I thought we’d end DIY week with something we didn’t DIY. We’re complex and confusing here at APW so it seemed fitting:
So lets get to the core of the wedding: the vows. I thought it was interesting that everyone asked how we wrote them, when we wrote them, how much we chose to share with our guests. So lets get right to it: we didn’t write our own vows. It was one of the best decisions we made.
I understand the instinct to write vows, and I think its right for a lot of people. So if you are writing your vows and that sounds great to you, that’s wonderful. But for those of you who have been thinking about writing your vows, and can’t quite get comfortable with it, I’m going to toss this idea out there: don’t.
For David and I the reasoning was clear from the beginning. The reason we chose to get married was that, for us, joining in a tradition that was thousands of years old was powerful. So for us, the power came in saying the same words that generations and generations before us had said. By doing so, we were tying ourselves to the strength of an institution that had stood the test of time, had helped people survive great hardships, and had helped them embrace enormous joy. So for us it was simple: we would say the words that each generation had said. For us, marriage was less about our personal love for each other, but about our commitment to a partnership, a commitment to an institution, a commitment to aligning ourselves with something far greater than ourselves. We have always felt that we could embrace the timeless power of marriage while still grappling with it, redefining it, and making it our own.
So what we said was this:
D: “By this ring you are sanctified to me as my wife in accordance with the traditions of Moses and Israel.” M:”By this ring you are sanctified to me as my husband in accordance with the traditions of Moses and Israel.”
D: “Wear me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is infinitely strong” M: “Many waters cannot quench love, no flood can sweep it away, I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.”
For us, that was all that needed saying, and that is how it felt saying them: complete.