Crafting the Ceremony: Vows and Rings

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning

Speaking of pomp and circumstance, does anyone remember the over-hyped train wreck that was the Kim Kardashian-Kris Humphries wedding spectacle? I admit to watching it (though a few days later–I was curious, not devoted) and Mr. RT was in the kitchen cleaning up after dinner. When they got to the obligatory “til death do us part”, T guffawed and said, “yeah, or until divorce.”

Not witty so much as prophetic–though it didn’t exactly take Carnac to see where that one was heading.

But it did open the discussion on vows, and what we did and did not want to include. Namely, I wanted “til death do us part” no where near our ceremony.

  • For one thing, we Road Trips are each divorced, so there’s that specter of ‘yeah, right’ with those words. Tempt fate much? Not that we’re going into this marriage with anything but the utmost faith that we will live out our days in happy, silly, geeky, love, but I just don’t want to go there. I don’t want to put that same ‘yeah, right’ thought into our guests heads.
  • For another thing, who says death has to part you, really? I’m not sure if I’m 100% on board with reincarnation or anything, but a wise woman once told me about soul contracts and soul groups. About how we keep bumping into the same souls, spirits, life essences time after time and, well, we’ll never know for sure, but I think it’s a pretty cool concept.
  • For a final thing, death is a bit of a bummer. Sure, sure, it’s impossible to have true happiness without something to compare it to, but I just would really prefer to keep things as positive as possible. Not only the vows, but the readings, the music, everything we can point in that direction–it’s really important that everything reflect forward movement and a hopeful attitude.

So with that in mind, we knew that we’d write our own vows, and proceeded to look through various ceremonies for ideas and inspiration.

I came across one ceremony that included a set of elemental blessings that we thought would be great as readings:

These are the blessings of the elements of air: may you always share ideas, tell each other your dreams, appreciate each other’s intelligence. The gift of air is communication.

These are the blessings of the element of fire: may you always find inspiration in each other, find the energy you need to support each other, and have faith in your relationship. The gift of fire is passion.

These are the blessings of the element of water: may you offer each other compassion, may you wash away hurts and share each other’s joy. The gift of water is love.

These are the blessings of the element of earth: may you never want for food or shelter, may you thrive in health and enjoy the good things of the earth. The gift of earth is the material world.

Of course, this means we have to decide on four people (one for each blessing) to ask to read them, but I suppose that’s something we’ll wait to do until we get closer to the actual ceremony (and know who, for sure, is coming).

The other part of the sample ceremony I loved was the ring vows. They speak to the usual symbols of the ring but end with the awesome words “I promise to be a good partner for as long as love lasts.” Isn’t that all kinds of perfect?

Sure, it could be looked at as saying that we’re in this as long as we love each other, but it can also be looked at as the larger concept of love being eternal, which is the side I like to look at.

Of course, we still have to decide on our personal vows to go between readings and the rings. After originally thinking that we’d each write our own vows in secret and be surprised on the big day, I remembered that I don’t do well with surprises, even the good ones, and was rather concerned that Mr Road Trip would bust out with some supremely sweet and heartfelt vows and I’d go more lighthearted and they just wouldn’t go together very well. Hence, we’re going to write our vows together, and attempt to mix a certain amount of sweet and sappy with just enough lighthearted fun to keep it real.

Because there seems to be a line to walk, at least in my mind. Go for too much of the funny and we’re not taking it seriously enough, go strictly solemn and I’m fighting the urge to roll my eyes during the entire ceremony. I think it means we need a vow-writing-date sometime in the very near future.

How did you come up with your vows?

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