After: Wedding Vows

2 Oct

framed-wedding-vowsLast week you heard how the Reflective Couple went about writing our wedding vows… now see how it turned out!

After all the suggestions from our officiant, YouTube searches, love-letter homework and Googling for inspiration, here is what the Reflective Groom and I came up with, and vowed to each other on our wedding day.

The Reflective Bride’s vows
Today I pledge to you what has already been yours for so long: my love and commitment. I promise to walk hand-in-hand with you through life’s adventures – and that no matter what lies in our path, it will be our path, together. With all that I am and all that I shall become, I vow to honor you, encourage you and take care of you, and to be faithful, loving and honest. 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 vow to care for you in sickness and in health (unless it is self-inflicted and two o’ clock in the morning), and to take life as it comes… and make fewer to-do lists.

Reflective Groom: Today and every other day, I give you my heart, because I know you will take good care of it. I ask nothing more from this good life, than that I live out its days with you.

The Reflective Groom’s vows
As we embark on the next stage of our journey together, I pledge myself to you completely. I promise to be your protector, your supporter, and your friend. If times get rough, I will be there to lift you up, and be a shoulder to lean on. I promise to stand by your side in times of struggle, sickness, and sorrow. And also, to share in the joyous times, to smile and laugh with you.

I promise you happiness in your life. If anyone ever makes you cry, I will beat them up and buy you an ice cream. Finally, I promise you myself. I will be there for you whenever you need me and whenever you don’t. I will be your loving partner, for every waking hour and every moment asleep, no matter how close or how far apart we may be. Reflective Bride, I would be honored and humbled to have you as my wife.

ice-cream-wedding-bar

How it turned out
So were we happy with our final vows and the reaction from our guests? Very much yes! There were many oohs and ahs, and many guests told us later how much they enjoyed our vows and how personal they were, which had been something important for us to achieve. A few also remarked that they shed a tear or two during our vows (which is also something nice to achieve!).

The humorous moments in the vows that we’d planned – about ice-cream and things that happen at two o’clock in the morning – got big laughs, and the laughter very much broke the ice and contributed to a lovely, warm atmosphere at the ceremony. (I am well known among my friends for my planning and Gantt charts, so my reference to to-do lists got quite a few giggles as well.)

Logistics wise, our officiant printed and laminated our vows, and the best man simply handed the cards with our vows to each of us at the right moment during the ceremony, for us to read aloud from. The best man and a bridesmaid held a microphone up for us during the vows so that we simply had to hold the card. I was very glad that we did not try to memorize the vows; it would have added to any nerves to try to remember everything, and it would have been stressful to add yet another task to so many other wedding preparations. It was not awkward at all to read aloud from the card in the ceremony.

Vows-6Although I had been concerned that one minute would be too brief for vows, that time length ended up working just fine! It was definitely short enough to maintain everyone’s interest, but certainly long enough to get across what we wanted to express to each other on such a significant day. I had been a little bummed to remove a poem from my vows to meet our time restriction, but removing someone else’s words allowed me to focus on my own.

We are very glad that we chose to share personal vows on the day rather than reciting only the traditional vows, as it very much gave the ceremony more of a personal, meaningful touch. Also very happy that we covered both the serious and the humorous, which made a great atmosphere and also reflected our personalities well.

How are you going about writing your wedding vows? Will you include humor? Will you feature or poem or reading in your vows?

(First image from Wedding Planners Institute of Canada, second image from Katelyn James Photography, third image from Chancey Charms Weddings.)

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One Response to “After: Wedding Vows”

  1. Anita Revel CMC October 15, 2013 at 5:39 am #

    As you use the word “Officiant” I’m assuming you married in America? One consideration when writing vows (and my job as a Marriage Celebrant in Australia) is to ensure they are LEGAL.

    There are certain words that are required in marriage vows in Australia to ensure the marriage is valid, and they are: “I call upon the persons here present to witness that I (groom) take you (bride) to be my lawful wife,” and vice versa.

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