Monday, February 15, 2016

WEDDING VOWS

If the first two ways to divorce-proof your marriage focus on being sure you are marrying the right person, the third is part of the more immediate preparation.  Don't write your own wedding vows.  In many churches, including the Catholic Church, the vows are part of the official liturgy and generally can't be changed but in some churches or where the bride and groom are getting married in a civil ceremony, there is a lot of leeway for romantic silliness.  You may think you are writing the most original, poetic vows ever invented, but as a frequently published poet, I can assure you that they won't be.  Instead, they trivialize the seriousness of what you are undertaking, and often water down the lifetime commitment the vows should address.  Some of them go on and on at great length and say basically what the traditional vows cover with often rococo additions and--sadly--even ungrammatical constructions, as in "I will look with joy down the path of our tomorrow's" (sic).  It is tempting to want to express the uniqueness of your love in your vows, but there are many other avenues for creativity--the dress, the cake, the reception--and if you truly want to astonish, work at making your marriage exceptional and enduring once you have become man and wife. But that is for another blogpost!

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