Thursday, December 11, 2008

#455: the vows i will have to write.

i'm really excited and nervous about writing our own vows. i've been to at least ten weddings...and only one where the couple had written their own vows. and i remember thinking...i want to do that.

so i want to give myself and the fiance one question to answer so we have a starting point for our vows.

i'm coming up with things like:

*what do you love most about him.
*what are you thankful for.
*what about the future are you looking forward to the most.

but those are kind of boring. it would be great to start with something funny or out of the ordinary.

any suggestions? what did you talk about for your vows?


excerpt via 123 i love you:

Have I ever told you that I love you?

Yes, it is true. I love you. I love you with all my heart. I love you with my soul. I love you for the man that you are, and I love you for the man that you dream of being, but who you can never – must never! – become. I love you for every sign of your innate goodness – signs that, try as you might to conceal them, are still as obvious as they would be if some dull blade had etched them into your brow in an ornate font. I love you for the better angels of your nature, and also for the worse devils – perhaps more for the devils! It is true! I love you for the magnificent and bloody crimes that you dream of in your innermost heart when all the world is asleep, and I love you for that rich elixir of sweetness that you can pour on men, women, and children with a single word – NAY! – with a single glance! I LOVE YOU ENOUGH TO CARVE A GREAT WOODEN MONUMENT TO YOU EVERY MORNING, WORSHIP IT BY THE LIGHT OF THE NOONDAY SUN, AND THEN BURN IT TO THE GROUND EVERY EVENING – ALL THE BETTER TO PROCLAIM, MY DEAR, YOUR GLORY TO THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE YET TO KNOW YOU, AND TO THE GODS WHO ALREADY ADORE YOU!


Tiffany The Coordinator said...

We felt we wanted to keep the vows as true to ourselves as possible. We didn't feel we needed to say glorious, awe inspiring, poetic things to each other. We obviously love each other and know how we feel towards one another but didn't want to suddenly become these GRAND poets. If we wrote to each other regularly or said GRAND poetic things to each other regularly...maybe our vows would have been such. We wanted to speak as we always do. Simple I love yous...simple statements that we say to each other daily. We kept it simple. We also didn't want to bore the hell out of our guests so it was pretty quick! I think starting out with questions is a good idea. How about, "why do I want to marry you? Because you make me..."

Linda said...

We used the wedding ceremony planner to write our whole ceremony. I really liked that book. It helped us a lot. We took a lot of what was in there as inspiration.

Rebekah + Justin said...

Our very awesome Reverend, Rev. Phil, gave us a 25-page ceremony sample that he put together, and we designed our entire ceremony using his suggestions. I also searched the internet for examples of vows and bought a little book that Justin and I both read and marked off samples that we liked. After putting together vows using parts from a couple sources, we sat on them for a while... we've been tweaking things here and there and putting in our own personal touches as the day gets closer. But the cutest inspiration I've seen so far are the commercials where the couples make "promises" to each other like "I promise to never wear a flannel nightgown"... I think it's really cute to inject a little humor and inside jokes into vows.

Broke-ass Bride said...

I've been saving clippings from other peoples vows/readings that speak to me for about a year now. If you want to see it, I'm glad to share. Everything from high poetry to winnie the pooh. Also, i just saw this (for what its worth)

sonjia said...

don't start with a joke. keep it earnest.

Biz said...

hm....what about using the question what does being married to me mean to you? Or how/why will it change our relationship for the better? or more bluntly, what is the purpose of this marriage?

these are probably pretty generic too, but I think that this is a really important thing to declare when committing to each other for the rest of your lives. just sayin' :) good luck!

Mary Michal said...

I wrote the vows for my wedding. We decided that we wanted to say the same thing to each other, to make promises to each other. I had been thinking about it for a while, and one day I came across two sets of vows that both stuck out to me. So I combined the 2 and changed some stuff so that it reflected what we wanted to say.

In the end, it doesn't say "I'll love you forever." Our vows say stuff like: I will be faithful to you and honest with you. I will support you. I will rejoice with you. I will be respectful, trustworthy, and loyal to you.

These are the things that make up our love. And I know that if we do all of these things for the rest of our lives, we will spend the rest of our lives together.

I definitely think asking yourself a question is the right way to start. Good luck.

antipeople said...

Some friends of mine used a variation on traditional Quaker vows (they are both Quaker themselves, but did not have a Quaker wedding). Here are their vows:

In the presence of our families, I take you my friend Kate/Sam to be my partner in life, promising, with the help of those who love and care for us, to be unto you a loving and faithful partner as long as we both shall live.

SmallgoodBride said...

When I wrote my vows, I tried to keep in mind what I could realistically vow to him. What promises could I make? How would I love him by my simple actions? How would our relationship change or stay the same? I kept them very short and sincere.

I'd only go with a joke if you are a jokester. Bigbad began with a joke that was fitting of his demonstrations of love (and entirely appropriate given the nature of the ceremony). It did help to break the ice a bit and brought a smile to my face; however, I know that if I had attempted the same thing I would have just ended up stressing myself out and second-guessing whether it was truly funny or not.

Emilia Jane said...

I forget which bride blogger did this but I just LOVED it and hope to do it at my wedding: 3 things that start with "I love you because..." and 3 things that start with "Because I love you I promise to..." So sweet!

laura said...

At one wedding I went to the bride and groom started out with what their first impressions were of each other and the described how they fell in love and promises they needed to make to each other to keep their love alive.
it was sweet.

wouldn't work for me, because my first impression of Mr. W was "what an asshole"

I have mixed feeling about personal vows, I feel like if I spoke from the heart I wouldn't want to share it with 100 spectators, but that's just me I'm intensely private and really shy.

maggie said...

We aren't writing vows, but we wrote a ketubah which I love. It will be read aloud at the ketubah signing ceremony (in the presence of family and wedding party) before the public wedding ceremony, which will be mostly just the singing of the blessings. The rabbi told us to write a ketubah that included these three elements: what the bride brings to the marriage, what the groom brings to the marriage, and what we hope to have together (the life and home we envision together.) What we bring (taking the place of the historic dowry of the bride or gift of monetary value from the groom) was supposed to include each of our strengths and talents as well as each of our interests and passions...It seems very concrete, and natural, and writing it really helped us think about our marriage and life together.

jeffandme said...

hi! love your blog. i had a few questions I sent you via email... pls get back to me when you get a chance. thanks!

kaitlin said...

I'm pretty sure the next line in the excerpt from 123 I love you is:

Is there anymore coffee?

And that, right there, would be the reason I love my fiance the most.

Sara E. Cotner said...

We followed this framework to write our vows:

I love you because [fill in the blank with serious and less-serious reasons]

Because I love you, I will [fill in the blank with all of our commitments to each other]

We used the same commitments to each other. If you're interested, you can read them here:

Good luck with your process!

Anonymous said...

Just make sure you actually vow something. I've been to so many weddings where the vows they wrote weren't actually vows, they were just statements about why they love each other. I was also at a wedding once where the groom vowed that he would always buy her pistachio ice cream when she was sad. It was cute and sweet and all, but now if the store is out of pistachio ice cream he's broken his vows. Yikes. I say keep it simple, at least when it comes to the actual promises.

ChendaBride said...

all good advice from everyone here. speak from the heart. poetry is more evident in your relationship to each other and to your loved ones than in the actual words you say. good luck!

Liz said...

I read somewhere about a couple basing their wedding vows off of "I love you because" and "because I love you" phrases. I loved this idea and I think we're going to do it for our wedding.

For example, the bride would say "I love you because ____, I love you because ____," (listing various reasons/funny inside jokes to fill in the blanks) and then came the vow part..."Because I love you I promise to_____, Because I love you I promise to____". You get the idea.

It's a great way to keep the vows personal, yet focused and slightly formatted :)

Liz said...

ha, sorry...I guess I should have read the other comments first!

well, @Emilia Jane and @ Sara E. Cotner ....great minds must think alike, huh? :)

MrsParks said...

I'm going to basically wing it, probably cry and snarf a lot like I always do.. so so emotional.. I could barely get through the proposal..

Ten Thousand Only said...

thanks everyone. really great suggestions here.

kaitlin: are you saying your fiance is 123 i love you? b/c he's brills. of the david sedaris kind. but even better.

laura: wouldn't work for us either. first impression was "WHATever".

jeffandme: i don't think i got an email from you.

sara: your vows make me cry without fail whenever i read them.

i vow to vow. thank you.