The purpose of an official wedding ceremony is that the friends and families of the bridal couple can witness the union on this important day. The vows that they make to one another ‘seal the deal’, making them the all important factor that establishes the couple as husband and wife.
It is because the vows are such a major part of the legal ceremony that many couples have resorted to reciting the traditional or legal vows of their faith or country. The traditional vows that are most commonly used are along the lines of:
I, (name and surname), take you (name and surname), to be my (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, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.
However, certain religions have their own traditional vows. For example, a fairly common Muslim wedding vow reads:
Bride: “I, (name and surname), offer you myself in marriage and in accordance with the instructions of the Holy Koran 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.”
While these are safe options and perfectly acceptable, some couples may feel that they are not personalised enough. Really, the vows should reflect the personalities of the bride and groom and should express the unique relationship that they share. This is how they are known by those close to them, and it would be appropriate to include elements such as humour, romance, poems or ethnic references. The important thing is that the vows of the couple are heartfelt, genuine and meaningful to them.
Some options for personalised wedding vows:
- Reading a scripture is important to some couples that share a strong religious belief. Words from the Bible can be solemn, encouraging, romantic and upbuilding. Common favourites include 1 Corinthians 13:4 – 8; Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4 – 6 and Ephesians 5:21 – 33.
- Poetry can be very romantic and personal, whether it is an existing poem or one written by the bride and / or groom. However, there is major potential for giggles if either of them is not a capable writer so it is wise to use this only if the couple is sure that it will be effective. It is also recommended that other people are allowed to read the poems for an objective opinion beforehand.
- The best personalised vows are heartfelt sentiments expressed to one another face-to-face or by reading a letter. These could include the reasons you love that person, what you look forward to in your new life together, how they make you feel and what promises you would like to make to them. This gives the couple the opportunity to express their real love and devotion to one another in a very special, public way; an opportunity that will not be repeated.
By making your wedding vows unique, you not only ensure that your guests remember them in the future, but also that they were as special and personal as it could be for you, as the couple.
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