Wednesday, December 12, 2012

52 Date Nights: Week 11, Re-read your wedding readings

Previous date night posts here. Free stay-at-home date night ideas PDF download here. (Not sponsored.)

While we were in the tent last week, we decided it would be a nice cozy place to tackle #25 Re-read your marriage vows and wedding readings. This one was tough, as we don’t have a copy of our marriage vows. We didn’t write our own, just assumed the church had standard ones. That was a bad idea. The pastor did not use standard vows, but wrote his own. I thought every church ceremony included the whole “in sickness and in health, til death do us part” stuff, but no. I dreamt about saying those vows for MONTHS.  My whole life, really, and he didn't do them. I was really, really mad and disappointed. Still not over it, actually. This was my one wedding day and I didn’t get to say “til death do us part.”

(Also, don’t give me that line about how being married is the only thing that matters. Obviously the marriage is much more important than the wedding, but it doesn’t mean the wedding doesn’t matter. If it did, why do we even have weddings? Why not just go to the justice of the peace? We both believe in and act upon “until death do us part” despite the fact we didn’t say it in front of our friends and family, but that doesn’t mean there was no POINT in saying it. Also, how belittling is it to say to someone who is planning a wedding or whose wedding didn’t go like they planned “all that matters is that you’re married at the end”? OTHER THINGS MATTER. Sure, they don’t have the lifelong consequences your marriage does, but they’re not meaningless.)

(You know what else doesn’t matter? The fact some people don’t say “standard vows”, either by not having a wedding ceremony or by deliberately leaving them out. I made the choice to say those vows - but didn’t communicate it well, which was my fault - and just because some people choose not to doesn’t mean the fact I didn’t get to is OK.)

Let's take a break to look at me signing our marriage license!
I'm still a big fan of the decision to do it during the ceremony.
(I have no idea what's up with the lighting on my nose. Is that a shadow?)
In the interest of avoiding another rant, I won’t even get (too much) into what he did use as vows. Let’s just say they included the lines “I will submit to you” and gave all our guests the impression I’d never be making a decision on my own ever again. I’m assuming the pastor’s views on submission are more nuanced than that, but he did not do a good job communicating. Also, in retrospect, asking him to do a short sermon without reading a transcript prior to the ceremony was a bad, bad idea. I should point out we asked him to base the sermon on one of our three readings (his choice as to which one) and he did not. On the plus side, pretty much everyone there remembers our wedding well! To this day we get remarks on the extremism of it. (Which I like, as it gives me a chance to clarify that's not exactly what we believe or how our marriage is structured.)

Anyway. We skipped the “recreate your wedding vows” part of this one and just went through the readings, which were: Song of Songs 8: 6-7, Romans 12:9-13 and 1 John 4:7-12. We talked about why we chose them and what we think about those choices now. It was quite nice, actually. I did not recreate my wedding vow rant for Thomas. He's quite familiar with it, so that honor was given to you lucky people!


  1. My friend told me he went to a wedding where the priest decided to go on an anti-abortion, anti-gay-marriage rant. The bride almost walked out of her own ceremony. Good times!

    I'm sorry you didn't get to say the vows you wanted.

  2. Is it bad that I don't remember my vows very much. Chris and I eloped so we only met the minister who performed our ceremony about 15 minutes before we got married. There was no time to review the vows so I think he just used the standard ones. I do remember that he wants us to come back and renew our vows on our 10th anniversary. May I should pay better attention then?!?

  3. That photo is GORGEOUS. More wedding photos, please!

  4. You guys look adorable!

    We used the standard Catholic vows...and Dave messed his up! I felt all weird, using "David" when I have NEVER called him that (who's this "David" I married?!?) but he promised that he would love and honour me all the days of *my* life. Not *his*. We renewed our vows as part of a retreat last year, so it's all good. You might want to do that for one of your significant anniversaries -- it's fun.

    We chose the early part of John 15 for our gospel reading -- "there is no greater love than to lay down your life for a friend" -- but our priest kept going and focused on "fruit that will last". It was a lovely sentiment, as both of us had grown up in the parish and we had large families in attendance, but he kept talking about "bearing fruit that will last" for ages. Needless to say - that joke came up a few times at the reception.

  5. Oh, I just had to tell you that I LOVE your wedding picture. So beautiful!

  6. I love this idea! I loved our readings (mostly poems and sonnets.)

    But our minister went off the rails at one point, with a SUPER LONG homily and blah blah BLAHHED about who knows what. For that one, we might need to go to the wedding video that I've never actually watched. Ha!

    Ps. I, too, love your wedding photo! Gorgeous!