Vows ... to personalize? or to keep traditional? { wedding tips }

duck dynasty wedding vows - post on wedding vows, to keep traditional or write your own - grace and serendipity

This past weekend, Duck Dynasty happened to have on a wedding episode that was 48 years in the making.

I am not yet a completely hooked "never miss an episode" Duck Dynasty fan, but it is definitely growing on me!  I love their family values and how every show ends with them praying at the table and having a family dinner together.  For this episode, Phil and Kay were surprised with a wedding, as they hadn't had one when they were married 48 years ago.  There are so many different things I want to write about today with this ... and I'm sure another blog post will come from this episode, but what I'm choosing to focus on first is the vows they said to each other, and deciding what you should do on your own wedding day.  Granted, technically they renewed their vows, but still ... what she and he said to each other brought tears to my eyes, as you know it was truly from the heart.

Watch this video below first, in case you haven't seen the episode yet.

So many times, I have my brides and grooms ask me about vows.  Should we say the traditional ones?  Do we HAVE to write our own vows?  Well, honestly, in my opinion, it is completely a personal decision.  On my wedding day, we chose to write our own vows AND recite some of the traditional ones.   Because it's impossible for me to write this post without interjecting our own personal day, below is a small portion from our day, the vows I said to my husband:

I truly feel like I have fallen in love with the person to fulfill my life and make it complete. Today, I will promise you many things – but the most important is to simply love you.  I promise to love you for the man that you are, the man you want to be.

 I promise to respect you as a person with your own interests, desires, and needs, and I understand that they will sometimes be different – but they are just as important as my own...  You are my strength, my happiness, my best friend. You have taught me how to love, that it’s okay to take chances, and to dream for the future. I promise to be open and honest with you, and will continue to tell you my secrets and dreams. 

I know we will face changes and challenges, but the important thing is that we will face those things together, and keep our relationship strong, developing it into a more loving relationship every day. I promise not only to be your wife, but your partner, your best friend, your hope, and your love. I will always be the person you can trust and talk to.

I can’t wait to spend my future with you – to care for you, love you, and be there for you every way I can.  For the rest of our lives, I will love you with all of my heart – and give this marriage my all.  You are the person I can not wait to call my husband, for you truly are the man for me.

Not surprisingly, I did cry while reading these to my husband.  I also had vows that I spoke to my stepson, which included telling him that I would be there for him, that I would never try to take the place of his own mom, but hoped someday that he would grow to love our relationship that we created and feel that he had two moms that loved and cared for him.  However, looking back, these are still some of the most important words that were spoken on our wedding day.

wedding vows - post on wedding vows, to keep traditional or write your own - grace and serendipity

I think that a wedding ceremony is so much more important than just that thing you have to do before you get to the party.  A wedding ceremony is meant to celebrate the choice that you and your significant other have decided to spend the rest of your lives together.  If you do choose to personalize your vows, yes, it's okay to look on the internet for examples, but at the same time, interject your own relationship into them - like Miss Kay did, include personal touches - tell them you love them - perhaps say some of your favorite things about them or your relationship you are looking forward to ... but put some thought into them and make them meaningful.  Do you have to write your own vows?  No.  I love the traditional ones as well - as they've been around for a long time, and there is a reason for that.  Here are two traditional options for vows.  The first one is what we also added to our wedding ceremony:

Option 1:

Officiant:  {Grooms name}, do you take {Bride's name} to be your wedded wife, to live together in marriage?  Do you promise to love her, comfort her, honor and keep her for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, forsaking all others and being faithful only to her, as long as you both shall live?

Groom: {I do}

Officiant:  {Brides name}, do you take {Groom's name}, to be your wedded husband, to live together in marriage?  Do you promise to love him, comfort him, honor him, and keep him for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and health, forsaking all others and being faithful only to him, as long as you both shall live?

Bride:  {I do}.

Option 2:

I, (name), take you, (name), to be my (husband/wife), my constant friend, my faithful partner and my love from this day forward. In the presence of God, our family and friends, I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow. I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live.

So with that said, when it comes to your ceremony, truly think about what YOU want to do.  If you want to add vows that you write on your own, or keep them traditional, either way, what matters is that you are happy with the decisions that you make.  Every wedding is special in it's own right - be it 48 years after the original wedding certificate states, or right on time ... just know that your wedding ceremony is exactly that ... yours.  And when it comes to what you want to say or be said during your ceremony, it is completely up to you.

Happy Planning!

~Kristin

{photo and video courtesy:  a&e}