I was just working through my files on this computer and found a copy of them mixed in the files of pictures of flowers and other wedding frivolities I've gladly placed aside. Of course I stopped what I was doing, opened, and read them. And of course I got all got all googly-eyed and squishy-hearted.
We took a lot of time writing our vows. We talked about some essential promises we both agreed were essential, but wrote them separately. I thought it would be fun to throw them up here!
Rachel's Vows to Ian
Ian, thank goodness I accidentally asked you out (or rather, thank goodness you thought I asked you out and ran with it). Thank goodness you had the tenacity to ask me out again after our first date didn’t go so well, and thank goodness I agreed.
Now, after being together for over two years, I cannot imagine my life without you. Our relationship has blossomed in the small moments - shopping at the farmers market on warm summer mornings, making dinner together after I get home from work, laughing together at some silly antic or song. I have grown to love you - your knowledge, your wit, your conversation, your touches, your thoughtfulness and kindness, your goals and your strong work ethic.
You are tender and good to me, and knowing your love and experiencing your love is the absolute best thing in my life. I am blessed and privileged to share each day with you, and cannot wait to grow old with you.
On our wedding day, these are my promises to you:
I promise to encourage and support you. You are my partner, and I will always work with you instead of against you.
I promise to respect you as an individual, to never try and change you, but to love you exactly as you are, as an independent person.
I promise to always try and assume the best of you.
I promise to be completely honest with you.
I promise my faithfulness, in thought and act.
But most importantly, I promise to love you every day, and in this love, to choose you every day, no matter what life my throw at us. I promise to love you and to choose you in the good days and the bad days.
These are my promises, as long as we both shall live.
Ian's Vows to Rachel
It feels strange, making a life-long promise. Promises are wards against neglect: you ask someone to
promise something that they wouldn’t do otherwise. And it feels strange because our relationship has
been pretty much an uninterrupted stream of joy and belonging.
Even before it was really anything serious—before I would consider, say, dropping everything to spend the day in a damp basement department giving you head rubs to distract you from your migraine or feel I knew you well enough to stop trying to impress you (which never really went away, let’s be honest: your praise still brings out the peacock in me)—before all that, I knew this was the real deal, you and me.
Day after day the delicious meals, quiet evenings, loud evenings, sexy dances, little moments, secret
language and shared affection piled up to the point where I had to see that life without you would be a pale imitation of one spent by your side.
So it feels strange to ward against mistrust, hurt and all the demons of an endangered union. What could we possibly have to worry about?
But, of course, that’s the exaggeration of a love-struck fool. We don’t always click, and there has been tension and hurt and misunderstanding. We’re in this for the long haul, after all. Friction is a fact of life and we’re going to see plenty of it, over where to live, how to raise our children (oh, so you assume we’re having children? For example) and whether we’re going to put chickpeas in the
Hence the promises: to remind us that we know what we’re doing, we’re at our best when we’re together than that there is nothing we shouldn’t do to share this life. So in that spirit, my darling Rachel, I make you the following promises, cross my heart and hope to die:
1. To lift you up and believe in you, and help you achieve all the great things I know you can;
2.To show you I love you, even if it’s just by washing the dishes you thought you would have to when you got home;
3. To choose you everyday, and always be aware how lucky I am that you’re in my life;
4. To be faithful to you, and be someone you can put your faith in;
5. To respect your decisions and value your input on everything we do together;
6. To assume the best of you always;
7. To keep it fun, even when our lives make it so it isn’t always easy to have fun;
8. To make wherever we go together a home and someplace you’re excited to come back to;
9. To put you first and build my life around you, rather than try to fit you into my life;
10. To continue doing all of the aforementioned for as long as we both shall live or be viably cryo-frozen.