Tying the Knot Thrusday - The Most Important Part


As the wedding drew closer I realized that the apparrel, decorations, and food are the whipped cream, but the ceremony is the ice cream sundae. And I hadn't done a thing to prepare for it.

I knew the pastor would handle the preparing of his short sermon, but goodness, nothing else about the ceremony was even close to being planned! So about two weeks before the wedding I began a mad search for vows and a basic outline of how the ceremony should go.

Getting the flow of the ceremony outlined wasn't terribly difficult. There were the major parts of the wedding that just had to be fit into some sort of timeline. Music starts, men stand at the front, bridesmaids walk down the isle, bridal march, giving away of the bride, message, vows, exchange rings, pronouncement, and recessional. See I can recite it now without even looking at a cheat sheet!

The tricky part proved to be the vows. If you don't know what I mean, google "wedding vows", and it'll come up with thousands of options for vows.
I always just wanted the traditional "'Til death do you part" vows, and I thought they'd be easy enough to find. Boy, was I wrong! With thousands of wedding vow options, finding the traditional wedding vows was like finding hairspray in a bookstore!

I searched through Catholic vows, Protestant vows, secular vows, etc, etc, etc. You'd be amazed at how many different catagories of vows there are. I finally stumbled across a couple sets of vows that each had elements that sounded like what I was looking for. So I cut and spliced and created the closest thing to those traditional vows that you always see in the movies (if they're always in the movies, you'd think they'd be easier to find)! Here's what I came up with:

Wedding Vows (Bride and Groom face each other)


Traditional Wedding Vows

Celebrant to Groom:
(Groom's Name), do you take (Bride's Name) for your lawful wedded wife, to live in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love, honour, comfort, and cherish her from this day forward, forsaking all others, keeping only unto her for as long as you both shall live?

Groom:
I do.

Celebrant to Bride:
(Bride's Name), do you take (Groom's Name) for your lawful wedded husband, to live in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love, honour, comfort, and cherish him from this day forward, forsaking all others, keeping only unto him for as long as you both shall live?

Bride:
I do.

(Dan’l says something here as a transition)

Celebrant: addressing the groom who repeats the marriage vows:
In the presence of God and these witnesses, I (Groom's Name) take thee (Bride's Name) to be my wedded 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, honour, and cherish, 'til death do us part.

Celebrant: then to the bride who repeats the marriage vows:
In the presence of God and these witnesses, I (Bride's Name) take thee (Groom's Name) to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, honour, and cherish, 'til death do us part.

Exchanging of the Rings (Dan’l asks Jed for the rings)

Father, bless these rings which ________ and ________ have set apart to be visible signs of the inward and spiritual bond which unites their hearts. As they give and receive these rings, may they testify to the world of the covenant made between them here.
Groom: Receive and wear this ring as a symbol of my trust, my respect, and my love for you.

Bride: (same as above)


Our pastor (Dan'l) laughed at our "Two sets of vows", because we did kind of say some things twice. But I really wanted the "forsaking all others" part and the "for better or worse" part, so we had to include both of those paragraphs of vows. I also wanted to say "I do", but also repeat those "in sickness and in health" words too. I think the effect was rather nice.

It took me forever to find ring vows that I liked. I strayed a bit from the traditional "With this ring, I thee wed" line (which I actually learned is from the Catholic vows, not the traditional ones), but it seemed hard to say, and I just like our ring vows better. I don't think Dan'l used that exact blessing of the rings (which I didn't want him to do anyway, it was just for a guide), but I loved the line Derek and I said to each other as we slid the rings on the other's finger. Trust, respect, and love seem pretty foundational for a good marriage, and I liked how these vows included them in there.

I wish I could tell you the name of the website that I took portions of our vows from, but it was actually several websites that I used words from, so these are kind of like our own personalized vows.

It's funny how so much emphasis is placed on the dress, and the reception, and the decor that you almost forget about the vows. I fell into this myself - I didn't get the vows ready to go until a couple weeks prior to our wedding. But the vows are really the most important part of the wedding! It's the part where two people pledge their lives to each other, promise to stick together through thick and thin, and are joined as one in the sight of God. That's pretty important, and those who are worth their salt will stay true to those vows until they draw their last breath; that's God's plan for marriage.

I think I might frame our vows and display them somewhere in our house. It will be a reminder for years to come of what we promised to each other and to God on that day, and it will be a testimony to our commitment to keep those vows. That way their importance won't be overlooked, or overshadowed by flowers and cake.

What about you? Did you have to do a mad search for your vows? What do you like about the vows you said on your wedding day, or what elements do you want to include when you get married? I like hearing from you guys about this stuff.
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Jessica said...

Aww, your vows were so special! Luke and I used the traditional vows, but luckily our pastor had a book with all the traditional vows, ring vows, and everything else, so I didn't have to go on a mad hunt for them!
Funny story...the same pastor that did my wedding did my cousin's. They had written each other vows, but the pastor accidentally left them in his office before the ceremony, so they had to use the traditional ones! They took it well, though, and thought it was funny.
Oh, and thanks for the link you sent me on my last post!

Brittney Galloway said...

I think we'd be great friends in real life, because I did the same exact thing you did! Cut and spliced in order to have the "storybook," traditional vows, and I had two sets of vows because I wanted the "I do," vow, and the "I, Brittney Cummins, take you, Ian Galloway," part! lol

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