Step by Step Guide to a Humanist Wedding no. 8 – The Vows – Official Guidance

One of the many attractions of a humanist ceremony is that in your wedding vows you are free to choose what you promise. The wording of the legal declaration, however is another matter.

As it says on the Registrar General of Scotland’s website, “There is no legally prescribed form of words to be used in relation to ‘marriage vows’ in Scotland… but there must be “a declaration by the parties, in the presence of each other, the celebrant and two witnesses, that they either accept each other as husband and wife or accept each other in marriage or make both declarations.”

At Celebrate People, we ask you to use this phrase: ‘I accept you in marriage’. It’s very simple, and it embodies the principle of equality that lies at the heart of what we do.

Here are some, but by no means all, of the ways you might do that. 

“I (Forename) accept you (Forename) in marriage”

“I call upon these persons here present to witness that I (Name) do solemnly and sincerely declare that I 
accept you (Name)in marriage”

BTW, the declarations don’t have to be made in English, as long as they are clearly understood by the couple, the Celebrant and the witnesses.  Yesterday, I married Mati and Kenny, and as you can see, Mati who’s Spanish, spoke her vows in her native tongue.

In fact, the whole ceremony can be conducted in a different language (including Gaelic or old Scots) as long as the couple, the Celebrant and the witnesses understand what is being said, using the services of an official translator if necessary. 

And of course you can add other phrases too, like, ‘I choose you as my husband’ or ‘I take you as my wife’.

So there you go: if you have any further questions, you know where to find me!

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