Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Can You Feel the Love Tonight: The Vows

Of course, our vows were my favorite part of the ceremony.  Since we wrote the rest of the ceremony, we couldn't very well not write our own vows.  We made a strong effort to keep them secret until the wedding, but we did talk a little bit about structure, so they wouldn't be completely different.  Though we kept the discussions pretty limited, our vows ended up being similar which was nice.

As per usz, photos by Stephen Cheng Photography.

Daniel made me go first.

            When I look at you, I see the man I want to spend my life with.  And it’s not because of your intelligence or career, looks or outward appeal, though those thing are nice too.  It’s because of your kindness and caring, what you give of yourself, your loving and loveableness.
            You are so selfless that I often feel humbled by your giving nature, so much so that I have to be a better person to even things out.  You are a real-life hero, and I will be proud to call you my husband.
            But the biggest reason I want to marry you is because we fit so well together.  I love doing things with you, and I always miss you when you’re not around because everything is so much more fun when you’re there.  You are, above all, my best friend, and that is why I want to spend my life with you.

 (I don't know wtf was going on here.  Apparently, I wanted to convey something intensely [or was constipated?  Seriously, no idea].)

            At the same time, I know things are not always perfect, and we’ll never agree on everything.  That is why I make the following promises to you, so that even when things could be better, they won’t be too bad because we’ll have each other.
As your partner in life, I promise…

·      To be considerate of your wishes
·      To try not to stress the little things or nag incessantly
·      To tell you when something’s bothering me
·      I promise to play games with you and not make fun of the ones I don’t want to play
·      To not hate The Lord of the Rings
·      And to try not to make you crazy on purpose…most of the time
·      I promise to comfort you when you feel sad or alone
·      To take care of you when you don’t feel good
·      To talk with you, laugh with you, and listen to you
·      I promise to remember things for you as long as you remember our anniversary
·      To do the laundry as long as you do the dishes
·      And to drink water, eat enough, and try to sleep
·      I promise not to try to control things I shouldn’t
·      To try to be positive and not complain too much
·      And to always do my share
·      I promise to agree on a reasonable household temperature
·      To at some point obtain a dog
·      And to at some point obtain a child
·      I promise to give you hugs and kisses more than once a day
·      To spend time with you
·      And to make time for you even when I’m busy
·      I promise to try to take out the garbage 50% of the time
·      To try not to steal the covers
·      And to always do something good for our anniversary
·      I promise to say, “I love you,” everyday and mean it
·      To help you when you need help
·      And to work at this everyday
·      But above all, I promise to love you

(Note:  we stole this next part from somewhere.  I forget where.  We found it online.  It's one of the very few things in the ceremony that we did not write--quotes excepted of course.)

As a ring has no end, neither shall my love for you.  Let this ring be a symbol of my vows to you and a reminder of my devotion.  I will always be honored to be your wife.

(Then is was Daniel's turn.)

Nicole Elyse, my beautiful sunflower girl...
When I met you, I never expected this to happen.  I just thought a date with you would be fun.  I hoped you would like me and I hoped I would like you.  I never imagined I would fall in love with you.  I certainly didn’t think it would happen so quickly.  I’m so proud to stand here today and tell everyone I care for how much you’ve given me.

I love you.
I love the way you smile when you say my name. 
I love that I can make you laugh, and make you smile.
I love that when we argue, you never let us go to bed angry.
When I hear a funny joke, I always think, “Nicole would like that.”
When I’ve stopped believing in myself, you help me see through your eyes.
If I had a pinch of faerie dust, you would be the thought to make me fly.

To me, you will always be the most beautiful woman in the world. 
The only thing greater than your beauty is the heart you have inside.
It is your heart that makes you try so hard to do the right thing.
Your heart is what made me fall in love with you.

Nicole, you are the stars in my sky and all the smiles of my life.
Because of you, I will get to raise our children.
Because of you, I have seen things and been places I never would have.
Because of you, I will always know what day of the week it is.
Because of you, I laugh at least once every day.
Because of you, I will be a better version of myself.

For all of this and more, I make these promises to you:

I will always love you as I do on this day.
I will always be your best friend, as you are mine.
When you cry, I will be there to dry your tears.
When you laugh, I will laugh with you.
Whenever you are sad, I won’t give up until I’ve made you smile.
Whenever you need to be tickled, I’ll make sure it doesn’t last too long.
If you are tired, I will help you go to sleep.
If you have a Disneyland annual pass, I will buy one too.
I will share all of my secrets with you.
I will keep sacred all the secrets you share with me.
If you are grumpy, I won’t take it personally.
If you are sick, I will make you husband soup.
While we are young, I will always romp and play with you.
When we are old, I will make sure we are one of those cute old couples still in love.
I promise I will never stop having fun with you.
And I promise I will never stop saying I love you,
For the rest of my life, I am your Daniel.

As a ring has no end, neither shall my love for you.  Let this ring be a symbol of my vows to you and a reminder of my devotion.  I will always be honored to be your husband.

 (We followed with a quote together, alternating lines until the last.)

You and I Have so much love,
That it Burns like a fire,
In which we bake a lump of clay
Molded into a figure of you And a figure of me.
Then we take both of them, And break them into pieces,
And mix the pieces with water,
And mold again a figure of you, And a figure of me.
I am in your clay.

(Finally, it was time for the official vows.  This we kept traditional.  It was very important to me that we do so.  I never really planned out my wedding when I was little; the one thing I planned on was saying these words.)

Do you, Nicole/Daniel, take Daniel/Nicole to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, to honor and to cherish, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, as long as you both shall live?

I do. 

By the power vested in me by the state of California, I now pronounce you husband and wife.  You may kiss the bride.

We planned that kiss for months.  Screw regular kisses.  We get those all the time.  We wanted this one to be legen (wait for it) dary.  Since the invention of the kiss there have been five kisses that were rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one was to leave them all behind.

OK, it wasn't really that good, but it was a lot cooler than not dipping in a massively undippable dress.

 Then there was only one thing left to do.  The one part of our ceremony that catered to Jewish tradition.  Together, we stomped on a glass.

It's supposed to just be the guy that does it, but I couldn't resist joining the glass-breaking fun.  I still don't know what the point of this tradition is.  According to Daniel, there isn't one.  But hey, breaking things is always fun.

Then, all we had left to do was walk back up the aisle.

But the fun wasn't over yet!  Since our first date when we notoriously did not watch it, The Lion King has been a part of our relationship.  Both of us count it as a favorite movie, our first kiss was less than five minutes in, and it sparked the everlasting "you pulled me, no you jumped in my lap" debate.  We had no choice but to incorporate it into the wedding.

And we did it with style.

Not only did we walk back up the aisle to "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," but Daniel arranged a little lipsynching for the groomsmen first.

They acted out the Timon and Pumba bit in the beginning.  It was awesome.

As we walked back up the stairs, we thought the ceremony was over, but there was one last surprise that awaited us.  You see, there were still a ton of people up there who had apparently been watching our affair from atop the stairs.  As we reached them, a storm of applause greeted us.  We were astounded and touched by the whistles, cheering, and sheer sound of it all.  It was a great way to end our ceremony.

But now, the reception awaited.

How did you choose your vows?  What was important for you to include?  Did you get any pleasant surprises during your ceremony?


  1. Those are really sweet, cute vows! That kiss is definitely epic too, I'm sure the crowd loved that :)

  2. I've heard two reasons for the glass-breaking. At an Orthodox wedding that I worked, the rabbi said "And among the happiness, we have to also remember the sadness..." and he went on to talk about how the Messiah had not yet come and that Isreal had not risen and whatnot and that they would continue to break glass as a reminder that the real happiness was yet to be.

    ... and the second reason I've heard is that it's a symbol/wish that your love/marriage will last until the last piece of the glass would ever be put back together. I'm guessing you want to go with this one. ;)

  3. I've heard from Jewish friends that the glass breaking is meant to remind us that some things, once done, can't be undone---it's either a reminder that marriage is irreversible, or it's a reminder to cherish and protect your love and your partner because all love is fragile and it's easier to keep it and your partner safe from cruel words or unfaithfulness than it is to put it and them back together after unkind words or actions.


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