In keeping with the Valentine’s Day spirit, I thought I’d share the wedding vows from my favorite real-life love story: my husband’s and mine. I met my now-husband many, many years ago, when we were very, very young – 17 years old. And decades later, we’re still together, we’re still valentines, and he’s still ‘the one’.
Because we started dating each other at such a tender age, we were together for years before we actually got married (or as my mother-in-law would say, stopped living in sin). By that time, we were mature enough as a couple that our wedding wasn’t so much the marking of a new union as it was a celebration of a long-existing one. We wanted to create our own ceremony that felt spiritual, loving, and commitment-centric. And we wanted to keep it short, because the actual ceremony was outside in June – read: a hot, sticky mess – because love can be practical, too. So with all that in mind, we came up with a ceremony that included our personally written vows (sorry, won’t share those with the great, wide world of the interwebs), as well as some thoughts on love and marriage from multiple cultures/traditions, which I share with you now .
Buddhist Marriage Homily – In the future, happy occasions will come as surely as the morning. Difficult times will come as surely as the night. When things go joyously, meditate and pray. When things go badly, meditate and pray. For meditation and prayer will bring you to the light that will guide your life.
Apache Wedding Prayer – Now we will feel no rain, for each of us will be shelter for the other. Now we will feel no cold, for each of us will be warmth for the other. Now there is loneliness for us. We are two people, but with only one life path before us.
Hindu Wedding Vow – You have become mine and I have become yours forever. We are partners. Hereafter, I cannot live apart from you. Do not live apart from me. Let us share the joys. We are word and meaning, united.
Wedding Blessing – Go into the world and fulfill your lives. Hold fast to your ideals. Give to one another new experiences of joy. Challenge one another that you may grow. May the love that you hold for each other, now sealed in marriage, continue to mature so that your life together may be a source of strength and inspiration to your family and friends, and the wider circle of the world.
For those with a significant other, my wish for you is that you shelter each other, share life’s joys and burdens, and grow together into the people you each want to be. For all our readers, I wish you joy, peace, and love in all its many beautiful forms. Happy belated Valentine’s Day!