Be a Celebrity! Or Just Use the Same Words to Get Married

As I was merrily surfing the web, I ran across a site for wedding vows. What fun! I love wedding vows! No, really, I do. In truth, the vows are the single most important part of a wedding. This is what makes the whole thing legally binding and what all the fun window dressing of pretty clothes, delicious food, and beautiful music are there to celebrate.

The part of this particular site that rather tickled my particular sense of humor was the section of Celebrity Vows. Yes, you can now choose the same wedding vows used by Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, or Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller. Actually, most of them are pretty much standard forms from various protestant denominations, and not that unusual.

There was, however, one part in one ceremony that caught my eye. I’d like to share it with you. It comes from Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward’s wedding. While it’s not the vows, per se, it strikes me as a particularly wonderful way of expressing what marriage is really all about:

Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens. A good marriage must be created. In the Art of Marriage: The little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say ‘I love you’ at least once a day. It is never going to sleep angry. It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon, it should continue through all the years. It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives. It is standing together facing the world. It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family. It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy. It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have wings of an angel. It is not looking for perfection in each other. It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow. It is finding room for the things of the spirit. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal. It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.

And I think that sort of says it all.

6 Responses to “Be a Celebrity! Or Just Use the Same Words to Get Married”

  1. Paul and Joanne are the only ones to stay married, too. Coincidence? I think not.

  2. Anna says:

    That’s beautiful.

  3. Tizzy says:

    When I started reading this entry I sort sighed because writing your own vows is not something that has ever appealed to me. But I can’t think of a better way to sum up a healthy, happy relationship in a paragraph.

    That’s one of the things that I love about this blog: it challenges my preconceptions and gives me new ideas. I continue to be impressed with how innovative and polite your readership is.

  4. mywhimsey says:

    I’m just catching up on all the posts after being offline for a bit, and I wanted to say thank you for that. I’ve been thinking and thinking about a way to express the sentiment that a wedding is about more than just the day of the party, and that good marriages don’t just happen. This is beautiful and heartfelt.