15 Traditional and Inspiring Celtic Wedding Vows

Whether you’re planning a traditional Irish wedding, handfasting ceremony, or even just want to include a touch of the Emerald Isle’s customs into your big day, these beautiful Celtic wedding vows are a great addition to your ceremony. Choose one for each of you to read to each other, then consider using others for different readings throughout your big day.

Let’s get started and check them out. The Holy Ordinance approves!

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Celtic Handfasting Ceremony Vows

The handfasting ritual in a Celtic wedding ceremony is a special tradition in which the hands of the couple are tied together. This Celtic wedding tradition is a symbol for the binding of two souls to melt into one. The officiant first explains the ritual, then the couple joins each other’s hands. It is at this time that beautiful wedding vows are read – which you can choose from our list.  

1. Neither above nor below…

“Neither above, nor below, neither in the sea,
Nor onshore, in skies above,
Nor in the depths.
You are the kernel of my heart,
You are the face of my sun,
You are the harp of my music,
You are the crown of my company.”

2. We swear by peace and love..

“We swear by peace and love to stand,
Heart to heart and hand to hand.
Mark, O Spirit, and hear us now,
Confirming this our Sacred Vow.”

3. I vow you the first…

“I vow you the first cut of my meat, the first sip of my wine,
from this day it shall only your name I cry out in the night
and into your eyes that I smile each morning;
I shall be a shield for your back as you are for mine,
never shall a grievous word be spoken about us,
for our marriage is sacred between us and no stranger shall hear my grievance.
Above and beyond this, I will cherish and honour you through this life
and into the next.”

4. May your lifelong dreams come true

“May joy and peace surround you both, Contentment latch your door, And happiness be with you now And God Bless you Evermore. May you live your life with trust, And nurture lifelong affection, May your lifelong dreams come true for you, Move ever in that direction.”

While not really a vow to each other, this traditional Celtic blessing is beautiful to add to your readings during the ceremony.

5. In good times and in bad

“In good times and bad times, in sickness and health,
May they know that riches aren’t needed for wealth.
Help them face problems they’ll meet on their way —
God bless this couple who marry today.
May they find peace of mind comes to all who are kind,
May the rough times ahead become triumphs in time,
May their children be happy each day —
God bless this family who started today.
As they go, may they know every love that was shown,
And as life gets shorter may their feelings grow.
Wherever they travel, wherever they stay,
God bless this couple who marry today.”

A beautiful spin on the traditional “to have and to hold” vows, this one is perfect for your officiant or wedding planner to read. This vow indicates perseverance through rough times.

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6. A Tie Not Easy to Break…

“Now you are bound one to the other

With a tie not easy to break.

Take the time of binding

Before the final vows are made

To learn what you need to know –

To grow in wisdom and love.

That your marriage will be strong

That your love will last In this life and beyond.”

This is a beautiful alternative for your officiant, or those who don’t want to include religious wedding vows in their ceremony.

Check: Short Non Traditional Wedding Vows

Traditional Celtic Marriage Vows 

Celtic wedding vows are traditional oaths that a couple takes in the presence of the guests. Interestingly, in traditional Scottish weddings, these vows are supposed to be pronounced while wedding guests create a circle all around the couple.

But, in modern weddings, vows are exchanged in front of the officiant along with the guests. Here are some wedding vows that are beautiful, traditional, and sound like poems. Many of them also work for readings and even toasts at your reception. 

These vows ensure a happy couple in the long run.

1. Blood of my blood

“Ye are Blood of my Blood, and Bone of my Bone.
I give ye my Body, that we Two might be One.
I give ye my Spirit, `til our Life shall be Done.
You cannon possess me for I belong to myself
But while we both wish it, I give you that which is mine to give
You cannon command me, for I am a free person
But I shall serve you in those ways you require
and the honeycomb will taste sweeter coming from my hand.”

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2. As the sun follows its course…

“By the power that Christ brought from heaven, mayst thou love me. As the sun follows its course, mayst thou follows me.
As a light to the eye, as bread to the hungry, as joy to the heart,
May thy presence be with me.
Oh, one that I love, `til death comes to part us asunder.”
“We swear by peace and love to stand,
Heart to heart and hand to hand.
Mark, O Spirit, and hear us now,
Confirming this our Sacred Vow.”

If you’re not religious, you can leave off the first line. The rest of it is perfect regardless of your beliefs.

3. Make Us One in Our Love

“We ask you, Lord:
make us one in our love:
keep us one in your peace.
Protect our marriage. Bless our home.
Make us gentle. Keep us faithful.
And when life is over unite us again
where parting is no more in the kingdom of your love.
There we will praise you in the happiness and peace
of our eternal home. Amen.”

This is a beautiful vow for those who want something very religious, or are planning a traditional marriage.

4. You are the star of each night…

“You are the star of each night,
You are the brightness of every morning,
You are the story of each guest,
You are the report of every land.
No evil shall befall you, on hill nor bank,
In field or valley, on mountain or in glen.
Neither above, nor below, neither in sea,
Nor on shore, in skies above,
Nor in the depths.
You are the kernel of my heart,
You are the face of my sun,
You are the harp of my music,
You are the crown of my company.”

5. Walk beside me…

“Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow.

Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead.

Walk beside me and just be my friend.”

This one pairs beautifully with the next one.

6. A Marriage of Equals…

You cannot possess me for I belong to myself.

But while we both wish it, I give you that which is mine to give.

You cannot command me, for I am a free person.

But I shall serve you in those ways you require,

And the honeycomb will taste sweeter coming from my hand.

I pledge to you that yours will be the name I cry aloud in the night,

And the eyes into which I smile in the morning.

I pledge to you the first bite of my meat and the first drink from my cup.

I pledge to you my living and my dying, each equally in your care.

I shall be a shield for your back and you for mine.

I shall not slander you, nor you me.

I shall honor you above all others, and when we quarrel we shall do so in

Private and tell no strangers our grievances.

This is my wedding vow to you

This is the marriage of equals.

-Morgan Llywelyn

7. From this day forward…

“I, Groom, take thee, Bride, to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, for fairer and fouler, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us depart, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereunto to plight thee my troth.“

A slightly more religious and Irish version of the traditional “for richer or poorer” vow.

8. May the road rise up to meet you…

This last one isn’t a vow, but it’s one of the most beautiful Irish wedding toasts.

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

May God be with you and bless you;
May you see your children’s children.
May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home
And may the hand of a friend always be near.

May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you.

Again, if you’re not religious, it’s easy enough to alter a bit.

Final Words

Both modern and traditional weddings can get an ancient touch – if you throw in Celtic traditions and vows properly. We hope that you’ve found the right Celtic vow from our list today for a beautiful start to a happy life.


What is the shortest wedding vow?

The shortest wedding vow is the traditional one that reads:
“I (name) take thee, (name), to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, to love and cherish, from this day forward until death do us part. With this ring, I thee wed.”

Who traditionally goes first in wedding vows?

The groom traditionally goes first in saying his vows before the bride follows. There are some couples, however, who opt to say their vows at the same time. And there are also some weddings where the bride goes first. 
Whichever you decide, make sure you arrange it with your registrar or celebrant in advance.

What should you not say in a wedding vow?

If you decide to write your own wedding vows, it’s best that you avoid saying inappropriate things. You should avoid talking about your exes, divorce, or sex. If you decide to include a quote in your wedding vow, it should be something that applies to your relationship. 

How long should a vow last?

The ideal length of a wedding vow is one to two minutes. 
When writing your vows, try reading them aloud and recording how much time you spend reading it. This way, you can be sure that you are within that timeframe.

lady tying a ribbon to the bride's and groom's hands

What do you think of these Celtic wedding vows? If you have more to share, we’d love to hear them below!

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