The part of the ceremony where the Bride and Groom respond “I Do” is called the Questions of Intent. It was originally designed to make sure the Bride and Groom were there of their own free will, and that they actually intend to get married.

The Questions of Intent cover the fundamentals of a marriage covenant: faithfulness, respect, and unconditional love. Therefore, the vows can be whatever you want them to be. You can choose traditional vows, or write romantic statements to each other. Several romantic wedding quotes are available online.

Don’t hold back on the emotion. As a wedding officiant, one of the most intense weddings I ever witnessed was the one where the Bride and Groom wrote letters to each other, and read them to each other. They spoke about their journey, and how they met and fell in love with each other. They were emotionally open and vulnerable in front of their guests and family members. That wedding remains my ideal. If each couple could be that open with each other, each wedding would be incredibly memorable.

Holding back on emotions during a wedding takes away the heart of a marriage ceremony. Waterproof mascara was invented for weddings. Use it. Be emotionally open and vulnerable during your ceremony. In the future, you will be glad you did.

By Dan Jenkins

Photo by The Brand Studio of Pittsburgh