With This Ring...

I l-o-v-e talking about weddings. Especially my own :)

I will have plenty to do by way of weddings in the next couple of years, with both my best friend and my sister getting married. I  hope my sister-in-law will get engaged soon, too...add another to the list!

In any case, my friend Mary told me about this Wedding Wednesday link-up with A Happy Wife in NOLA. It's open to all brides, former and to-be. I had so much fun with my wedding and I didn't have my blog—er, didn't write on my blog—during our engagement, so I hope I can offer some advice and wisdom to others!

A Happy Wife in New Orleans

I think I'll start with vows. One thing I learned during the wedding planning process was that your vows could be whatever you wanted them to be. I guess I thought that there was a set to choose from or that the officiant just chose some? So naive.

This actually goes for the ceremony, too. Well, at least for us. Since we got married outdoors, we didn't have any "rules" to follow. We put a lot of thought into our ceremony, and while many couples just want to get to the reception, I loved our ceremony. It was very personal and I had many tell me how much they enjoyed it.

Anyway, back to the vows.

We though about writing our own vows, but I felt confident that I would not be able to get through them coherently. I was worried enough about having to recite them from someone else. So, we basically took all of the traditional vows that we liked and mashed them together until we found words that spoke to us, about each other, and that held promises that we wanted to keep to one another.

Here's what we ended up with:

Do you Bryan, take Rachel to be your wife? Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, for better, or for worse, forsaking all others, keeping yourself only unto her as long as you both shall live?
Do you promise to be true to each other in joy and in sorrow?
To care for each other in sickness and in health?
To trust one another in triumph and in trial?
To honor each other in your words and actions?
To cherish one another with love and grace until you are parted by death?

Both respond: We will

Bryan and Rachel, please repeat after me.

From this day on I choose you to be my wife/husband
To live with you and laugh with you
To share all things with honesty, trust and compassion.
To be joy in your heart and to remain faithful to you.
To bring out the best in you and be the most for you that I can
To solace you when you are downhearted
As we grow old together, still loving each other gladly
All the days of our lives.

For the exchange of rings, we went with a simple:  With this ring, I give you my heart.


Some advice to other brides: Don't be afraid to write your own vows. Don't feel like you have to conform to the traditional "til death do us part." Although there is nothing wrong with that at all! Make sure the words are something that mean something to you both, and that truly encompass the things you want to promise to each other for the rest of your life. Look around on the Internet, ask friends what they said. Pick and choose the words that speak to you both.

A couple pieces of logistical advice: 
  • Don't forget to look into your bride or groom's eyes while you're saying these important words. Oftentimes, I see brides looking at the officiant without so much as a glance at the groom.  That's who you're talking to. 
  • Don't yell your vows. I made this mistake :) You're talking to your bride or groom. S/he is the only one who needs to hear you. Most times, one of you will be miked, so everyone else will be able to hear. And if they don't — it's OK.
  • Don't be afraid to cry. This is big stuff, people! My groom teared up several times during the ceremony and it was the sweetest thing.
Got any questions for me about anything wedding? Ask away! 

What did you say for your vows?


  1. So sweet! I'm so happy you shared that!!

  2. just another reason why I need/ want you to help me BIG time with my wedding. I will give you yes or no answers and help if you and jess take charge :)


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