I knew before Andrew and I even got engaged I wanted to write my own vows. I have always felt that personalized vows mean more than the standard repeat after me. A wedding ceremony only lasts a few minutes and the emotions during that moment are so high that it is difficult to remember each word spoken. Taking time to write our vows before the wedding gave us the time to truly reflect on why we were joining as one and what that meant to each of us. It made our promise to one another and to God come directly from the heart.
Andrew was a little nervous about writing vows at first. He knew I write often and he doesn’t, so therefore he doubted himself. We agreed to write our vows together. At first we thought we would create our own version of the repeat after me, in our own words and both say the same thing. However, as we started searching ideas online and putting words on paper we realized we each liked different variations of the vows.
I liked ‘through the sunshine and the rain‘ whereas he liked ‘through the ups and downs‘ – both the same meaning yet are in our own voice.
Before our ceremony our lives were extremely hectic. We both were so nervous that we wouldn’t be able to memorize our vows word for word. Since we wrote different things to say, it didn’t make sense to have the Officiant conduct the repeat after me with our words. Our Officiant assured us that there was nothing to be nervous about and that it was completely acceptable to read our vows from a small notecard. Although Andrew and I both had gone over our vows a hundred times we felt more comfortable and relaxed reading them. It took the pressure off.
During our ceremony we were blending a family. Our union was about more than just husband and wife. We were making promises to our children as well. Including our kids in our vows was one thing we both agreed was crucial. Our kids stood up at the alter with us and listened as we vowed to be a supportive family and love one another equally. The Officiant asked the kids if they understood and agreed, each of them said yes.
As the two of us are joined on this day, we become part of each other: your feelings become my feelings; your sorrows become my sorrows; your joys become my joys; your cares become my cares, and your children become my children.
I promise to be a true and faithful husband and father, always there to comfort you and laugh with you through the ups and downs in life. My love for you, Tapanga, Gabby and Noah is pure and unshakable, and I hereby commit myself to all of you from this day forward.
God has given us a second chance at happiness. I come today to give you my love, to give you my heart and my hope for our future together.
I promise to be a loving and faithful wife to you, and also a patient, loving mother to Vanessa and Jagger, caring for them and providing for them as my own. I promise to be their strength and their emotional support, loving them with all my heart forever.
But most of all I vow to love you, through all times; happy and sad, easy or difficult, through the sunshine and through the rain for the rest of my days.
Did you write your own wedding vows?