At the center of any marriage ceremony lies the wedding vows. Wedding vows are the words spoken by the couple to each other that expresses both intent and a promise. These words express how the couple intends to navigate the path of life together, relating to each other and giving life meaning in their marriage. The wows are a promise to work together no matter how challenging it may be, due to their love and commitment to each other.
Owing to the fact that the vows shape the foundation of the marriage, they should be carefully chosen so that they rightly express what the couple desires in their relationship. Though in some situations the vows are prescribed by religious requirement, where possible, the couple should personally select their vows. These vows should be real and meaningful and be remembered by the couple as they navigate through life together.
In personalized wedding ceremonies, there are usually no laid down requirements regarding the vows, though there are questions prescribed by law that need to be answered. Thus, in addition to answering all the legal questions, the couple may also exchange personalized vows that uniquely express their intention for the marriage.
Wedding vows also serve as a great resource for understanding marriage. The words of the vows most times speak about the meaning and potential of the marriage. It is worth reading through many vows so as to select the right vow for your wedding and also as a way of reflecting on marriage and what it means so as to ensure your relationship is built on a strong foundation.
Found in one of the oldest and most traditional vows, are the famous words, "for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, which is a beautiful expression of the couple's intent for each other no matter the circumstances. It includes the word “cherish” (to build up). Therefore, the intent expressed in these vows is that because of this dedicated relationship, each partner will become a better person due to the love and support of the other. Hence, marriage is a relationship that provides the environment in which each of the partners is able to flourish and achieve their full potential.
There are vows that express the desire to have friendship as the basis of the marriage. In this regard, a marriage relationship is a place where each partner respects the other for who he/she is, accepting the differences and encouraging the individuality.
Other vows promise to hold the other in the highest regard. This, being a wonderful commitment, is also a promise not to speak derogatorily to /about your spouse. It is a promise not to share information that would place your spouse in a negative plight with others, even with your close friends.
In conclusion, couples may choose to write their vows, offer different vows to each other, adapt vows found in various sources, or follow written vows. Whatever choice they make, it is important that the vows are a true expression of the way they want to relate to each other on this journey of their shared life.