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Creative ‘Declaration of Intent’ Wording for Your Wedding Ceremony

Published Wednesday, Dec. 21st, 2022

Create a one-of-a-kind wedding ceremony that speaks from the heart with these alternatives to the traditional declaration of intent



The declaration of intent is the part of the wedding ceremony when the wedding officiant confirms that the couple truly wants to marry each other. 


Also called a ‘statement of intent to marry’ or ‘declaration of consent,’ this is the familiar part of the ceremony when the officiant asks, “Do you take this person to be your spouse?” and each partner happily responds “I do!” 


And it’s one of the few parts of the wedding ceremony that is legally required in most states.


(Read more here The Declaration of Intent Explained)


The traditional wording for the declaration of intent is usually something like this: 


Do you, Sam, take this woman, Leigh, to be your lawfully wedded wife, to live together in matrimony, to love and honor her, in sickness and in health, for as long as you both shall live? 


I do. 


And do you, Leigh, take this man, Sam, to be your lawfully wedded husband, to live together in matrimony, to love and honor her, in sickness and in health, until death do you part?


I do. 


This wording of a ‘declaration of intent’ is probably very familiar to you. Sometimes a declaration of intent even takes the place of personal wedding vows in a short ceremony. 


Related: Classic Wedding Vows (That Will Make Everyone at Your Ceremony Happy Cry)


But you don’t have to stick with tradition on this – although you do need to include a version of this declaration in your ceremony, the specific wording you use is up to you and your officiant.


Below, we’ve put together a few creative examples of what to say during your declaration of intent. Add these to a simple wedding ceremony script to create a unique and personalized ceremony. 


Next, ask a friend to get ordained online for free with AMM to officiate your wedding. 


Then, check out the free wedding officiant scripts in our Ceremony Scripts Library to help inspire your own.



A bride and groom embrace outdoors on the wedding day

Say "I do" in whatever style suits you

(Photo by Neal Cruz)



6 Creative Examples of a Wedding Declaration of Intent 



1. Traditional Opposite-sex Declaration of Intent  


Do you _______, take _______ to be your lawfully wedded (wife/ husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, till death do you part?


Groom/ Bride:
I do. 


2. Same-sex or Gender Neutral Declaration of Intent 


Do you, _______, take _______ to be your (wife / husband/ spouse/ partner in life), to love and to cherish all the days of your life, today, tomorrow, and always? 


I do. 


3. Funny Declaration of Intent 


_______, would you like to marry _______? 




Are you sure? Like, really sure? To be joined in marriage, today, tomorrow, and for the rest of your life? It could be a long time.


Hell yes! 


4. Joint Declaration of Intent 


_______ and _______, here in the company of friends and family, do you willingly and lovingly take each other in the partnership of marriage, with all the responsibilities and joys that such a union brings, agreeing to stand beside each other in good times and bad, for all the days of your lives? 


We do!


5. Short and Sweet Declaration of Intent 


_______, do you wish to marry  _______ today? 


I do. 


6. Spanish Declaration of Intent 


_______, toma usted a _______ como su legítimo esposo (a) para amar y respetar, querer y adorar, en la pobreza y la adversidad, de ahora en adelante y hasta el fin de sus días? 


(In English, for bilingual ceremony planning: "_______ Do you take _______ as your legitimate (husband /wife) to love and respect, cherish and adore, for richer or for poorer, from now on and until the end of days?")


Si (o Acepto)


(In English: "Yes," or "I do.")




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Groom and bride laugh during their outdoor wedding ceremony

Offbeat opening remarks can set the perfect tone for your non-traditional wedding ceremony! Read the full article here. 



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Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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