Sunday, June 26, 2011

Coming up with the Ring Ceremony Wording

Next I looked for a vow to go with the wedding ring exchange.  You know, the, “with this ring i thee wed” vows.  This was almost as fun as looking for wedding vows.  I think the wedding vows are actually more important than the ring ceremony wording, because they are our commitment to each other, as opposed to being about an object (which is a symbol of, well, our commitment to each other). But that’s a good thing; it meant a little less pressure!

I found a wedding vow site here that had a good selection of ring ceremony wording.  I looked mainly in the secular/non denomination vows section.  I found myself drawn to the following sentiments:

o    The ring is a reminder of our wedding/vows
o    It’s a token of our love (duh)
o    It’s forever
o    It’s a sign of commitment
o    The ring has no end, like our love
o    Think of me as you wear it
o    Since you’ll always wear it, part of me will always be with you

I didn’t like:
o    One drew a comparison between precious love and precious metal.  That seemed a little gosh to me.  It’s true, but it seems tacky to bring up the money aspect in the vows!
o    The ring is symmetrical, symbolizing perfect love.  I don’t think perfection is a healthy goal to chase.  This is coming from a former perfectionist (who’s learned her lesson).

One of the simplest but very poignant vows was:  “With this ring, I wed you, and pledge you my love, now and forever.”  Unlike the marriage vows, which I wanted to be personal, I kind of liked how to the point and basic this ring ceremony wording is.  It’s a good contrast.  A nice way of saying, “Hey, it’s a wedding ring.  It’s a symbol of our marriage, period.”  That’s sort of all you need, really!

But in the end, my favorite was this:

“(Name), I give you this ring as a symbol of my love. As it encircles your finger, may it remind you always that you are surrounded by my enduring love.”

Although I think I’d like to change it slightly to sound more traditional:

(Name), with this ring, I thee wed.  As it encircles your finger, may it remind you always that you are surrounded by my enduring love.

There is a “response” to this line, but that seems a little unnecessary to me.  I just like this ring ceremony wording because it’s pretty basic:  the ring is a symbol of our love.  And because I love tradition, I did want us to say the classic, “with this ring i thee wed” vows.” But I love the bit that says every time I look at it, I should remember that Adam loves me.  I do that with my engagement ring all the time.  When I need a little lift, I just gaze at it.  When it catches my eye at a random moment, it makes me smile inside.  Some people think the ring exchange is outdated, but for that reason, I think they’re awesome. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Wedding Vow Examples Hunt

The next thing to think about, when it comes to the ceremony, is the vows.  It was actually a lot of fun for me to read through different wedding vow examples!  Even though I love the traditional “for rich or for poor, for sickness and in health,” it seems pretty cool that in this day in age people can say, well, whatever they want!  Yes, there’s a lot of sameness in the experience of finding that special someone.  But the reasons why a couple’s relationship means so much to them is going to be different from the next couple.  And the vows reflect that.

I found a lot of wedding vow examples here, several of which I liked before I narrowed it down.

It was hard to pick one!  There are so many nice sentiments.

#2.  Part of me likes mentioning the best friend thing, because it’s absolutely true, but part of me feels like that’s very platonic.  I love a lot of words in this one, though, like "encourage, inspire, and comfort."

#3 I like words like "appreciate, unique, and share."  And the idea of building something together.

#4 "Hand and hand and heart to heart" are lovely.  But this seemed a little too flowery compared to most of the other wedding vow examples.  Obviously weddings are the most appropriate time of all to be sappy, but I think if you’re too flowery people can’t help but tune out.

#6  This one actually seemed to focus TOO much on bad words!  Yes, it’s important to be there for each other during sad times, but using the words "adversity, tears, and sorrow" not once, but twice, seemed too negative for me.  Plus it’s one of the longest vows, and brevity is a virtue, so no.

#7 Also a little flowery.  "Barren times?  Eternally made anew?"  Nah.

#8  I do like duality in vows, but again, it makes for a lot of negativity.  Failure is a pretty depressing word, and I want a little more hope for our marriage than this vow conveys (Adam disagreed!).

#9  I like that this says “I shall not seek to change you in any way.”  It’s just a little religious for us.

#10 I actually REALLY like this vow, because it covers pretty much everything!  "The sickness and health thing, love is magic, warmth and light, together hand in hand, committing to working together."  It would be the PERFECT vow.  It even talks about "distance testing us."  *feels the tug at my heartstrings*  Except that it is SUPER long compared to the other wedding vow examples.  I might change my mind and use it.  I could always cut it down.

#11 This was TOO short and sweet.  Love and forever are nice sentiments, but it’s not personal enough (Adam disagreed AGAIN).

#12  I don’t like this at all.  “Emptying my heart of all others” is a not a nice sentiment!  What about your friends and family?!  I know what they MEAN; it’s a nice way of saying you’re going to be faithful and monogamous, but that’s not what it says.  And when I make a vow I want to make one that I mean 100%.

#14 This one is sweet.  It mentions the best friend thing but immediately follows it with “I will love you forever” so there’s little time to think this was too platonic.  I like this one very much (and so did Adam, yay).

#15  This one has the traditional "good times and bad, sickness and in health."  But for some reason, it feels unfinished.  Not because it’s too short; it just doesn’t have a nice flow to it.  I think the meter puts me off; there just aren't enough syllables in that final sentence, or something (of course Adam likes it).

#16 I like this one VERY much.  The “fill your days with sunshine” is sweet, it has nice words like comfort and encourage, and talks about helping to reach goals.  Really nice sentiments (and yet Adam did not).

#19 This almost sounded like a superhero pledge to me.  "Restore each other, serve each other and our fellow humanity."  It’s not TOO bad, but next to the other wedding vow examples it just doesn’t strike the right chord for me.

#21 This is a really interesting vow because it has the duality in it, but it’s all positive.  It just doesn’t make an impact for me.  "Give and receive, speak and listen, inspire and respond."  The concepts don't quite play off of each other in a poignant way.

#22  This is a really nice one too.  "Encourage, stand by you and uplift you, accomplish, make you a priority."  These are all sentiments that ring true for me; I could absolutely see us using this one (Adam liked this too!).

#25  I wouldn’t want to use a vow that starts out “The sun smiles on us today.”  No bride looking forward to an outdoor summer wedding should tempt fate like this!
So which vow did I choose?  Well in the end, out of the 25 wedding vow examples I read, I liked…the first one.  It’s the same way I picked my wedding dress!  But I like this one because it’s about accepting each other and helping each other.  And luckily, Adam liked it too : )

Readers, what is your relationship status?