Commentary Track: Our Vows


When I posted my ceremony script last week, the thing that I was most nervous about sharing was the vows.  I am embarrassed that my vows aren’t as good as Collin’s.  To make matters worse, when written out, mine are DRAMATICALLY shorter than Collin’s too.  In case you missed them, here are our vows again:

ROBIN: Collin, I want to marry you because being in love with you makes me love everything else in the whole world a little bit more. The joy you take from every second of your life, the total satisfaction you get out of tiny pleasures like kneading StuKitty like dough or sitting in your kitchen chair or waking up next to me.  And you’ve been so amazingly, awesomely supportive of me through trials, and me freaking out over tiny little things that do not really count as trials.

Even though I’ve lived through some hard things in my life, I will never feel unfortunate, because I get to marry you.  So I vow to love you faithfully for the rest of our lives, to try to support you as much as you support me, and I vow to live joyfully with you.

COLLIN:  I’ve thought long and hard about what my vows to you will be and the more I thought about them the harder it was to condense them within our 200 word limit.  I call you more than 200 made up words like CLAMP, FRLINK, PaTINK and SORNT on a regular basis to express how crazy I am about you, so there is no way I can keep
my vows under 200 words. I could spend hours talking about how much I love you and all your little quirky ways but I think all that’s been said before and will be said a million more times over the course of our lives, let alone the next few hours!

The bottom line is this: You, Robin Hitchcock, make me happy! I love being with you. I wake up happy next to you, I’m happy when I come home from work and I
get to squeeze you. I’m happy sleeping next to you. I’m happy just being in the same room as you. You’re basically my happy drug that makes me the obnoxiously smiley
person that I am today. I hope that I can help make you as happy as you make me. I view these vows as my promise to you, and to us, to help us be the happiest couple
we can be over our lifetimes.

I VOW to always be there for you… no matter what! I vow to support you through the really hard times as well as the happy ones. I promise that you will always be
able to lean on me through your depression and your anxiety. I will never let up and we will beat them together. In doing so I vow to help you see what an amazing
person you are even when you are convinced otherwise. I vow to hug you when you need a good squeeze. I vow to kiss you when you need kisses. I vow to be your
mirror whenever you need it… NO MATTER WHAT! I PROMISE. You are my best friend.  Cuuns for goods!

For those of you playing along at home, that’s 338 words in Collin’s vows and 143 in mine.

I knew all along that Collin’s vows were going to be better than mine.  Collin is so charming, and speaks so genuinely from the heart, and that is all there is to really good vows (other than, you know, actually loving the person you are marrying, but hopefully that is a given). Plus he had an ace in his hole in that he could shout out “CLAMP” whenever he stumbled and no one would think anything of it.  I knew Collin’s vows were going to go over better than mine, and I was resigned to it, so I simply demanded that I go first.

Also, what you see above are not exactly the vows that I wrote.  it is a transcription of the vows I said at our actual ceremony. I could not find a saved copy of the vows I wrote.  Looks like I just wrote ‘em and printed them.  Given I did it at the absolute last minute before leaving my house the last time before the wedding, this isn’t that surprising.  Still, it is disappointing, because my written vows were better than what I actually said, transcribed above.

The written version had a bridging section before the last sentence of the first paragraph explaining how Collin has shown me that he gets strength through his joy for life.  It not only gave the vows a little more flow, but made the last part of my actual vowy-vows (the promises) more poignant.  I’m so sad that I skipped over it in the heat of the moment!  I wish I had read my vows off a sheet or worked harder to memorize them.

All this being said, even though it hurts my pride as a Writer to admit this, I’m totally ok with Collin’s vows being better than mine.  I’d rather be disappointed in myself than with the person I marry when it comes to our final declaration of love before getting hitched.

Vows are so, so loaded that I’m frankly astonished it has become so popular for couples to write their own.  Did you write your own vows? Did you worry about them measuring up to your partner’s?


  1. We have both written our own vows but are not sharing them with one another prior to the wedding. However, we decided to share them individually with our friend/officiant so that if there are any huge glaring differences, he could let us know in advance. We’ll see how it turns out in 12 days!

  2. We did short, standard vows for our ceremony, but we wrote letters to each other that we read to each other alone before the ceremony. Stephen’s killed me. Tears and tears and tears. I read him a poem. It was a very special poem, and it did express what I wanted to say, but I still feel like I should have written something better. The problem was that I spent all our pre engagement and engagement telling him what he wrote in his letter, so I was kind of out of stuff to say by that point, whereas he never had a big proposal moment or other time to say that stuff. It worked out, but I do wish I had written more.

  3. We used vows we found on the internet and edited slightly. We didn’t want to say anything super personal and intimate (which sounds ridiculous when you’re talking about standing up in front of a bunch of folks and talking about love, etc., but whatever), and we wanted to both say the same thing so we’d have the same vows to refer back to. We wrote each other cards that were delivered before we did the first look.

    It worked for us.

    • Also, I wouldn’t worry about comparing your vows! You both had very sweet, thoughtful vows. Any time I’ve been to a wedding where the couple has written their own vows, I’ve never thought to compare them to each other, I’ve mostly just grinned and thought “Awwwww” over and over again.

  4. You’re crazy. Your vows are beautiful, simple, personal and have a direct focus on the person you married.

    Part of being a great writer is paring down to the basics. Probably the hardest part, actually.

  5. We wrote our own vows. But then we caved and read them to each other several times before the wedding. I was afraid neither of us would be able to get them out because we were crying so hard. We both cried a crap ton the first time we read them. It was really special that the first time we read them to each other we were alone in our home.

  6. We sort of wrote our own– we found a bunch of different things all over the place in readings, poems, others’ vows and such and cobbled everything together until we had something we both really liked. Frankenstein vows! Hah.

    Also, we just wrote one set of vows, together, and each said the same thing to each other. It wasn’t a surprise, but it worked really well for us. They were also relatively short, which I wouldn’t have guessed would happen. We’re both big letter writers, I did my senior thesis in poetry and Lindi writes fiction, so I always assumed our would be long and wordy and literary, but they weren’t and it was perfect. Short and sweet.

  7. The vows. Holy cow. Writing the vows with my loving but word averse fiance is going to be HARD. In absolute seriousness, Forrest asked me if he could just promise to love me. How simple and perfect is that? (I cried.) I know HE’S nervous about it because he doesn’t want the word count to be 5 to 500 (“I promise to love you.” vs me rambling) so I picture us writing vows together as a series of “I will” statements.

    Thanks for sharing Robin!

  8. We wrote ours together, based off of these (http://theneotraditionalist.com/2010/10/01/our-vows/), so we’d talk for the same amount of time, and would keep the tone of the vows in line while still saying our own things. I’m going to write a full post about them once we get our wedding photos back, but it was pretty kick ass.

  9. I totally agree with you that I’d rather be disappointed in myself than in my partner regarding the vows. EXCELLENT point.

    We didn’t write our own vows or anything. The most personalized our ceremony got was in that we took pieces of traditional but modern-ish vows we liked off the internet and put them together. Part of it was that we did not have tons of time to plan, what with eloping and all — and part of it was that we had a limited amount of time to get through the ceremony on a moving incline car!

    Interestingly enough, our ceremony was the perfect length for a round trip on the Duquesne Incline. Meant to be, I guess. :)

  10. I thought both of your vows were wonderful.

    I just got married 12 days ago. We wrote our own vows and I was absolutely worried how mine would compare with his. He is wittier and more eloquent which meant I worked on my vows for a very long time. I think they ended up pretty equal. He did a better job of saying why he loved me, though I tried my best. Our promises to each other ended up being amazing because we had a couple of lines that were exactly the same.

  11. Brian’s vows kicked my vows’s ass. He’d read my vows because I’d written them extremely early in our planning process and he said he needed some help coming up with his. At our rehearsal dinner, the night before the wedding, he kept insinuating that he needed to spend the night writing his vows.

    I read my little old vows off a piece of paper. And HE busts out this memorized monologue about how I light up a room and how he felt when he met me, he’s making everybody laugh, vowing to never put bras in the dryer and promising to set the coffee maker before bed every night. It was insane. All my guy friends made sure to tell me Brian’s vows were one hundred million times better than mine. Those damn vows… the ONLY time I teared up that entire day. He blew my mind.

  12. Thought-provoking analysis . For what it’s worth , if you is wanting to merge PDF files , my friend discovered a tool here https://goo.gl/2PIDz7.

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