The Wedding Vows!
Recently, my husband and I had the privilege to attend (and participate in) the wedding of friends. To watch two people share their love for each other in front of friends and family is an honor and to be included in the day is magical. It's an event that ties you to the couple forever.
Their day provoked clear memories of the vows my husband shared after a marathon road trip, as well as the marriage we have enjoyed since that day.
Our friends chose a mix traditionally untraditional wedding. The bride walked down the aisle to the sound of a four string quartet -her princess gown swirling around her and a smile beaming across her face. I almost missed her entrance as my favorite part of a wedding is to watch the reaction of the groom as his bride walks to his side. He radiated love and admiration as she approached the altar. The couple lit a unity candle with their son and walked under the military sword arch where she received a welcoming “tap” from the military present.
What wasn’t traditional were the vows the couple chose to recite. The bride promised to be an, “independent dependent,” and the groom promised to call home if the “CO made him work late.” The couple’s vows were relative to our military life. As in any marriage there are the families we are born into and those that we marry into. And as military spouses we marry into the military world and have a realm of relatives and a culture that are often foreign to us.
If you were to re-write your vows to include the military lifestyle, what would they say?
When I married my husband nearly eleven years ago this lifestyle was from a different world so if I re-wrote my vows, they might sound something like this: I promise to love you through your disappointments, make you laugh after long and stressful days, and ground you financially. I will help you be far-sighted, support your efforts to be the husband, father and son. I vow to help you challenge your perceived failures. I promise to help you study, understand the mission and cook light before weigh-ins. I promise to love you even when I feel like the “mistress to the military” and understand that duty calls and love waits.
Elizabeth Snell is a Marine wife and a mother of two. She has volunteered within the Family Readiness Program, Lifestyles Insights Networking Knowledge Skills, Navy Marine Corps Relief Society, the American Red Cross and Blue Star Families. Elizabeth sits on the Board of Directors for Military Spouses of Michigan and is the Chapter Director of Blue Star Families, Camp Pendleton. Elizabeth has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from American InterContinental University and is currently attending Western Governor’s University to obtain a M.B.A in Strategic Management and Leadership.