Just like Princess Diana before her, Kate Middleton is ditching the time-honored protocol and opting out of vowing "to love, cherish, and obey" Prince William. When Diana scrapped the vow in 1981, it was a huge controversy. These days ... not so much. Whether or not we notice it every day, a lot has changed since the era in which Dolly Parton felt so liberated by "workin' 9 to 5." I mean, come on, 30 years later -- how many women actually say they'll "obey" their husbands? Oh, whoops. There are still church leaders who are defending the vow as applicable to modern life.
The Right Reverend Peter Nott, quoted in The Daily Mail, said:
It is a mistaken assumption that when a bride says she will obey it means she is going to be subservient. It is to do with trust, and with listening, and to recognize that in a family you have different functions.
I'm not buyin' it, though. I'm all for Kate saying instead that she will "love, comfort, honor, and keep" her royal hubby.
But that's not to say I'm a fan of all personalized wedding vows. Look, whatever you want to do at your wedding is your business, and everyone reserves the right to say what's in their heart and making their wedding about them, and not necessarily about the court of law or a higher power.
However, most completely DIY wedding vows end up coming out sounding like crap. I'm sorry, but the average person is not a poet. And shouldn't try to be. As someone who strings words together for a living, I'll admit I have an obscenely critical perspective on this. But it's kind of like nails on a chalkboard when you hear someone vowing to "always clean up after her dog" or "greet him with a warm smile and a nutritious meal on the table at the end of his day." Blech!! Taking it to that kind of specific, detailed extreme is just asking for your guests to gag in their seats. And I really feel like it cheapens the vibe of the wedding.
Suuuuuuuure, there's something to be said for keeping with tradition. (Cue Tevye and the fiddler.) Marriage is a tradition in itself after all, no? But I'm all for doing like Kate and Wills and slightly tweaking, updating, modernizing traditional vows. Because there's really no good excuse for saying "man and wife" or "obey" these days. It's 2011. Sticking with that tradition sounds almost as antiquated and awkward as you promising to scratch his back or bake him his favorite cookies every second Tuesday of the month.
Did you write or "modernize" your wedding vows? Have you ever heard personalized wedding vows that were absolutely horrendous?
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