Take a cue from these brides and grooms, who traded the traditional for the unexpected by peppering your wedding vows with personal details and funny inside jokes.
By now, we all know the formula: "I, ___ take you, ___ to be my ___ … " and so on and so forth. There's nothing wrong with sticking to the script, but if you and your groom want to personalize your ceremony, writing unique or funny wedding vows is a great way to do it. Take it from these brides and grooms, who peppered their vows with personal details and inside jokes for promises that were unexpected and ultra-special.
Whether you use their sentiments as sample vow inspiration or as a template, make sure to tailor the words to suit your style as a couple, as well as the vibe of your wedding. While the law only requires that the intention to marry is acknowledged, keep in mind that religions and customs come with their own set of guidelines, with some types of ceremonies being less flexible than others. You may want to discuss the vows with your officiant ahead of time, or have him look them over to check for requirements. To make sure you and your fiancé's vows are complementary, ask a third party (like your maid of honor or mom) to read them before the ceremony to make sure they are similar enough.
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Anthony and Rusty wrote modern vows to match their modern wedding. Rusty promised not to leave his gym clothes on the floor, while Anthony swore that no matter how late he'd been out the night before, he would get up, put a smile on his face, and, with Jesus in his heart, go to brunch with his buddies.
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Writing their unique wedding vows together a month prior to the big day, Sadie and Brandon added a touch of lighthearted humor, mentioning the important things in life, like love, patience, and—duh—coffee:
"I promise to grow with you and support you,
I promise to be patient, understanding, and kind,
I promise to listen and share,
I promise to create, to explore, and be curious,
In good times and in bad, I promise to love you,
I will make sure there is always coffee,
I promise to be my best for myself, for us, and for our future together."
Photography: Belathée Photography4 of 11
For their nondenominational, nontraditional service, Edyta and Jared planned alternative vows full of symbolism: They asked invitees to write words of wisdom on their R.S.V.P. cards, which their officiant, who was a friend, compiled into a journal. During the ceremony, attendees formed a circle around the bride and groom, who read the sentiments aloud. "It was a great way to get our friends and family involved," says Edyta.
Photography: Corbin Gurkin5 of 11
We'd expect nothing less than super-cool vows from this California couple, who threw a chic picnic-party wedding. The groom's self-penned script included the funny phrase, "I love putting the toothpaste on your toothbrush, I'm yours for eternity."
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Photography: Jose Villa6 of 11
Jemma and Michael wanted their wedding vows to reflect their laid-back nature and emphasize that the little things in a relationship are just as important as the big ones. The genius last line that had all their friends and family laughing? "I promise to do the stuff neither of us wants to do, if you really don't want to do it more than I don't." Now that's what we call true love.
Photography: Alicia Swedenborg7 of 11
For an unexpected twist on the traditional vows, Negin and Chris had their officiant read letters they had written. Each described not only the positive aspects of the other, but also the negative, as well as why they wanted to get married. "The purpose was that a marriage contains it all, both positive and negative experiences, and to be aware of each other's good and bad sides," Negin says. "To love and work with the good and the bad."
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When reciting promises to her bride, Lauren, who went first, surprised Vanessa with an original poem. "It was hilarious—and it rhymed!" says Vanessa. (An excerpt: You are gorgeous and smart, my perfect mate / And as everyone here knows, always fashionably late.) As for Vanessa's vows? "My vows were more serious and emotional," Vanessa said, laughing.
Photography: Elizabeth Messina Photography9 of 11
Markus got pretty poetic in his fresh version of wedding vows. "I love you because you make me proud," he said to his bride, Alison. "Because you are adventurous and happy. You are the dream I never dreamed of come true. I love you because you make me say, 'Yes, we can. Yes, I want. Yes, I do.'" Hear their full vows in their wedding video.
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Jackie and Ross have their dear friend, Jonathan Sadowski, to thank for their self-described "unconventional, hysterical, sincere, and perfect" ceremony script. While officiating, Jonathan mixed it up, saying to Jackie, "If you are willing to agree to and accept the aforementioned terms of this contract, please say 'I'm in.' Ross, look at Jackie—her eyes are up there. If you are willing to agree to and accept the aforementioned terms of this contract, please say, 'All day, errday.'" See for yourself in their wedding video.
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Our editorial director Darcy Miller is great at dreaming up creative wedding ideas, and her own vows were just as special—and funny, too. "Andy, with you I feel complete," Darcy said. "You brought magic to my life, and I look forward to making each other happy, always. No matter what life brings, I know we will always have each other. Our love is rare. I only wish you had talked some sense into me earlier."
In response, Andy said, "My sweetie, my bride, wonderful things happen to those who keep trying. Since the first time I met you, I wanted to make you happy, even when you draw those pictures of me that show me with less hair than I like to think I have. Now your happiness is my guide, and I will love you for every second of the rest of my life."