So here we were ready to make our vows to each other. As I mentioned before, we did both traditional vows as well as wrote vows to each other.
Rev. Dease first asked Mr. Swan to repeat after her:
“I, Mr. Swan, take you, Miss Swan, to be my wife, to live with you and to love from this time forward until death separates us. I promise to be understanding, forgiving, and seeking of your happiness as we grow together in God’s grace.”
Then it was my turn:
“I, Miss Swan, take you, Mr. Swan, to be my husband to live with you and to love from this time forward until death separates us. I promise to be understanding, forgiving, and seeking of your happiness as we grow together in God’s grace.”
It was finally time for the part of the ceremony that I was looking forward to the most: hearing Mr. Swan’s vows. Here they are:
“Miss Swan, when you accepted my proposal 364 days ago by the Brooklyn Bridge you made me an extremely happy man. That happiness is only surpassed by the way I feel today as we have reached the moment of our marriage. I knew I loved you deeply based on the amount I missed you and your loving smile the first time we spent a week apart early in our relationship almost 4 years ago. And later in our relationship, I knew I wanted to marry you after visiting Ireland together in 2007. In fact, several of the old Irish guys we met in the pubs said to me if I did not put a ring on your finger that an Irishman would. My love for you and desire for you to be my wife has grown only stronger every day since. I feel so fortunate that you have chosen to share your love and your life with me. I am honored to have you as my best friend, the future mother of my children, and the one I get to grow old with. I promise to love you, laugh with you, honor you, care for you, and be faithful to you for the rest of our lives.”
Okay, so I had done a pretty good job on keeping my composure, but it just wasn’t working. I had the scary cry face going on, and I just couldn’t hold it together as Mr. Swan spoke.
It was my turn to speak to Mr. Swan. Well, I kinda ad-libbed the first part. I mentioned that fact that I was never sure if I would get married, I did a lot of prayer and reflection about who I wanted to be with. I told him that he was more than I could ever imagine I could want or need in my partner. Here’s the written portion:
“Mr. Swan, thank you for believing in me when I did and for supporting me through the ups and downs of life. Thank you for being someone that I respect and admire. Thank you for accepting me as I am. I promise to enjoy the sweet, sour, joyful and painful parts of life with you. I promise to be intentional in my love for you as it is only with purpose that we can only love each other fully. I will trust you, respect you, laugh with you, and cry with you loving you faithfully through good times and bad. I give you my heart and my love from this day forward.”
I kinda held it together this time around. I recovered as I spoke because I really wanted to say these words to Mr. Swan in a clear and strong way.
We then exchanged rings after we each repeated this to each other: ” I give you this ring to wear as a sign of my promise to love and grow with you.”
There was one problem though. Mr. Swan had decided to forget which hand was my left one. You see I had confused him by putting my engagement ring on my right hand. No, Mr. Swan, it’s your other left! 🙂
After a brief prayer, Rev. Dease said…
“For as much as Mr. Swan and Miss Swan have exchanged promises of mutual love and have professed before those of us gathered here that they will live together as understanding, mature persons in God’s sight and by the authority committed unto me as a Minister of the Gospel, I now declare that they are husband and wife in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen. You may kiss your bride!”
Mr. Swan liked this part. 🙂
We turned around to face our guests, and we were announced as Mr. & Mrs. Swan!
And we were off!
Swan Tip #11 – This is most definitely a personal choice, but I really love the fact that Mr. Swan and I were able to write vows to each other. Even if you can’t include this in your ceremony, I think it’s great to be able to share how you feel about each other in your own words at some point in the day.
All Images by the very talented Dante Williams
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