Wedding vows of obedience: a disused custom

Within the marriage ceremony, a very traditional part is the moment when the bride and groom pronounce their vows. It is one of the few moments in which the members of the couple speak and not who officiates the wedding. For this reason, special attention is paid to the choice of words. So much so, that many boyfriends and girlfriends spend hours or even days to find the perfect formula. These words should reflect your feelings for each other. But in recent times the most traditional phrases have begun to be questioned. Obedience wedding vows no longer have the acceptance that they did until a few years ago, in part thanks to cultural change.

Marriage vows are a tradition dating back to 1549, in England. The Anglican Church established that the contracting parties should express their will and commitment before human laws and before God . From that moment on, the custom has spread to other religious cults. It is even very common to see couples express their vows at civil weddings. However, in 1922, the same Anglican church eliminated the word “obey” from the wedding vows of obedience. Despite this, the custom has long been maintained in other religious rites and in vows written by the bride and groom themselves.

What are wedding vows of obedience?

The tradition of the wedding vows has spread enormously, to the point of becoming a fundamental element of the ceremony. There are pre-established formulas, although many grooms prefer to write their vows themselves . The more traditional formula for women says the following:

“I, (name), take you as a husband, on this day and for all the days to come, for better or for worse, in wealth and in poverty, in health and in illness, to love you, value you and < strong> obey you , until death do us part, according to God’s sacred law. ”

Wedding vows are words spoken by the bride and groom, expressing their love and respect. Obedience wedding vows are those that, from tradition, include the word “obey” in the bride’s words . While she had to promise love, appreciation and obedience, men only included love and the city in her vows. It is no news that societies have perpetrated a patriarchal culture over the years, where women were forced to obey their husbands.

Votes obedience wedding

Changes in the tradition of marriage vows

Fortunately, not all traditions are destined to last forever. Societies change and evolve as time passes, and this leads us to reflect on our behaviors. With the growing empowerment of women, many behaviors that were naturalized have been modified , but that were only justified since the imposition. One of them is the pronouncement of the wedding vows of obedience by women.

Possibly the most famous case where this tradition was broken was at the royal wedding of Lady Diana with Prince Carlos . She, in a gesture that traveled the world, avoided saying the word “obey” when pronouncing her vows . Surely there have been other significant previous examples, but none were as influential. Her attitude against the wedding vows of obedience received criticism from the more conservative sectors, but she emboldened entire generations of women to reject this imposition. Without a doubt, he was an example for many.

More recently, the royal wedding between Meghan Markle and Prince Harry continued Diana’s legacy. She decided not to pronounce the word obedience within her vows of her. Meghan is known for having broken several molds within the royal family, being divorced and being a mixed-race woman. In this way, she was not expected to have a submissive attitude towards the wedding vows of obedience. And she certainly didn’t.

Wedding vows

Ideas for making wedding vows

Since trends change and wedding vows of obedience seem not to be as accepteds like a few years ago, we propose some alternatives more in keeping with the times . These are some of the most used formulas, which do not include the word obedience:

  • “I, (name), accept you as a husband and promise to love you in prosperity and adversity, in health and in sickness, for the rest of the days of my life.”
  • “I give myself to you with all my soul and my heart, with all my love, in what I am and what I will be, and I promise to be faithful to you for the rest of my life.”
  • “I love you with my heart, and in front of our families and loved ones, I promise to love you and be your soulmate until the end of my days on Earth.”
  • “With this ring I want to show you that I am yours in body and soul, and that I will accompany you always and at all times, today and forever.”
  • “I love you just the way you are, and I will love you at all times, together or apart, in the sun or in the rain, in the light and in the shadows, for the rest of my life.”
  • “I wish that our souls unite eternally, and be companions in this incomparable adventure that is life, no matter what destiny has in store for us.”
  • Another widely used option is to pronounce phrases of poetry or famous songs that are to the taste of the couple.

Creativity when writing wedding vows has no limits. The most important thing is to pronounce some honest and heartfelt words that show love towards the couple at the time of the wedding. Of course, there is no single formula, and the existing ones change over time. Thus, the wedding vows of obedience ceased to be the norm to become the exception, given the cultural change that has been imposed in recent years.


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