Think about the last three weddings that you went to. When it came time for the couple to recite their vows, did you hear what sounded like traditional marriage vows or were they ones that were personally written? If it was the latter and you’re currently in the process of planning your own wedding, it’s a good thing that you’re reading this article.
Although personal vows are sweet, romantic and sometimes even funny, one thing that a lot of couples tend to overlook is that oftentimes they aren’t really vowing much. In other words, they tend to be the exchanging of memories and sentiments more than anything else. It is beautiful (and totally appropriate) to want to share with the world the reasons why you find your beloved to be such an awesome person. At the same time, being that marriage is a legally-binding institution—one that is designed to last for many years to come—it’s still a good idea to at least consider incorporating traditional marriage vows into your ceremony as well:
“Will you have this woman/man to be your wife/husband, to live together in holy marriage? Will you love her/him, comfort her/him, honor, and keep her/him in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, be faithful to her/him as long as you both shall live?”
“In the name of God, I, ______, take you, ______, to be my wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.”
Here are five reasons why:
Traditional marriage vows are important
The definition of vow is “a solemn promise, pledge, or personal commitment”. When you made the decision to marry another person, a part of the reason why there’s a ceremony is so that the two of you can make promises and personal commitments to one another. Talking about the reasons why you love them is one thing. Promising to be with them no matter what is something else. You both deserve to hear the other say “No matter what, I’m in this”. That is covered in traditional marriage vows.
Traditional marriage vows are thorough
There are a lot of divorced couples who once told their divorce attorney that what they thought they signed up for is not what they ended up getting into. And while some people take traditional marriage vows a lot more seriously than others, either way, the vows are pretty thorough. They remind you that marriage is holy (sacred). They remind you that it’s not enough to simply love the person you are marrying; you should also be willing to be with them when they are sick and broke. Traditional wedding vows also speak to being faithful to the relationship, both sexually and emotionally. Every married person deserves to hear that.
Traditional marriage vows are not temporary
Sadly, the divorce rate is proof that a lot of people do not see traditional or personal wedding vows as permanence-view (meaning, long-term) vows. But another awesome thing about traditional vows is it was certainly the intention of the author who wrote them. Something that should make a marriage relationship different from any other is that you saying to the one you love that you will be with them, through it all, for the rest of your life. If that doesn’t make marriage a very special and unique relationship, really, what does?
Traditional marriage vows are sobering
Ask just about any couple who got married before you and used traditional marriage vows at their wedding what they thought while they were saying them and chances are, they are going to tell you that it was a very sobering and surreal experience. There’s simply something unforgettable about standing before an officiant and the people you care about as you declare that you are going to be with someone, no matter what, until death parts you that makes you feel the true weight of the commitment. And you know what? It’s important that each person getting married experiences it. Marriage should not only be based on emotion but conscious thinking and responsible planning. Traditional marriage vows help to remind you of that.
Traditional marriage vows serve a special purpose
The vows that were shared in this article are traditional vows based on a particular religion (you can read a variety of others here). We thought it was fitting to share them, not only because they are popular but because reportedly “75% of weddings occur in a religious setting”. But whether or not you consider yourself to be a religious individual, traditional vows are a reminder that marriage serves a very special purpose. It’s not a casual relationship. It is a very intimate one that consists of two people who are choosing to dedicate their lives, for the rest of their lives. So yes, as you’re putting the order of your ceremony together, it’s well worth at least considering adding some traditional marriage vows to it.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
More by Shellie Warren