To have and to hold, till death do us part.
I'm one of those people that always choke up while vows are being shared during the ceremony. Exchanging vows is such an intimate moment. It's beautiful and selfless, and always a precious moment to witness.
I love it when couples choose to write their own vows. It's a bit less formal, and the words spoken feel more familiar and natural. Most couples keep their vows a secret until it's time to exchange them during the ceremony, and it's so exciting to see the joy as they each intently listen to the others vows for the very first time. I don't think there is anything like it!
On the other side, there is just something about traditional vows. They get right down to the point, promising that through every and any circumstance, for as long as my soul has breath - I'm with you. Since traditional vows go way back, I just love how the same words are being spoken from generation to generation. The very words that one speaks on their wedding day could be the exact vows of their parents, grandparents, or great grandparents spoke. I just find that so beautiful! It's almost as if the vows have a personal legacy themselves.
Loving both styles so much, my husband and I actually did both at our own wedding. And I absolutely loved it! I remember though, feeling really overwhelmed with what I wanted to actually say. There is so much I could say and so much I wanted to say. But I couldn't figure it all out. I would write something, then not like it. So I would try again, and be more dissatisfied. I was anxious I couldn't get it right.
And then it kind of hit me. I was so focused on trying to write epic vows that I forgot the purpose and root of what I needed to promise. And the reality was that all I needed to say, and all that I wanted to say, was that I would always be there. I knew that I knew nothing of the future. I knew that I had no idea what trials would be ahead. But what I did know, was that I would make a vow to always be with him:
"But today, I vow to you that I will be with you:
on your team, encouraging you, and helping you.
Forgiving you and choosing to love you... This vow the world can never break and divorce will never take."
Those were my vows that I cling to every day I breathe. I believe in marriage. It's hard, and it's hard work. It's a choice to love and to fight for that love. But I believe, with all that I am, that it's a beautiful gift that offers way more than I understand.
And that's why I cry during vows.