‘Through thick and thin,’ ‘Love is blind,’ and ‘In sickness and in health,’ are just a few of the traditional non Jewish wedding vows you have probably heard. Now, some brides and grooms even opt to write their own personalized vows. And anyone who has seen the recent tearjerker movie, The Vow, can agree, vows are a very beautiful, charming and important section of the wedding ceremony.
Staying true to rabbinic law, there are not traditional Jewish wedding vows. Traditionally, the husband “acquires” his wife by giving her something of value (usually a ring) and stating the halakhic (legal) formula that formalizes the marriage.
Jewish wedding vows are customarily sealed when the groom places a ring on the bride’s finger and says:”Behold, you are consecrated to me with this ring according to the laws of Moses and Israel.”
But, as this case with many wedding ceremony traditions: times they are a changing! Many modern couples prefer to have a more egalitarian ceremony. Many couples address their discomfort with traditional Jewish wedding vows by holding a “double-ring ceremony,” in which the woman also gives the man a ring and speaks a traditional Jewish wedding vow or other biblical phrase during the chuppah ceremony.
Whatever you choose on your big day, one thing that won’t need any words to explain is the love between the two of you, which will be radiating throughout the ceremony and reception.
You can read more about Jewish wedding vows and other Jewish wedding traditions here.