Wedding Vows

You may have thought that you've had writers block before, but if you're about to write your wedding vows, you don't know what's coming for you. You better believe it will take you many pieces of paper, napkins, restaurant menus, or drafts in your notepad on iPhone to solidify just the right words to say to your soon to be other half.
Of course there are many versions of wedding vows that are common in different religions and cultures, making your life much easier especially if you and your significant other don't have a knack for writing. 

Here are some common phrases and vows for different religions and cultures:

-We all know this one, as many young girls recite it as they dream of their wedding someday:

"I____take you____to be my lawful wedding wife/husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part."
Amanda and Andrew's Wedding
Photo courtesy of Cardens Wedding Photography
-In some traditional Jewish weddings including orthodox and conservatives, just the man says the vows, which include:

"Behold, you are consecrated to me with this ring according to the laws of Moses and Israel."

-In reformed ceremonies this common vow is often used:

"Do you, ____, take ____ to be your wife/husband, promising to cherish and protect her/him, whether in good fortune or in adversity, and to seek together with her/him a life hallowed by the faith of Israel?"
Pam and Scott's Wedding
Photo courtesy of Studio K Photography
-Instead of reciting vows, most couples getting married in a traditional Muslim ceremony listen to the imam discuss marriage and the couple's responsibilities to each other and Allah. However, it is sometimes common for the bride and groom to recite:

Bride "I____offer you myself in marriage in accordance with the instructions of the Holy Quran and the Holy  Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him. I pledge, in honesty and with sincerity, to be for you an obedient and faithful wife."

Groom "I pledge, in honesty and sincerity, to be for you a faithful and helpful husband."

-Although there are many sayings recited during Hindu weddings, traditionally the couple will recite this following phrase:

"Let us take the fourth step, to acquire knowledge, happiness, and harmony by mutual love and trust. Finally, let us take the seventh step and become true companions and remain lifelong partners by this wedlock."

-Specific wedding vows vary between different Buddhist sects, but often describe how the wife and husband will take care of each other and how they will honor their faith. Although there are many, some of those phrases include:

"Knowing how deeply our lives intertwine with each other and with all beings, we undertake the practice of growing in happiness each day."

"...we undertake the practice of using whatever arises in our relationship for our own awakening and for the awakening of all beings."

"...we undertake the practice of receiving everything in our relationship as teachings meant to open our hearts."

"...we undertake the practice of revealing ourselves fully in our relationship, striving toward complete vulnerability and honesty."

-Scientology vows generally stick to this format though couples often add their personal touches as well:

Groom "____ if your reality of the love you have for ____ such as you will be constantly creating through health and sickness, through adversity as well as good fortune? Can you confront and grant forgiveness for shortcomings as readily as you give praise for all her many admirable qualities? (Answer) And you have communicated your love to ____? (Answer)"

Bride "____ have you acknowledged ____'s love? (Answer) ____, is your love reality of the love you have for ____ such as you will be constantly creating through health and sickness, through adversity as well as good fortune? Can you confront and grant forgiveness for shortcomings as readily as you give praise for all his many sterling qualities? (Answer) And have you communicated your love to ____? (Answer)"

But, if your goal is to make your guests shed a tear or have a little laugh, custom vows are definitely the way to go, though the harder choice for sure. 

Custom Vows
When writing your custom vows, decide if you are both writing your own separate or if you are writing them together. Think about how long you might want them to be, discuss whether you want them to be intimate, funny or a little bit of both. 
Sarah and Andy's Wedding
Photo courtesy of Smirnov Weddings
Using some of these common phrases can help you get started to think of phrases and memories you want to mention:

-"I vow to..."
-"When I met you I knew..."
-"I promise to always..."
-"You are always there for me when..."
-"I can't wait to...with you for the rest of our lives"
-"I knew you were the one when..."
-"What I love most about you is..."

And if you really want to make your life easy while making an impact, just follow the script of Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams in the recent movie, The Vow- you will be sure to get some tears with this one:
Paige: "I vow to help you love life, to always hold you with tenderness and to have patience that love demands, to speak when words are needed and to share the silence when they are not and to live within the warmth of your heart and always call it home."

Leo: "I vow to fiercely love you in all forms, now and forever. I promise to never forget that this is a once in a lifetime love. I vow to love you, and no matter what challenges might carry us apart, we will always find a way back to each other."

Go ahead, grab a tissue...take a breath, and get writing. 


No comments: