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Authors: Diane Warner

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Complete Book of Wedding Vows

BOOK: Complete Book of Wedding Vows
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Complete Book of Wedding Vows
Warner, Diane.
The Career Press
isbn10 | asin
print isbn13
ebook isbn13
Marriage service.
publication date
BL619.M37W37 1996eb
Marriage service.
Page 1
Complete Book of Wedding Vows
Page 2
Also by Diane Warner
How to Have a Big Wedding on a Small Budget
Big Wedding on a Small Budget
Planner and Organizer
Beautiful Wedding Decorations and Gifts
on a Small Budget
How to Have a Fabulous, Romantic
Honeymoon on a Budget
The Best Wedding Ever
Page 3
Complete Book of Wedding Vows
Diane Warner
Page 4
Copyright © 1996 by Diane Warner
All rights reserved under the Pan-American and International Copyright Conventions. This book may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or hereafter invented, without written permission from the publisher, The Career Press.
Cover photo by Michael Krasowitz/FPG International
Cover design by Dean Johnson Design, Inc.
Printed in the U.S.A. by Book-mart Press
To order this title, please call toll-free 1-800-CAREER-1 (NJ and Canada: 201-848-0310) to order using VISA or MasterCard, or for further information on books from Career Press.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Warner, Diane.
Complete book of wedding vows / by Diane Warner.
p.   cm.
Includes index.
ISBN 1-56414-237-X (pbk.)
1. Marriage service.   I. Title.
BL619.M37W37  01996
392'.5dc20                                                  96-13890
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With love to my granddaughter, Renee.
Page 7
My thanks go to all of those who shared their vows with me for this book, including hundreds of newlyweds and dozens of ministers, priests and rabbis. I would especially like to thank the Reverend Father John Magoulias of the Greek Orthodox Church, Dr. John E. Stensether of the Evangelical Free Church of America and Rabbi Stuart Dauermann of the Ahavat Zion Messianic Synagogue. I would also like to thank my daughter, Lynn Paden, as well as my friend, Helen Christy, who took their valuable time to help me with the monumental task of collecting newlyweds' wedding vows. Extra special thanks go to those couples who not only shared their vows but their love stories, as well: Andrew and Karen Goldberg; Ben and Wendi King; Joel and Colleen Blomenkamp; Joseph and Kathleen McLaughlin; Eric Wood and Kim Gray; Warren and Verna Riopel; Bill and Kathy Moran; Loren and Erma Hosmer; and my son and daughter-in-law, Darren and Lisa Warner.
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Chapter 1
Traditional Vows
Chapter 2
Nontraditional Vows
Chapter 3
Vows for Second Marriages
Chapter 4
Vows That Include Children
Chapter 5
Reaffirmation Vows
Chapter 6
Vows for Older Couples
Chapter 7
Vows with Religious Variations
Chapter 8
Ring Vows
Chapter 9
Vows Inspired by the Classics
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The essence of every wedding is the recitation of the vows. Without the vows themselves, the wedding day would be nothing more than a big party, a celebration of the couple's love for each other. The bride may be radiant as she glides down the aisle in her expensive designer gown, the massive cathedral may be opulently decorated from floor to rafters and the professional musicians may bring tears to the eyes of your guests. But without the wedding vows, it is all a silly waste of time and money.
Wedding vows have not always been part of the marriage ceremony, however. As we look back into history we find all manner of humorous, peculiar and totally bizarre ways to marry. As far back as the earliest accounts of ancient Greeks, Romans, Jews, Medes and Persians, marriages were arranged as a matter of practicality and common
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sense. The modern concept of romantic love had no part in these marriages, which were arranged for legal, financial and social reasons, and only rarely did the ceremonies have any religious significance. No wonder brides wore heavy veils to hide their faces until after the ceremony!
Those of you who love historical romance novels have probably chuckled at the barbaric methods of marriage by capture, and it may seem as if this was something from the long distant past. However, marriage by capture was still legal in England until the 13th century, as well as in other countries around the world. In some of the old provinces of India, in fact, a Kanjar groom would gather his friends and arm them with muskets, stones and sticks, then descend on the home of his chosen bride. The fight would continue until the bride's family finally gave her over to the Kanjar groom.
And then there are the stories of the Australasian tribesmen who "married" the maidens of their choice by simply shooting barbless arrows through their legstalk about a wedding on a small budget! Even the early Christians did not give marriage any religious significance until about the year 537 (common era), and the Catholics held out even longer; they decided to make marriage a religious ceremony after the Council of Trent in 1563.
The American wedding of today, however, evolved from two great civilizations, Rome and Greece, where the bride wore a veil and was given a wedding ring by her groom; the couple ate a special cake and rice was thrown as the groom carried the bride over the threshold of his home. Also, ceremony vows, as we know them today, emanated from the early Roman wedding. The Roman bride stood in her wedding costume, which consisted of a hemless tunic tied by a woolen girdle around her waist, fastened
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with a special knot called the Knot of Hercules. Over this tunic she wore a yellow cloak that matched her yellow sandals, and around her neck she wore a metal necklace. Over all of this she added a veil of red or yellow and on the crown of her head she wore a wreath of myrtle and orange blossoms. Finally, when she was thoroughly dressed, she stood with her family and welcomed her groom. At this point an animal was sacrificed, usually a sheep or a pig, after which the couple joined hands and stood before a pronuba, a Roman priestess, where they publicly pledged themselves to each other, probably the first official recitation of the wedding vow.
Wedding vows were also mentioned in the Bible; Hebrews 13:4 exhorts us to honor our marriage and its vows. But today, the wedding vow has become the
of the marriage ceremony. In fact, it is said to be the highest vow known to mankind.
Throughout American history the wording of wedding vows was quite traditional, carefully treasured and preserved by ministers, priests and rabbis. Whenever these clergymen were called on to perform a wedding, the bride and groom accepted the traditional wording without question. Finally, in the 1950s and 1960s, and especially during the era of the barefooted flower children who took the formal marriage ceremony out of the sanctuary and onto the hillsides, wedding vows began to evolve from the traditional to the nontraditional. In fact, today most couples personalize their vows, composing them from their hearts to express their deep feelings of love and commitment to each other.
This book offers the formal, traditional wedding vows, along with hundreds of personalized nontraditional vows, including those used in second marriages, marriages of
BOOK: Complete Book of Wedding Vows
8.73Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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