Your vows and the commitment they solidify are very important. They are the promises you are making to one another, for better, for worse. They are also very personal and for that reason not everyone chooses to read their vows publicly. Plenty of couples will exchange their vows in private either before the ceremony, during private time they may have during cocktail hour or when everything is all over and they're finally relaxing alone at the end of the night.
If you do choose to read your vows publicly, it is always well received. Sometimes it can be charming if vows are wildly different, but it can be helpful to agree to a word limit to work towards. It is important you both make the "thick and thin" promise, your commitment to being with your partner in good times and bad.
If you'd prefer to keep them private there are plenty of stock vows to fill that part of the ceremony. Even stock vows will often bring people to tears as they're exchanged because of the strong meaning behind these promises. Below are a selection of some stock vows I am fond of. Just like readings, there are plenty of other resources to choose from beyond what I've provided below.
In the name of God, I, Spouse, take you, Spouse, to be my husband/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, until death do us part.
I promise to love you for who you are, and for who you are yet to become. I promise to be patient and to remember that all things between us are rooted in love. I promise to nurture your dreams and to help you reach them. I promise to share my whole heart with you and to remember to show you how deeply I care for you, no matter the challenges that may come our way. I promise to love you loyally and fiercely—as long as I shall live.
Spouse, you are my best friend. Today I give myself to you in marriage. I promise to encourage and inspire you, to laugh with you, and to comfort you in times of sorrow and struggle. I promise to love you in good times and in bad, when life seems easy and when it seems hard, when our love is simple, and when it is an effort. I promise to cherish and honor you, and to always hold you in highest regard. These things I give to you today, and all the days of our life
Because of you, I laugh, I smile, I dare to dream again. I look forward with great joy to spending the rest of my life with you, caring for you, nurturing you, being there for you in all life has in store for us, and I vow to be true and faithful for as long as we both shall live
Spouse, today we begin our lives together. I promise before our families and our friends to be your faithful husband/wife. I choose to live with you, as your lover, companion and friend, loving you when life is peaceful, and when it is painful, during our successes, and during our failures, supported by your strengths, and accepting your weaknesses. I will honor your goals and dreams, trying always, to encourage your fulfillment. I will strive to be honest, and open with you, sharing my thoughts, and my life with you. I promise to love and cherish you from this day forward.
From the moment I met you, I knew that you were the one for me. I promise to always be your partner, your best friend, and your rock. I promise to love and support you, to be honest and faithful, and to be your partner in all of life's adventures. I will stand by you through thick and thin, and I will love and support you every step of the way. I am so grateful to have you in my life, and I can't wait to spend the rest of my days by your side.
I take you, Spouse, to be my lawfully wedded spouse. I promise to love you with all my heart, to be your partner in every sense of the word, and to always put you first. I will support you in your dreams and aspirations. I will stand by you through the good times and the bad, and I will be there for you every step of the way. I am so grateful to have found my soulmate in you, and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life by your side.
I promise to encourage your compassion,
Because that is what makes you unique and wonderful.
I promise to nurture your dreams,
Because through them your soul shines.
I promise to help shoulder our challenges,
For there is nothing we cannot face if we stand together.
I promise to be your partner in all things,
Not possessing you, but working with you as a part of the whole.
Lastly, I promise you perfect love and perfect trust,
For one lifetime with you could never be enough.
This is my sacred vow to you, my equal in all things.