Tips for Writing Civil Marriage Vows

civil marriage vows

A civil marriage is a marriage performed or recognized by a government official rather than a religious figure presiding over a religious ceremony. Civil marriages have an extensive history—there are records of civil marriages going back thousands of years—and many couples are choosing to have civil marriages over religious ceremonies for a variety of reasons. There are even religious couples who choose to have a civil ceremony, either on its own or coupled with a religious ceremony after they are officially married.


If you and your partner have decided to have a civil marriage, you may be wondering about your wedding vows. If you are preparing for your civil marriage, consider the following tips and tricks for writing or finding the perfect civil marriage vows.


Tweak the traditional vow

In English, the most traditional wedding vows are commonly associated with a religious marriage ceremony—but that doesn’t mean you can’t tweak it a bit for your civil service. If you want to use traditional wedding vows but don’t wish to have a religious message in them, all you need to do for most traditional vows is change a few words here and there.


Write your own vows
It’s becoming more and more common for couples, civil marriage or otherwise, to write their own vows. If you just can’t find the right pre-written vows for your civil marriage, or simply want to make your vows more personal, then writing your own vows is an excellent choice.


Your vows can say whatever it is you want them to say—you can express your hopes and wishes for the future with your partner, you can talk about how you met or how much you love them or your commitment and love.


Of course, if you are having a little trouble writing your vows, don’t be afraid to ask a loved one for some help!


Look outside the box for vows

Most traditional marriage vows come either from religious books or from older religious ceremonies which have been handed down over the centuries. But you don’t have to think inside the box when it comes to your civil marriage vows; there are many different sources for quotes and vows that aren’t associated with religion or religious texts.

The following are just a few ideas where you can find inspiring quotes or messages for your civil marriage vows:

  • Books
  • Film/TV Shows
  • Poems
  • Songs
  • Personal Quotes

Many couples who choose to use literature, film or music quotes for their civil marriage vows pick these quotes from their—or their partner’s—favorites. This makes the vows even more personal and can be a great way to show your partner just how much you care about them. Of course, you may run into trouble finding an appropriate vow quote if your partner’s favorite movie is something like Ghostbusters!


Mary Fisher is a writer experienced with helping couples understand marriage, love and relationships. She completed her studies in 2011 and is currently involved in writing articles on intimacy, relationships and family.

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