Samara O'Shea

On Wedding Vows

With These Words, I Thee Wed

Lori & John

The only thing I know is that you are the most delightful, enthusiastic, contemptuous, capricious, affectionate, sarcastic, warmhearted, lofty-minded, half-devil, half-angel, of a woman that ever ruled over the heart of a man; that I will love you, must love you, whatever betide, till the last moment of my existence, and that if we both act rightly our lot may be the happiest of a thousand mortal lots. So let us cling to one another (if you dare, if thus forewarned)—for ever and ever!
—Excerpt from a letter, Thomas Carlyle to Jane Welsh, 1823


Weddings consist of formal dresses, cake, dancing, intoxicated guests, and 1,001 photo ops, but the most important item on the agenda is when the promises are made. Wedding vows are precious, life-altering words meant to carry you and your love from now to forever. A priest friend of mine once said, “The church doesn’t marry you. You marry each other.” And this process takes place as the vows are spoken.

In the book The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz, the first agreement is “Be Impeccable with Your Word.” Of this agreement he writes, “Why your word? Your word is the power that you have to create . . . It is through the word that you manifest everything. What you dream, what you feel, and what you really are, will all be manifested through the word . . . The word is a force; it is the power you have to express and communicate, to think, and thereby to create the events in your life.”

With your wedding vows, you lay the foundation for your marriage. Coming up with fitting language to seal your union with another person is no small feat. Love is easy to feel and difficult to describe—especially in front of an audience. Tis true that there are lovely vows already in existence, and it’s perfectly acceptable to go with those. It is equally as wonderful, however, to write your own. Writing your own vows will heighten your connection to the words, and a stronger connection will intensify your willingness to honor them. If you want to write your own vows and don’t know where to begin, let me help you.