The Most Important Part of a Wedding is the Vows


A wedding is a big deal. It’s the moment when two people publicly promise to love and support each other through thick and thin—everyday ups and downs. It’s also the beginning of a family—the domestic church, if you will—that consists of parents, children, and extended family members who share in common acts of care, hospitality, forgiveness, sacrifice, prayer, and faith.

For the modern couple, the most important part of a wedding isn’t necessarily the ceremony but the promises they make to each other. That’s why it’s important for couples to take the time to write their ceremony script in advance and think about what they really want to say to each other. A well-written ceremony script will give the bride and groom the chance to be heard by their guests, who will in turn be able to hold them accountable to their vows in the future.

Regardless of religious affiliation or culture, every marriage is unique and requires a different level of commitment than previous relationships. The most common vows include a promise to be faithful, honor one another, and respect each other’s differences. In addition, most couples will agree to protect their spouse from all forms of danger and prioritize their partner’s needs above others’ in their relationship.

A couple’s commitment to each other is celebrated at their ceremony with a variety of symbolic rituals. For instance, Jewish couples are welcomed under a beautiful four-poled canopy structure called a chuppah, which represents a new home and family. They’ll then recite their marriage vows—which can be written by them, shared in the same wording, or simply read aloud by the officiant—and exchange rings.

In nondenominational weddings, the couple may choose to light a unity candle, jump the broom, pour sand, plant a tree, or create a time capsule as symbols of their commitment and unity. A good officiant will narrate each of these moments, helping guests connect with the significance of each ritual and the value of your marriage.

As the wedding ceremony comes to a close, the newlyweds lead the recessional down the aisle in reverse order from how they entered—usually with their flower girls or ring bearers following closely behind. They’ll be greeted with cheers of joy from all the guests who are eager to wish them the best and show their appreciation for their joining together. It’s a moment to celebrate the fact that, just like an acorn planted on your wedding day, over the course of many months or even years, your marriage can grow into a beautiful oak tree that provides shade and comfort to all who visit.

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