Sometimes couples go too far in trying to make their marriage ceremony unique. When the ritual is totally made up and has no connection with familiar traditions, you risk having invited guests to an event which has not meaning to them.
One of the traditional parts of the nuptials is called the Questions of Intent. This set of questions was created long ago to make sure that both the bride and groom were there freely and that their real intention was to be married. If you have your minister, priest or rabbi include the Questions of Intent, then your vows can be whatever you decide to create. The Questions cover the matters of faithfulness and respect in all conditions and circumstances.
The best personal vows I've ever witnessed are an outpouring of the heart about how the couple met, what they came to love about each other, and what their promises are to each other as they seal their covenant of marriage.
To restate, some of the things you might include in your vows include:
- When you first noticed each other.
- What first attracted you to each other.
- Why you love each other.
- What each others strengths are, and how you complement each other.
- What you are promising to each other.
Your promises might include:
- Caring for each other
- Sharing of responsibilities
- Mutual support
- Weekly date night
- Having each other's back
- Keeping private matters private
- Forever promises
Your nuptial rituals have a purpose. They formalize your covenant of marriage. A covenant is a binding contract. When a bride and groom covenant to be mates for life, there is a security which both persons can depend upon.
A marriage should be a safe haven. That safety extends to the way each speaks to the other. If you have grown up in a home where Mom and Dad spoke disrespectfully to each other, please get professional help and get those images and memories out of your usable brain power. Learn how to disagree in an agreeable fashion with your mate.
Remember this: You will both be criticized and beat down by life in many ways. It may be in the workplace. It might be on the roads, by other drivers. It might be at church. Or it could be in the neighborhood. It also could be by extended family.
Make your marriage the safe place where neither of you will ever reject the other; never lie to the other; never call each other disrespectul names. If you will do this, your marriage will be the envy of all who know you.