If you’re looking to maintain a very traditional, yet secular feel to your wedding, I would suggest a modified version of truly traditional marriage vows. Bear in mind, that often the marriage vows themselves are very short and therefore, what you may be looking for is the language that surrounds the vows themselves. For example, below is a very traditional version of the vows (the ole’ I-State-Your-Name version):
“I, ___, take you, ___, for my lawful wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part.”
There is no hint of religion in these vows.
A longer version is below. I have modified and secularized it, and have attempted to address the importance that ceremony holds to the bride and groom with respect to the marriage as a true commitment to EACH OTHER. It is not a commitment to God or to the people in attendance.
Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the face of this company of witnesses to join together this man and this woman in Matrimony; which is a lifetime commitment and therefore, not entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but soberly and in front of family, friends, and each other. Into this important institution these two persons present come now to be joined.
If any man can show just cause, why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him speak now or forever hold his peace.
Who gives this woman to be married to this man? (Optional)
__________________will you have this woman to be your lawful wedded wife? Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others keep you only unto her as long as you both shall live?
__________________, will you have this man to be your lawful wedded husband? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others keep you only unto him as long as you both shall live?
The marriage ring seals the vows of marriage and represents a promise for eternal and everlasting
(Groom: Repeat after me) I __________________ take thee, _______________ to be my wedded 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 forever, and thereto I give thee my pledge.
(Bride: Repeat after Me) I ___________________ take thee, _________________ to be my wedded 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 forever, and thereto I give thee my pledge.
Forasmuch as ____________ and ___________ have consented together in marriage, and have witnessed the same before this company of witnesses and each other, and there to have given their pledge, each to the other, and have declared the same by giving and receiving a ring, and by joining hands; by the power vested in me by the State of ____, I now pronounce you husband and wife.
You many now kiss your bride.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I now present to you Mr. And Mrs. ________________