding Vows
When writing interfaith wedding vows, there is nearly endless opportunity for customization. If one of you is not religious, for instance, you might opt to not mention God in your vows and instead focus purely on your relationship, sharing stories from the past and visions of the future together. Alternatively, if you'd like to exchange more traditional vows, Eid suggests changing the line "before God" to "before our family and friends."
If you want to get a little more creative with traditional vow structure you can also write your own set of promises while still following an "I do" framework. For example, "if the traditional 'for better or worse' doesn't feel like it fits, consider: 'Do you promise to share your life and love?'" Eid says. No matter how you choose to personalize your vows, so long as you're putting you and your partner at the center of your promises to each other, you're on the right track.