Post # 1
He told us beforehand we could find our own vows and change it around to say what we want, as long as it’s solemn enough and takes the occassion seriously. This is what we want as our vows:
I, (name), take you, (name), to be my wedded wife/husband. I vow to love and be with you till death and beyond, in perfect love and perfect trust forever and ever. This I vow to you with all my heart and soul.
It’s based from a poem, “Nature’s Embrace” by Jim Warren. It says exactly what we want to say, but he takes issue with “till death and beyond”! First he says, in Christian tradition, couples only get to stay together until one departs, and then they reunite only in heaven if god allows. Then, when we reminded him we’re not religious, he brought up that it is Chinese tradition not to mention death at ceremonies and we should just use “as long as we both shall live”. nooooo. we mean we want to be together no matter what, death/life notwithstanding, and anything other than “till death and beyond” is insufficient. and he had no issue with mentioning death if we went with “till death do you part”, so I’m thinking he has some inner religious agenda. He’s a JP, not a priest!! We paid a lot for a simple lawyer ceremony and we didn’t think we’d run into this sort of judgemental mindset.
I’m very upset, and still waiting on his reply email. If he says he can’t do it then we’ll have to find someone else, and our wedding’s less than a month away! arrrrg!! can he really do this?!
Post # 3
Geez! If he’s not a minister, priest, or other religious official, I think he should leave religion or his personal beliefs out of it. My wedding package included a minister, but DH and I didn’t want religion in our ceremony, so we had the innkeeper (a notary) perform it instead.
Post # 4
wow, ok, this guy is NOT a minister? this is not good
I would be mad. I too feel similarily to you and think its such a grand gesture to vow yourself to someone even after death. how ridiculous of him. can you get someone else?
Post # 5
what’s annoying is that we’re working out of country, and so we can’t just march into his office and get things sorted in person. he can hide behind his email all day long and there’s not much we can do. we booked a plane ticket to get there one day before our ceremony, so it’s not much time… luckily, a relative is getting married a week before us, so we’ll be in the country for that day too! if it’s still not resolved it’s gonna be a lot of running around in that one day when we’d rather just enjoy his cousin’s wedding…
I do want someone else now (though it may not be feasible given the timeframe), he’s just so unprofessional to work with. I get madder and madder the more I think about it and the longer he takes to reply! boooooo
Post # 6
Any Unitarian Universalist ministers around you? I don’t see why they would not be able to perform as a JP. Or can you get a different JP?
Post # 7
I am religious myself, but also believe ’til death and beyond’ is a great thing to say in the vows, as for me love continues even after one partner dies. but as I will be getting married in a church I think I have to do the traditional vows they give us, maybe I can include the death and beyond in the personal vows we are putting in the programs 🙂
And as this guy is NOT a minister, just a JP, and he said you can write your own vows, he shouldn’t have a problem with it. Perhaps just have him not say them and just you read them out to each other?
Post # 8
I’m sorry if this is off topic, or not right or something, but your vow is saying if one of you passes the other one doesn’t date, remarry, etc. You wait to die to be reunited with them.
I would have concerns about that because I would wonder if they’re vowing something they won’t uphold. If a partner dies when the bride is 25, I don’t believe she would wait until 85 and death to be reunited to them. That’s why it’s usually till death do us part.
That would be my concern. That they were lying in their vows.
Not that you are. I don’t know you and he doesn’t know you and you might be willing to wait 75 years until death. I would just be concerned.
Post # 9
yup we would wait, it’s not a lie. :] we already discussed this waaay beforehand haha, but basically we would want each other to be happy and move on and find more lovers again should one of us pass before the other, but our hearts belong only to each other and once we die we will find each other again. we will never love anyone else as sincerely as we love each other, basically.
Post # 10
@cerenatee: Huh? I don’t read that in it at all.
OP, I think it’s beautiful. I would just tell him that either he keeps his opinions to himself and allows you to say the vows that you want (seeing as you PAID for this!), or he can refund your money and you’ll find someone else.
Post # 11
@vorpalette: I vow to love AND BE WITH YOU till death AND BEYOND.
They’re vowing to be together even after death. The truth is most people remarry or at least date. They’re vowing not to do that. And that’s fine. They can vow anything they want. I’m definitely not judging that. But as an officiant, I would worry that they’re vowing something they’re really not prepared to do. It sounds wonderful but I don’t know anyone that would realisticly uphold it. Maybe he doesn’t either so that’s what’s giving him concerns.
Post # 12
Is your officiant refusing to let you use these vows or only refusing to say them. Could you say the vows but not in a repeat after me format? Like each of you just has the paper with the vows written out to say?
Post # 13
- Wedding: May 2013 - Canal St Inn
@cerenatee: If that’s his issue, he should just say that. Either that or step down.
Post # 14
@shadowblind: He did say that but more politely: “couples only get to stay together until one departs” and “we should just use “as long as we both shall live.”
I’m not saying he’s right so people can stop replying to me like I personally know this man.
I gave the OP another perspective. Vows are suppose to be truth and upheld no matter what. If she and her FI want to promise to never be with anyone else if the other one passes, they can. But as the person administering the vows, if he take them as truth and something to be upheld no matter what, he may have concerns about them vowing to remain committed to each other after his/her death. If they’re 90 when they pass, yes, but most 20 year olds or 30 year olds not in a nunnery can’t uphold that vow so they shouldn’t say it. It’s starting their marriage on a lie because it sounds good.
I don’t know the OP. She might be committed to joining a nunnery if her husband passes. Or maybe she plans on throwing herself on his casket and being buried with him. I. Don’t. Know. I’m saying that would be his concern. That’s all.
Post # 15
He doesn’t sound like a good fit for you.Find someone else.
Post # 16
I don’t know the OP or the officiant but it sounds like this specific vow might be difficult to honor, and that the officiant is trying to steer the OP away from making a promise she can’t keep. And I think that’s an appropriate thing for an officiant to do.
Our officiant coached/advised us on a lot of different aspects of our ceremony and our vows and while she seemed quite a bit easier to work with than the OP’s, she had no shyness about pointing out places where our vows or our ceremony wording might have an unexpected meaning. It was an eye-opening experience, to say the least, but in the end DH and I are both really happy that she put in her two cents.
For the OP, I’d make absolutely certain that you and your fiance truly mean to not remarry before making this vow. You really truly might be promising something that you can’t honor. I know if I were to die young, I would not want DH to live the rest of his life alone; I’d want him to find a new love, and to remarry. It wouldn’t be a disrespect to me or my memory. I want him to be happy. If he never finds another love and doesn’t remarry, that’s all fine and good, but I’d like him to have the option, and for him not to feel like he’s betraying our vows by not wanting to be alone for the rest of his life. We’ve actually spoken about this several times, and there’s no way we could ever have vowed to be with only each other “till death and beyond.”