How to Plan Your Beach Wedding Vows

Beach weddings are by far the most popular of all destination weddings, and while they require you to plan differently than for a traditional wedding, choosing your wedding vows is really no different from a wedding at any other venue.

Vows are perhaps the most intimate and personal decisions that you’ll have to make. This is definitely something that you and your fiancé must talk about and agree upon well in advance of the wedding date. Do you want traditional religious statements or do you both seek something that is either not particularly religious in tone, is possibly more poetic, or just (in your view) more hip?

Will the vows you and your beloved make be a shocking statement to the guests who are there to witness your wedding? Or will they capture the essence of your love and commitment in such a special way that they are unmistakably all about you?

If you are planning to have a religious leader officiate at your ceremony, then it is essential to have a discussion with that person about your views on vows. If the bride and groom come from very different religious backgrounds and plan on asking two or more religious leaders to officiate, then  your task can grow amazingly complicated as you try to satisfy everyone involved and without offending anyone. Relax. It can be done. Just remember to take deep breaths at the first sign that religious conflicts are beginning to occur.

I offer, below, a broad selection of wedding vows that you are free to use (and modify) as you wish. By design, I offer a little cornucopia of options varying from traditional and religious to modern and non-sectarian. Enjoy.

Traditional Wedding Vows

BAPTIST

Officiant: “Will you, ____, have ____ to be your wife/husband? Will you love her/him, comfort and keep her/him, and forsaking all other remain true to him/her as long as you both shall live? “

“I will.”

(Repeat) ” I, ____, take thee ____, to be my wife/husband, and before God and these witnesses I promise to be a faithful and true wife/husband.”
 
(Exchange rings) “With this ring I thee wed, and all my worldly goods I thee endow. In sickness and in health, in poverty or in wealth, ’til death do us part. “

CATHOLIC

Groom: “In the name of God, I, ___, take you, ___, to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death.  This is my solemn vow. “

Bride: “In the name of God, I, ___, take you, ___, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death.  This is my solemn vow. “

EPISCOPAL

Officiant: “___, wilt thou have this woman/man to be thy wedded wife/husband to live together after God’s ordinance in the Holy Estate of matrimony? Wilt thou love her/him? Comfort her/him, honor and keep her/her, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others keep thee only unto him/her as long as you both shall live?”

“I will.”

“I, ___, take thee ___, to be my wedding wife/husband, to have an to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, ’til death do us part, according to God’s ordinance; and thereto I pledge thee my troth.”

(Rings) “With this ring I thee wed; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.”

LUTHERAN

“I, ____, take you, ____, to be my (husband/wife), and these things I promise you:

“I will be faithful to you and honest with you;
“I will respect, trust, help and care for you;
“I will share my life with you;
“I will forgive you as we have been forgiven; and I will try with you better to understand ourselves, the world, and God; through the best and the worst of what is to come as long as we live.

(Rings) “Receive this ring as a token of wedded love and faith.”
(Rings) “With this ring I thee wed, and pledge thee my troth.”

METHODIST

Officiant:  “Christ calls you into union with him and with one another. I ask you now in the presence of God and this congregation to declare your intent. Will you have this man to be your husband, to live together in a holy marriage? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live? “

Bride: “I will.”

Officiant: “Will you have this woman to be your wife, to live together in a holy marriage? Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?”

Groom: “I will.”

MORMON

Officiant: “Brother ___, and Sister ___,  please join hands in the Patriarchal Grip or Sure Sign of the Nail.”

Couple: Joins hands in the “Patriarchal Grip, or Sure Sign of the Nail.” This token is given by clasping the right hands, interlocking the little fingers and placing the tip of the forefinger upon the center of the wrist. No clothing should interfere with the contact of the forefinger upon the wrist.

Officiant: “Brother ___, do you take Sister ___, by the right hand and receive her unto yourself to be your lawful and wedded wife for time and all eternity, with a covenant and promise that you will observe and keep all the laws, rites, and ordinances pertaining to this Holy Order of Matrimony in the New and Everlasting Covenant, and this you do in the presence of God, angels, and these witnesses of your own free will and choice? “

Groom: “Yes.”

Officiant: “Sister ___, do you take brother ___, by the right hand and give yourself to him to be his lawful and wedded wife, and for him to be your lawful and wedded husband, for time and all eternity, with a covenant and promise that you will observe and keep all the laws, rites and ordinances pertaining to this Holy Order of Matrimony in the New and Everlasting Covenant, and this you do in the presence of God, angels, and these witnesses of your own free will and choice?”

Bride: “Yes.”

Officiant: “By virtue of the Holy Priesthood and the authority vested in me, I pronounce you ___, and ___, legally and lawfully husband and wife for time and all eternity, and I seal upon you the blessings of the holy resurrection with power to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection clothed in glory, immortality and eternal lives, and I seal upon you the blessings of kingdoms, thrones, principal- ities, powers, dominions and exaltations, with all the blessings of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and say unto you: be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth that you may have joy and rejoicing in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. All these blessings, together with all the blessings appertaining unto the New and Everlasting Covenant, I seal upon you by virtue of the Holy Priesthood, through your faithfulness,in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.”

BUDDHIST

“___ and ___ are happy today not only because they can share the joy of their love for each other with friends and family, but also because they have the opportunity to express their aspirations for the future.

“___ and ___ do you pledge to help each other to develop your hearts and minds, cultivating compassion, generosity, ethics, patience, enthusiasm, concentration and wisdom as you age and undergo the various ups and downs of life and to transform them into the path of love, compassion, joy and equanimity?

“We do.”

“Recognizing that the external conditions in life will not always be smooth and that internally your own minds and emotions will sometimes get stuck in negativity, do you pledge to see all these circumstances as a challenge to help you grow, to open your hearts, to accept yourselves, and each other; and to generate compassion for others who are suffering? Do you pledge to avoid becoming narrow, closed or opinionated, and to help each other to see various sides of situations?”
 
“We do.”
 
“Understanding that just as we are a mystery to ourselves, each other person is also a mystery to us, do you pledge to seek to understand yourselves, each other, and all living beings, to examine your own minds continually and to regard all the mysteries of life with curiosity and joy? “

“We do.”

MUSLIM

Bride: ” I, ___ offer you in myself in marriage in accordance with the instructions of the Holy Quar’an and the Holy Prophet, peace and blessing be upon Him.  I pledge, in honesty and with sincerity, to be for you an obedient and faithful wife. “

Groom:  “I pledge, in honesty and sincerity, to be for you a faithful and helpful husband.”

QUAKER

“In the presence of God and these our friends I take thee, ___, to be my husband/wife, promising with Divine assistance to be unto thee a loving and faithful wife/husband so long as we both shall live.”

JEWISH (Reform)

Officiant: “O God, supremely blessed, supreme in might and glory, guide and bless this groom and bride. Standing here in the presence of God, the Guardian of the home, ready to enter into the bond of wedlock, answer in the fear of God, and in the hearing of those assembled:

“Do you, _____, of your own free will and consent take _____ to be your wife/husband and do you promise to love, honor and cherish her/him throughout life? “

Groom/Bride: “I do.”

Groom says: “Behold, you are consecrated to me with this ring according to the laws of Moses and Israel.”

The traditional Seven Blessings, or Sheva B’rachot, are also an integral part of Jewish ceremonies; often relatives and friends of the couple’s choosing recites them.

JEWISH (Conservative)

Officiant: “Do you _____, take _____ to be your lawful wedded wife, to love, to honor and to cherish? “

Groom: “I do.”

Officiant: Do you, _____, take _____, to be your lawful wedded husband to love, to honor and to cherish?”

Bride: “I do.”

Officiant: “Do you, _____, put this ring upon the finger of your bride and say to her, ‘Be thou consecrated to me, as my wife, by this ring, according to the Law of Moses and of Israel?”

Then the Rabbi asks the bride to repeat: “May this ring I receive from thee be a token of my having become thy wife according to the Law of Moses and of Israel.”

In a double ring ceremony, the bride says this: “This ring is a symbol that thou art my husband in accordance with the Law of Moses and Israel.”

The traditional Seven Blessings, or Sheva B’rachot, are also an integral part of Jewish ceremonies; often relatives and friends of the couple’s choosing recites them.

Jewish (Orthodox)

There is no actual exchange of vows in a traditional Jewish ceremony; the covenant is said to be implicit in the ritual.

Non-Traditional Wedding Vows

#1

“___ , you are my best friend love you with all my heart and stand here before all of our friends and family, sharing the happiest day of my life. I want nothing more than to share my future with you, ___, my triumphs and my challenges, my joys and my sorrows. Together, I know we can accomplish the life we both dream of living. “

#2

“Before my life was joined with yours, I was incomplete. Before I loved you, everything was dark. Now that our lives are joined, I am full in love, in laughter and in light. You are my everything and I give all I have to you, that you may have all you want and need. “

#3

“I give my love to you freely. I pledge to care for you and to honor our marriage above all else. In our union, I will offer all that you need. “


 

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Highlights

The most popular destination weddings are held on beaches. There are terrific beaches on the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf coasts. Each of them can provide a truly memorable setting for your wedding. So many choices!

ATLANTIC COAST

Florida
North Carolina
South Carolina
Georgia
Virginia
New Jersey
New York

GULF COAST

Florida
Texas

Alabama
Mississippi

PACIFIC COAST

Southern California
Northern California
Oregon
Washington
Hawaii

CARRIBEAN

Destinations that do not require a US passport for US citizens:
San Juan, Puerto Rico
St.. Croix, Virgin Islands
St. John, Virgin Islands
St. Thomas, Virgin Islands

Although it doesn't boast of a real beach, don't forget that Las Vegas can be a great bargain for a destination wedding.