The couple are expected to exchange traditional vows at their April 29 nuptials

By Simon Perry
March 04, 2011 10:45 AM
Matt Dunham/AP

Prince William and Kate Middleton‘s wedding ceremony will be marked by stately traditions – and the vows they will exchange on April 29 are certainly part of that.

The couple will not be uttering intimate, self-penned words. Instead, they will pick one of two traditional sets of vows on their wedding day. The options? Either a set from 1662’s Book of Common Prayer or a set of vows written in the Book of Common Worship, which are used widely today in the Protestant Church of England.

If the couple selects the latter, a minister will ask them to face each other, join hands, and promise "to be my [husband or 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, till death us do part; according to God’s holy law. In the presence of God I make this vow".

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The text of the 1662 vows differs slightly. While the bridge and groom will exchange the same basic words – pledging themselves to each other in sickness and in health, for instance – they complete their vows with the line “according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.” (The bride would say “I give thee my troth.”)

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