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The Wedding Vows as a Compact
The Vows of James and Laura
James and Laura - Photo Josephine Harkin

The central moment of a wedding ceremony is the Vows. There is a preliminary question from the Celebrant (The Asking) then there are the Vows (see below) and The Rings (Placing the Rings on with accompanying words.)

Do you want vows that mean something?
Do you want to create vows which have a deep and lasting - indeed lifelong - strengthening your commintment in and from the very depths of your soul?
Then here is the formula - To use Rod McBride's phrase:-

A Formula for Creating Vows:

The man should go to his corner
for an hour, and make a list of what he wants his fiancée to promise him.
The Bride to be should go to her corne
r and make a list of what she wants her fiancée to promise her.
They should then meet and construct a serious compact/ commitment statement of the ideals they have deliberatively agreed should be the framework of their day-by-day marriage relationship. A good celebrant can assist with final wording. The vows between John and Alicia are an example of this in-depth agreement.

I, John, thank you, Alicia, for trusting me,
and claiming me as your closest friend.
As far as I am able I promise to treat you respectfully,
and speak to you respectfully, at all times.
I will be gentle & positive with any criticism,
If I consider I must express myself I will try never to cut you off,
or stonewall you, in difficult moments.
I will speak frankly, but softly,
rather than let any resentment fester.
I ask you to listen to me when I need to talk,
and I promise to listen to you when you need me as your friend.
I promise to be loyal and faithful to you
I promise to give you your space, when you need it,
and I ask the same of you.
I will happily sustain the fun, & humour
we have experienced in our relationship.
I promise to do my best, every day, to encourage a union
of emotional, spiritual, & physical intimacy, between you and me.
Therefore, I John, call upon the persons here present,
to witness,
that I take you Alicia,
to be my lawful wife.

The Bride repeats - mutatis mutandis. Vow taken for the book/booklet It's Your Wedding

There are many good off the shelf vows
(They would have to be - I wrote some myself!)

VOWS (one example)

I, Romeo, take you, Juliet, as my wife. 
I pledge to share my life openly with you,
to speak the truth to you in love. 
I promise to honour and tenderly care for you, 
to cherish and encourage your own fulfilment 
as an individual, for the rest of my life.

I, Juliet, take you, Romeo, as my husband. 
I pledge to share my life openly with you, 
to speak the truth to you in love. 
I promise to honour and tenderly care for you, 
to cherish and encourage your own fulfilment 
as an individual, for the rest of my life.

Some Special Vows for a Second Love

(Reprinted with the permission of the couple and Barry Klassel (celebrant from New Jersey USA - graduate of the International College of Celebrancy)

My dear Catherine,
thank you for finding me and for loving me. 
To love once is bittersweet, 
to love again so deeply,
is to be rescued from the endless doubt 
and pulled back into the sunlight. 
You are the Queen of my world, 
and the beacon that shines to show me the way. 
I promise for all the days of my life 
to cherish and honor you, 
to give you reason every day to love me, 
for your love makes me whole. 
I will be your lover, your champion, 
your jester, and your knight. 
No one could love more completely, 
or more passionately than I love you this day. 
I am yours until our dust returns to the earth.

Justin, my love,
I come this day to pledge my love to you; 
believer, healer, and soul mate. 
You brought sunshine back into my dark days. 
You have put your strong arms around me 
and given me sanctuary. 
You are my King, my fortress, 
and the strength that gives me contentment 
down to my soul. 
I promise to honor and cherish you 
and bring inspiration to your life. 
It is my delight to be your lover, your handmaid, 
your faithful companion, and your lady. 
I will never take you for granted, 
and I am grateful everyday God gives you breath. 
I will love you for the rest of my fortunate life.

Examples of VOWS

The book, Ceremonies and Celebrations, has at least 16 sets of vows. The vows on this page are taken from this book. Phone: 1300 446 786 for your copy.

© Dally Messenger III and individual authors - 2001-2017