Post # 1
So I just finished meeting with our priest and was dropped a bomb today….we won’t be able to write our own vows!!
I had always envisioned my Fiance and I writing our own vows and then reciting the Catholic ones right after. Our priest suggested that if we have to write our own vows, it implies that the sacramental ones “arent’ enough.” I understand his point, but I wanted part of our vows to be unique and personal…not just the ones that everyone says (which are also special). Our priest suggested that I send him the vows that I had intended on saying, but he is pretty reluctant to let us use our own.
Has anyone had any luck with this? My Fiance is Episcopalian, so I’m hoping maybe I could use the angle that this is an Epsicopalian tradition that I’d like to incorporate into our mass…however, I have no idea if it is one.
Any advice? Has anyone gotten away with reciting their own vows in addition to the traditional ones?
Post # 3
Hmm… have you looked at the Together for Life book and the vows they list there? It talks about writing your own vows, and (I may be totally incorrect– my memory is a bit fuzzy on this) but I thought I remember it had a [very limited] option for writing your own vows in there. I’d start there, then talk to your priest again after you look into it more.
Another thought–Will you have an Episcopalian minister participating in the ceremony as well? My priest told another couple (a Catholic-Muslim couple) that for the marriage to be valid in the eyes of the Church, the Catholic priest must hear the vows… but maybe the Episcopalian minister can hear the vows you write and the Catholic priest can hear the Catholic vows?
Post # 4
What about exchanging the vows you write for each other at the reception, during the toasts portion? They are kind of like toasts to each other.
Post # 5
@red_seattle: I’ve looked at the book and the only option is the Prayer of the Couple…which isn’t as personal as reciting our own vows to each other. We hadn’t planned on having an Episcopalian minister participate in the wedding since my Fiance doesn’t have anyone in mind. Also, since the wedding is 25 days away…it might make matters a little more complicated than necessary.
From what I’ve been reading, it sounds like this is completely at the discretion of the priest :/
Thanks for the tip though!
Post # 6
@Leprechaun: That’s a good idea, however, our reception is rather short (ends at 10pm) So i’m hoping for less talking and more dancing 😉
Post # 7
I personally love saying the traditional vows that you have in the Catholic ceremony. Maybe it’s just me but sometimes, I find writing my own vows to be a bit too personal to share in front of everyone. Instead, I’m going to write them and give them to my fiance the day of the wedding. Then it’s something between us.
Post # 8
It’s definitely a no-no to write your own vows, the Together for Life book makes a big stink about it. I would definitely suggest either incorporating your vows in the reception or else tweaking them to be used as a prayer for the Prayer of the Couple. I think they would make a beautiful prayer!
In My Humble Opinion when couples write their own vows they have to be careful or sometimes it comes off a wee bit cheesy. And I’m sure some of your guests might feel that way, too, a little bit. The vows the priest wants you to use are timeless. If you look at it that way it might make it an easier pill to swallow.
Post # 9
I would just advise you to not misrepresent this being some sort of Episcoplian tradition if it’s not (to the priest).
Post # 10
i know this is old but i am going through the same sad realization right now… i am recently engaged and my Fiance is all about the catholic ceremony since it makes our families happy and it’s how he always pictured things. my top priority is marrying him so i said OK, but this no vows thing is really hitting me hard.
out of curiosity, how did things go for you?? did you wish you had done the vows or did it not matter in the end?
Post # 11
I think a great option is to write one another a letter to receive the morning of the wedding– it’s a little more personal and private, but you can say your own vows to one another that way.
Post # 12
@Auds424: I’d really recommend picking up a copy of the book “Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar.” There is a section there is brief commentary of the history and nature of wedding vows. It has pretty much all the traditional vows from every major religion and then compares those with samples and suggestions of vows from books on advise on writing your own vows. Reading that might give you a clearer idea as to why writting your own vows is inappropriate and may be much easier to understand. I read the book when I was engaged and out of all the books I read during my engagement it was one of the most valuable.
Post # 13
Thanks for the feedback Bees!
I asked the priest if we could include a “personal statement of love” (I think that’s what we called it) and my husband and I exchanged a few words on how much we loved each other and then read our vows. It was the perfect combination of what I was looking for 🙂