It may come as a surprise that Virginia provides no set template on what needs to be said during your marriage. As a civil wedding officiant approved by the Loudoun County Courts, all I need to hear is verbal confirmation from both of you stating that you wish to enter into a legal marriage with one another. This could be as simple as me asking the couple “do you both want to be married to one another?” If both individuals say “yes”, then you are legally married!
However, most couples chose to take the opportunity before family and friends to express to one another your love, dreams, and promises to your partner.
One of the first questions I ask at Shiloh Manor Farm is do you want to use a traditional vow or write your own? Even if you write your own vow, you still may want to incorporate elements of traditional vows into your own formulation. For example, the traditional wedding vow typically contains language like “…for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health…” The exact words are not as important as the sentiment: that you covenant to stick by your partner through good times and bad. It is important to communicate to your spouse to be your intent to get through the difficult days together.
Another important element of a wedding vow you may consider is the circumstances that brought you to this place. For example, for those who have been previously wed, you might say, “I ask you to share the second chapter of your life with me.” If you have been through bumpy spots, acknowledging that to each other in your promise could be meaningful and important.
Speaking of promises.. a vow is defined as a solemn promise. You are looking your spouse to be in the eye and making an intimate promise before a crowd of witnesses. What are the most important expectations in your relationship? Do you want to specifically pledge honesty, respect, loyalty, and love in your vow? You can vow to not only stick by their side forever, but to also commit to make one another laugh even when you do not feel like laughing.
In a wedding vow you might also chose to acknowledge the support you will need from others. You have gathered your friends and family to celebrate your wedding, but its important to some couples to acknowledge the role of family and friends who will help provide support when times get tough.
At Shiloh Manor Farm – Loudoun County’s premiere wedding venue – we will work with you to find the perfect articulation for your wedding vow that sums up the love and commitment you have for one another while reflecting your unique personalities and histories that brought you together. Please contact us for a tour of our venue and discuss how we can help you create memories for a lifetime.