Authentic, realistic wedding vows recognizing the shadow self

Guest post by Morgan
We heart Valentine's Day weddings
Photo from Moon River Rituals with Zita

My partner and I are getting married this coming October, and I thought I would share a copy of my vows as we lead up to the day.

Our intention with our ceremony is to be authentic and realistic to what a marriage between two flawed humans will look like for us, while also being romantic and intentional in the promises we make to one another.

To that end, we are combining actual vows with acknowledging and owning our shadows and ways we will show up not so pleasantly in our marriage, as well.

The result, I think, is an authentic honouring of who we both are in all our light and our dark.

Without further ado, my vows are as follows:

I own that I am going to project my anger onto you instead of sharing my feelings or asking for what I need.
I own that some days I am going to be hard to be around.
I own that I am going to be defensive and guarded instead of letting you see my vulnerability.
I own that I am going to hurt your feelings.
I own that some days I will want to run away.

I vow to see you as a whole person, with your own path, and to encourage you to follow your heart and passions.
I vow to prioritize my mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being in our partnership.
I vow to take responsibility for my mind, emotions, projections, and experiences so you are free to be yourself in our partnership.
I vow to communicate honestly, authentically, and kindly with you.
I vow to show you my vulnerability when I'm afraid or angry, or at least to try.
I vow to cultivate other relationships and support, both within myself and within our community, so that burden isn't placed solely with you.
I vow to play with you, celebrate with you, and laugh with you. To work hard to make this life less serious.
I vow to see you fully when you're struggling or defensive, and to hold you in love.
I vow to encourage you, praise you, appreciate you, and inspire you.
I vow to love and accept all of you.

I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labour has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you.

I enter this marriage with clear seeing of you in your entirety, your light and your dark, and vow to hold steadfast for as long as our love shall last.

We know how hard it can be to write your own vows, so we LOVE it when y'all share your vow examples with us. If you'd like to submit YOUR wedding vows for us to share with your fellow Offbeat Brides, click here!

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Comments on Authentic, realistic wedding vows recognizing the shadow self

    • Thank you! I included a sneaky John Green quote in there for added nerdery. Hopefully my partner appreciates it, haha.

  1. This is beautiful! I am also a queer creative arts therapist from Canada, living in Connecticut, and my partner and I are planning two ceremonies, one for the night before to honor this shadow, the “reasons not to get married” that we both hold from being children of divorced parents, and to welcome with openness the risk it takes to love and be vulnerable. We are going to ask our small number of close friends to write their own reasons on little pieces of paper before we burn them all together in celebration of letting go of our fears together. This is to represent our desire for the day of the wedding to be free from these reservations in order to take responsibility for saying yes to each other in a formalized and fully consensual way, in face of the unknown. Thank you for giving us some words to guide us in our planning process.

    • I am just seeing this now, but I love this so much! What a beautiful, sacred, and intimate moment! Would love to hear how it goes/went.

      Also the world needs more queer art therapists, yes!! What are the odds?!

  2. Hi there!!
    This is beautiful!! I’m getting married in october, can I steal this? It just fits my fiancee and I so well!!

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