No other relationship involves public monitoring, vows, witnesses and an authorized official to formalize the proceedings.
Nor do people spend so much effort and money to celebrate a marriage.
Why the fuss?
For better or worse, marriage is connected to a person’s health, well-being, financial and social position. And has an impact on family groups, communities, and even the economy.
Marriage vows are viewed as a promise, declaration, agreement or commitment.
Vows can take various forms: legal, spiritual, practical, cultural.
In a civil marriage ceremony, the couple marrying is required by law, to say prescribed words to one another, such as “I ask everyone here to witness that I, (name), take you, (name) to be my wedded husband (or wife).’
This is a verbal legal agreement to join their lives: sharing property, debt, privileges and responsibilities.
Most couples that I marry also choose ‘other vows’ in addition to the ‘legal’ words.
Vows that describe the sort of life they promise to give to each other.
Vows which are intended to help the couple achieve long-term marital bliss.
Couples choose from classic and traditional vows, contemporary, religious or interfaith vows, or compose their own.
Some couples select vows that are specific to their unique relationship – that explain exactly how the couple promise to treat each other in marriage.
- When times get tough in our marriage, I promise to persevere and stand by you, to be patient, understanding and courageous.
- When I speak to you, or about you, I promise to be respectful and kind.
- I promise to be the best person I can be for you, and for me.
- I promise to respect your opinions and feelings even if we have different points of view.
- When you feel stressed, uncertain, anxious or sad, I promise to be your ‘safe-haven’ and your listening ear.
- When you dare to take risks or make mistakes in life, I promise I will support you and not criticize you.
- I promise to consider your needs, even if it involves sacrifice on my part, which I aim to make without reluctance or resentment.
- Every night before I go to sleep, I promise to say “I love you”.
- I promise that I will support your interests. And, even though I might not be as interested as you, I promise that I will go to at least one (something) a year.
- I promise to be faithful to you, and if I have doubts or insecurities, I promise to be courageous and share them with you.
The marriage vows are vital to a wedding day.
For some couples, the vows are even more important than the dress, suits, venue, photography, cake, and catering!
After all, it’s the marriage vows that give meaning to the wedding day.
End Note: If you believe that all people deserve the right to marry. contact your local MP and request a meeting to express your views. For contact details for your federal electorate and local MP, see : Australian Electoral Commission e-search.
Photo: Morris Images
Wonder what’s it feels like to get married? Read here