the real process of a wedding

by Joanna on August 13, 2013

All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks – all those sentences that began with “when we’re married” and continued with “I will and you will and we will” – those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe”- and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. ~Union by Robert Fulghum, one of our wedding readings

Writing our vows was one of the most powerful things we’ve ever done. It was also one of the scariest.

Vow Ideas

We sat in Starbucks on a Sunday morning, trying to put together the thoughts we had each jotted down separately into promises we’d build our marriage on. It was intense. I remember looking at him and sharing things I’d never said out loud before about what he meant to me and what I hoped for our future.

Trying to articulate something you feel so deeply is tricky.  Opening your heart, really putting yourself out there, even to someone you love so deeply and have known for so long isn’t easy. You feel vulnerable, raw even. Just thinking about this experience I’m getting that “I-don’t-want-to-cry-and-am-holding-back-tears” feeling in my throat. It was more than two years ago.

How often do you actually express what you value as a couple, how you want to love each other, what your hopes are? You don’t really. Many things just go unsaid or assumed.

Whether or not you plan to write and say your own vows in your upcoming wedding, or whether or not you’ve already said “I do,” I think this act of sitting down together to write promises, to share what you love about your relationship and the qualities you want to define your relationship in the long run, is a powerful one. It’s one that may make you feel exposed and vulnerable but one that is really worth it.  It’s an intimate experience that brings you together closer than you’ve been before. It certainly brought us together in a deeper way than ever before.

Talk to me:

Did you/would you write your own vows?

Would you have a conversation with your husband or wife now? If so, what promises would you like you make to your spouse?



{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy August 14, 2013 at 9:06 am

I love that quote!

We went with traditional vows instead of writing our own (which I still think is kind of funny, since I’m a writer, but writing our own just didn’t feel right), but we had many private conversations in our pre-marital counseling, and at other various times before we actually said “I will.” You know what’s scary? I’m not sure that all couples even talk about things like this before they get married. I’m not saying that we’re perfect (at all!!), but maybe that’s why the divorce rate is 50%?


2 Joanna September 26, 2013 at 7:04 pm

I think you’re so right. So many of us just go through the motions, in so many areas of life, that we don’t stop to think about why we’re doing the things we’re doing and what we want them to mean to us.


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