Are you getting married soon and struggling to settle on what kind of vows to use? With all the planning and arrangements to be made for the wedding day – the vows tend to be pushed to the back of the pile, until you suddenly realize that without those vows you wouldn’t actually have a reason to get married. So set aside some quality time to take a good look at what kind of vows the two of you would like to say as you make this meaningful commitment to each other.
Maybe your dilemma is whether to go the traditional route or to use a modern marriage vow. This is a good question which is worth weighing up carefully until you reach your own conclusion. So here are a few similarities and differences to help you along in your decision making process:
But firstly, let’s clarify what exactly do we mean by ‘modern’ or ‘traditional’ marriage vows?
Here is an example of a modern marriage vow:
“I vow to help you love life, to always hold you with tenderness and to have the patience that love demands. To speak when words are needed and to share the silence when they’re not, and to live within the warmth of your heart – and always call it home.”
Here are the words of the traditional marriage vows:
“I [Name], take you [Name], for my lawful wife / husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge myself to you.”
How are modern marriage vows similar to traditional marriage vows?
1. A commitment is made
Without a doubt, marriage is all about commitment. When a couple makes their wedding vows to each other they are committing themselves in the most profound way possible in any human relationship. This is true for both modern and traditional marriage vows.
2. Certain promises are given
Whether you go the modern or traditional route, when you say your marriage vows to one another you are making certain promises that you fully intend to keep to the best of your ability.
3. It is a milestone
For both modern marriage vows and traditional marriage vows you have reached a milestone in your relationship together. Once the vows are said you cross over a threshold as you pass from the world of singleness into the world of being a couple. You will always look back on the day you said your vows as you celebrate each anniversary in the years to come.
4. There is an expression of permanence
Regardless of whether you use modern or traditional vows, there is an expression and expectation of permanence. Everyone goes into a marriage expecting it to last forever. When you say your vows to your beloved you want to be with them as long as you are both alive.
How are modern marriage vows different from traditional marriage vows?
1. They are more personalized
The thing about modern marriage vows is that you can choose them yourselves. You can write your own words, or you can get ideas from what others have written and put together something that sits well with your own sentiments.
2. They can be religious or non-religious
The traditional vows have a religious element in which marriage is acknowledged as a holy ordinance of God. So if you decide to use a modern marriage vow, it may or may not be religious, depending on your own views and the faith to which you adhere.
3. There are no real restrictions
When it comes to modern marriage vows, there are no real restrictions as to what you may or may not include. You can bring in some special moments and memories from your relationship together and make promises about things that you know will be particularly meaningful to your future husband or wife.
4. They can follow any format
Modern marriage vows can be spoken, sung or chanted. You may speak them out one by one, or do them together in unison. If you prefer you could get the officiant to say them first and then you repeat them afterwards.
And finally, let’s look at some of the factors you would need to weigh up when deciding whether to go with modern marriage vows or traditional marriage vows.
Three factors to weigh up when choosing your vows:
1. Family expectations
They always say you must remember that the wedding day is yours, but in reality our families often have a huge say in deciding how that day is going to flow. If you come from a family which has strong and definite expectations about how the marriage vows should be done, then your first consideration would be whether or not you are willing and happy to go along with those expectations. And if not, then what are your options.
2. The nature of your relationship
In the time that you and your beloved have been together you have come to know each other in a very personal way, to the point that you are now willing to move your relationship up to the highest level of marriage. When you are deciding whether to use traditional or modern marriage vows, ask yourselves whether the nature of your relationship calls for something more conservative, or whether you would like to do something unusual and out of the box.
3. Your personal preferences
At the end of the day it is your choice, as you take your personal preferences into account, you can choose the marriage vows that will make your special day the best it can be, regardless of which kind of vows you choose to make.
Now that you have had a good look at all these factors, considering the differences and similarities between modern marriage vows and traditional marriage vows, you are in a much better position to go ahead with your own marriage vows. What will you choose? Whichever route you decide to take when making your marriage vows to your beloved, let it be said lovingly with conviction and with all your heart.