Today I am driving up to Cambridge for the wedding on Saturday of my son, Ben to Hannah. It goes without saying that I am excited and very happy for both of them.
Marriage changes everything while changing nothing. You don’t love someone more because you have married, but standing in the church, making your vows of love, with all your closest friends listening is a special and changing moment.
In the hubbub of a wedding, making the vows sometimes races by as one more hurdle to be jumped and its importance is not properly recognised, but it is a very special moment.
You are standing alone, possibly petrified by emotion. Maybe you have learnt your words and worry you will forget them. Or if you are repeating the vows you pray that the vicar doesn’t mumble.
Whatever, the importance of that special moment can be lost.
It is never easy to tell a partner, for the first time, of your love and it is so much harder to say it in public. Yet that is what we do at a wedding.
There are many ways of saying, I do and with this ring, I thee wed. I went on the internet to try and find what others have done. As you can imagine there are all sorts of varieties from the traditionally religious, through the sentimental to the simply whacky.
Here are some of the more unusual ones I have found.
I liked the simple ordinariness of this:
So, I promise you:
to always laugh with you and to never go to bed angry.
to comfort you in times of sorrow, including rough Buckeye, BlueJacket, and Bengals seasons.
to always listen to what you have to say, even when we don’t see eye to eye, and
to remember love is saying ‘I feel differently’ instead of ‘you’re wrong’.
There is a certain humour in the conclusion to this:
to love and to cherish until death or zombies do you part?
This is less of a set of wedding vows and more the outcome of Marriage Counselling
I promise to always leave the lights on in the bathroom
I promise to mysteriously take three hours to make a simple omelette
I promise to create a life for us of unexpected and strange adventures
I promise that I will love you
I pledge to listen to your advice, and occasionally take it
I pledge to never keep score… even if I’m totally winning
I pledge to always admire your huge, strong, kind and determined heart
I pledge that I will love you
And these might be more likely heard in the pub than a church
Before these nutter’s assembled; I take this strumpet, to be my wife, my friend, my lover, my hot water bottle, my companion in life, my enabler in trouble and my poster of bail. I will care for and protect you, nurture you and support you, and tell you when you are being a numpty and I adore everything about you
As you can imagine wedding vows are made in a thousand different ways but what is consistent is the public statement of love and it pleases me that couples now spend more time finding their own words reflecting their love.
With these daily essays, I now live my life more publicly than most people. Therefore, in the weekend spirit of love, I think it is the right time to make public words recently written in a letter to Sasha. You never know, one day I may be saying them aloud, with all our friends around us.
Sasha, I will love and cherish you, today, tomorrow, and forever, I pledge my life to you. I promise to love you and only you. You are the Alpha and Omega of my life. You are its beginning and end. Although our lives may change like the seasons, I will love you. Without condition, I give you my heart, soul, and body.
I will bring laughter to your life, and make you happy, I will bring you joy.
I will be by your side and I will be your faithful partner. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your family will be my family. I will look after and protect you for all time, without end.
I will be your companion and best friend. I celebrate the strength we have when we are united as one.
I have a passion for life and I promise you a life of passion.
But back tomorrow’s big day. We need to concentrate on Ben and Hannah.
I don’t know the planned readings, but I would not be surprised to hear the following beautiful words from 1 Corinthians. Really, you could do no better than read them every night.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails
Ben and Hannah, however you make your vows, and I suspect it will be none of the above, I wish you both a wonderful and happy life together and forever.