Don’t Underestimate the Power of Wedding Vows

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Vows

Wedding vows are very personalized way of pledging faith, commitment, life and soul to your significant other.

Vows are the cornerstones of the foundation of a committed partnership and taking vows is a practice that defines the context, expectations, and values of that relationship.

Vows provide both partners with a clear understanding of the intentions of each partner and each of their commitments to fulfill them. 

Every marriage has three components, me, you, and us.  Our vows have to do with what you are vowing to me, what I am vowing to you, and what we each are vowing to contribute to the relationship itself. While many couples chose to parts of the “off-the-rack” or generic vows offered by their respective religious traditions “till death do us part”, “to love, honor and obey”“ for better or worse, in richer or poorer, in sickness and health…” etc.) an increasing number of weddings now feature personalized vows that are unique to the couple’s individual and collective needs, contributions and vision for the marriage.

When a couple personalizes their vows, their deepest desires and intentions are illuminated, not only to each other, but to everyone present who serve as supportive witnesses to the couple. In declaring their vows, the couple takes an important step in strengthening their power and firming the spirit in which they are being offered.

Formulating joint vows can be an essential aspect of the deepening of a couple’s love. In this process it can become more evident where you both are in alignment on what you will commit to, and where there may be misalignment. All couples have places where they are not completely in sync with each other.Being misaligned is certainly not cause for alarm, but it’s a good idea to be aware of any areas where differences in points of view or even values may be present.

Not all differences need to be or even can be reconciled, and sometimes simply acknowledging them can bring couples a step closer to accepting and perhaps even appreciating them. 

Vows can also serve as a form of commitment renewal, as well as a defining context that a couple sets at the beginning of a committed partnership. Many couples (including us) have renewed their vows or added new ones long after their formal ceremony.

For example, we revisit our vows once or twice a year and share them verbally or in writing with each other. Doing so helps to support each of us to reaffirm our commitment. This can add new content relevant to the conditions that we are experiencing as our bodies and our relationship undergo changes as we age.

Linda Bloom, LCSW and Charlie Bloom, MSW have been trained as psychotherapists and relationship counselors and have worked with individuals, couples, groups, and organizations since 1975. They have lectured and taught at universities and learning institutes throughout the USA, including the Esalen Institute, the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, 1440 Multiversity, and many others.  They have taught seminars in many countries throughout the world. They have co-authored four books, 101 Things I Wish I Knew When I Got Married: Simple Lessons to Make Love Last, Secrets of Great Marriages: Real Truth From Real Couples About Lasting Love, Happily Ever After And 39 Other Myths About Love, and That Which Doesn't Kill Us: How One Couple Became Stronger at the Broken Places. They have been married since 1972 and are the parents of two adult children and three grandsons. Linda and Charlie live in Santa Cruz, California. Their website is