I always say that David and I didn’t write our own vows because we wanted to say words that generations before us had said. And that’s mostly true. We had a Jewish ceremony, and we said traditional(ish) Jewish vows in Hebrew and English. But that isn’t exactly the whole story. Because while we didn’t write vows from scratch, we did choose verses from Song of Songs to say as part of our ring exchange. And while they weren’t words we’d written (steal from the best, I always say), they did sum up why we were there and how we thought about our love and our commitment.
One of the first women who ever wrote about her wedding for APW gave the following advice:
The vows are more important than any of the crafty shit. We wrote our vows together, and we labored to make them simple and personal. In fact, I drove my almost-husband bonkers obsessing over them. But the vows are what people talked about. And because we memorized them and practiced saying them to aloud each other, they are imbedded in my brain. I love that.
She is a writer, and I am too, so we both may be a little biased. But I tend to agree that, while all of Pinterest is devoted to making your wedding pretty, and pretty much every wedding publication ever published focuses on your reception… there is something deeply important about your wedding ceremony. And more than that, there is something vital in your vows.
The ceremony is, after all, the wedding. And your vows are a statement of intent. They sum up why everyone is there and what the two of you are promising to each other.
Over the years, APW has spilled plenty of ink on wedding vows. We have a long article on how to write the damn things followed by a collection of traditional vows that might inspire you. But, in the end, y’all are the smartest people we know, and the best vows always come from you. And, as proven by my shameless stealing from many-thousand-year-old texts, writing vows is one place that plagiarism is perfection.
So for those of you planning your wedding (and those of you who want to show off your vow writing chops), we bring you a long overdue open thread on real wedding vows.
What did you write to say to each other? If your wedding has already happened, were they perfect, or would you change something? And bonus points to anyone willing to share a wedding picture with their vows, because love is words… and photos.