Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Purpose of a Wedding Vow

What is the essence of a wedding vow?

A wedding vow is a promise before witnesses to commit your life to being with and faithful to one man or one woman.  This is the essence of all wedding vows. It is a serious and solemn commitment for a life time. Therefore, the vows reflect the couple’s decision to remain faithful through good times and hard times, and to love each other deeply.

 The words used to make this promise vary greatly depending upon the religion, denomination, priest, minister or officiant.  The vows may be traditional or modern.  Most often, the vows are read by the officiant out of his/her book of service, then repeated by the bride and groom.  Traditional vows may be similar to this Protestant vow:

“I ______, take you, _______, to be my wife/husband, and I do promise and covenant, before God and these witnesses, to be your loving and faithful wife/husband, in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live.”

Today, couples have the freedom to write their own vows, if they choose to do so.  Wedding vows should include the following elements:

1. Choosing her/him
2. Promise through good times and bad
3. Commitment

The phrases you use should be your sincere expression of your love for one another.  Why are you choosing him/her?  What promises do you want to make?  What is your heartfelt commitment to the one you are about to wed? 

At the beginning of the wedding service, you will be asked your intent.  It may be phrased, "Have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourself to this man/woman in marriage?"  Another phrasing, "Will you have _____ to be your wedded wife/husband?"  These questions ask you consider before the actual vows, whether you are, indeed, requesting to be joined together legally and/or before God.  You are being asked in effect, are you ready to promise to commit?  Then when you say your vows the commitment is made, done, legal.

If you find yourself struggling with making a sincere, binding commitment to your fiance, if you find the vow a burden, then perhaps you are not yet ready for marriage.  If, however your heart sings at the opportunity to join your life with his/hers, then express that desire in a short paragraph, and you will have written your own vows.

Writing your own vows is simplified by using the template on the page "Vows" found across the top bar of this blog.  You may also choose to select a vow from the collection given on that page.  Or perhaps, you could modify a vow from the collection to suit your personal taste. 

Enjoy yourself as you write, just saying to your loved one what is in your heart to say.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Tying the Knot

Binding Two Lives Together - Tying the Knot

        The phrase, “tying the knot”, has come to mean “getting married”.  The origin of this little saying was indeed a tying of a knot around the hands of a couple signifying the two joining together as one.  In boating, fishing, farming or many other forms of everyday life, two ropes or cords are made into one by tying a strong knot.  After the knot is formed, when the ends of the rope are pulled, the knot becomes tighter and tighter.  The two pieces of rope now forever useful as one long, strong rope.

Historically, this illustration, familiar to all rural societies became a part of the Latin wedding ceremonies.  After the vows, the priest would remove his stole (the long satin scarf draped around his neck).  The couple would join hands, and then the priest would drape the scarf over their hands in a loose knot.  Finalizing the marriage while the stole was still on their hands, the priest would then bless the union and solemnly announce them as man and wife.  This was so integrally a part of the wedding service, that the term “tying the knot” was generally understood as being married. 

Though this custom is no longer common, it might be a delightful addition to a traditional ceremony.  Just be sure to educate the priest, minister or wedding officiant as to the history and your desire to incorporate it into your ceremony.

"May your knot be strong and your rope long"

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Wedding Veil


Why Does The Bride Wear A Veil?

The tradition of a veil covering the bride is as ancient as the Roman Empire.  Brides of this time period wore a bright red veil to signify becoming a matron with the obligations of a married woman.  The wedding dress, itself, was often red up to the Victorian era when white became the preferred color.  

                Rather than a sheer veil, in Latin Christian ceremonies, approximately 300AD, a silk cloth was placed over the head of both the bride and the groom to signify laying on the “burden” the newlywed couple were taking upon themselves to fulfill their marital commitments.

                The bridal veil of fine tulle, traditional today, came about after the Renaissance in Europe.  Some stories say that this tradition came as a result of the Biblical story of Jacob.   Jacob was tricked into marrying the older sister, Leah, instead of his true love, Rachel because Leah was covered with an opaque veil during the ceremony.  In order to view the bride through the veil, sheer netting became popular.

                Today, brides often choose to use flowers instead of a veil, or a veil down the back, yet not covering her face.  Traditionally, the veil covers the brides face until her new husband lifts the veil to kiss the bride. The bride is free, today, to choose any combination of head adornment which pleases her.