Thursday, June 21, 2018

Our Wedding, Part Six || The Vows

As promised, here are John's and my vows. We each wrote our own, drawing portions from various ideas/examples, and then shared them with each other the week of our wedding. It was very special having our own personalized commitments that were such a big party of our wedding.
"I, John, take you, my girl Chelsy Renee, to be my wife, on this most exciting day. I am so grateful for all that the Lord has done in our lives. God has been good and as Proverbs says, He has given me a good thing - you. Your price, Chelsy Renee, is far above rubies. I have found a virtuous woman, my heart can safely trust in you. I have always admired your heart for others and how you serve.

I promise to love you unconditionally and love you as myself. I will guide you and be your leader according to the Word of God, sanctify and cleanse you with the washing of water by the Word, support you in life's tough moments, laugh with you in life's happy moments, have you by my side as we make memories together, and work as a team to serve the Lord.

I will always be your safe place, your closest friend, and most importantly, your man. I take it as my responsibility to provide for you, and protect you. I vow to be faithful to you until death do us part. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! 

I love you, sweet cheeks."
Chelsy's Vows
"Today it is with JOY that I take you, John Steven Maxwell, to be my husband. From the moment I met you, I admired a certain something about you that I couldn't then pinpoint. Later, as I got to know you, I discovered just what that "something" was. It was so many things, really-your love for people, your passion for truth, your ability to solve nearly any and every problem, and your incredible heart for Jesus.

Throughout our relationship, you have displayed to me a beautiful picture of the unconditional love of Christ. You loved me before I fully trusted you, and you won my heart by sacrificially choosing love even before I responded. This is the picture of Christ's love for his bride, and this picture gave me so much joy and peace throughout the past year. Thank-you for waiting patiently while I learned to trust. You have won my heart completely and today I give all of myself, without any reserve, in complete confidence that you are the man with which God would have me to spend the rest of my life.

Before Jesus and all of our friends + family gathered here, I commit to being your helpmeet, your lover, your best friend, your closest confidant. As the need arises, I am also happy to be your partner in crime. =) I will go where you go, serve where you serve, and, by God's grace, I will work alongside you to change our world for Jesus Christ. If God chooses to bless us with children, I will join with you, as a team, to raise them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. By God's grace, I commit to living out Joshua 24:15 with you in our home. I promise to give of myself wholeheartedly, as a woman of God, to follow your vision as a man of God. With His help, I will be there for you in times of sickness and health, of lean and plenty, and of sorrow and joy. I will go with you every step of the way as you seek to lead and guide our home for the glory of God. I promise to honor, respect, trust, love, and submit to you. My heart's desire is that, as a team, working together, we will always look to Jesus to guide us, and that we would run with reckless abandon after all the dreams that He has placed on our hearts. I can't wait to adventure through life together with you.

It is my unspeakable honor today to join with you in marriage before God, and all these witnesses. I am the most blessed woman on earth to be your girl, and to become your wife.

John Steven Maxwell, I love you."

Would love to hear your thoughts-do you prefer traditional vows, or individualized vows? 
Which did you do for your wedding?


  1. I love these, chels! Y'all did a fabulous job writing them! I always enjoy hearing couples exchange personalized vows, but for our wedding we went with ye olde traditions and repeated the standard old vows...I love knowing how "tried and true" they are, and how many marriages they've created before ours. They were perfect for us! I always wondered if I would be nervous saying my vows in front of everyone...But thankfully I wasn't. It was the most special moment of our wedding for me!

  2. I definitely prefer personalized vows. =) I think that's super special that they're thought out and tell part of the story of each couple. I love y'all's vows and you both did a wonderful job! So sweet. And seeing as I haven't been at the altar yet, I'm not 100% sure what our vows will be like. ;P But I'm leaning towards individual ones...haha! : )

  3. Adorable picture, that first one there. 😍

    It's funny: As siblings we discussed the traditional or personalized vows a couple days ago. The majority leans traditional—saying it's almost sacrilegious to write your own—but I wouldn't mind making the promises personal, weaving the traditional wording with Scripture. 😊

  4. Soooo beautiful, Chelsy! I love how your vows sparkle with personality and emotion.

    I particularly love this, "You loved me before I fully trusted you, and you won my heart by sacrificially choosing love even before I responded. This is the picture of Christ's love for his bride, and this picture gave me so much joy and peace throughout the past year," because you're describing how John acted so Christlike. This is a powerful example to other young men of how to do it right.

    And the "partner in crime" line is hilarious!

    When someday comes, I think it would be fun to do personalized vows. You can add so much more! I think I'd just have to practice them a lot so I'd be comfortable saying them on the big day. :)

    Loving this wedding series, by the way! You are such a gorgeous and joyful bride!

  5. Very nice and I must say both of you to what I know about are are very Godly and not just church folk if you understand my meaning? I just heard about John that day and was was very impressed with him and happy for you Chelz. I am glad I got a little chat with John when I left to go back home that evening. Just wish it could have been longer.

  6. I have enjoyed reading your wedding posts and watching your wedding online. What a God honoring relationship and wedding you and John have. Your wedding vows were beautiful! I love personal vows over the traditional vows. When my husband and I got married 10 years ago, our Pastor had us write personal vows as part of our marriage counseling. We didn't have to use them, but decided to use them since they held a lot more meaning. Thanks for sharing! Your blog is so fun to read and encouraging.

    ~Sarah R.

  7. Thanks for sharing your beautiful wedding with us! I'm enjoying each of your posts and remembering our own wedding and 'young love' 17+ years ago. I prefer traditional vows, primarily because I have heard too many 'cringe-worthy' personal vows that bordered on sacrilege (as someone said above) by being too trivial, frivolous, or incomplete. You each did a better job with yours than the majority I have heard. I like the succinct and complete aspect of the vows that have joined countless throughout history, though they are not 'holy' in and of themselves. Blessings in your married life together!

  8. I see value in both traditional vows and personalized vows. We did a combo of both. Pretty much traditional vows written in our own words. We wrote them together and the only difference were switching the words "husband" and "wife" as appropriate.

  9. Those are beautiful! I love how John wove scripture into his, some of the unique but genuine and beautiful lines in yours and how personal they both sound.

    Writing my vows was something that I knew that I definitely wanted to do but it was also one of the most stressful things on my to-do list leading up to the wedding! Words have always been so important to me and I knew it was going to be a laborious process to find just the right ones.

    We ended up going with a mixture of traditional and personalized. Our beginnings and endings were the same, more traditional vows and we had a section in the middle that was personalized. I really liked how that way they sounded similar to each other but still had a personal touch to them. One thing that helped me was perusing other's vows to help figure out what exactly I wanted to say (mostly here:

    Also, something that I had thought of years ago and that we did was to not see the personalized part of each other's vows before the wedding. That way the first time we heard them was when we were saying them to each other at the altar. I am so glad that we did this because it added an intensity to the moment of hearing him say his vows to me that I will never forget. I was literally hanging onto every word!

    Something else that I had thought of doing years ago was to have our dads preside over our vows. So his dad presided over him saying them to me and my dad presided over me saying them to Paul. It's not the norm but for us it just felt right to have our dads do that and added a special layer onto such a special and important moment.

    Thankfully throughout the whole ceremony I felt super present and my heart was full of peace and joy. I wasn't nervous at all (very uncharacteristic of me and definitely of the Lord)! But kinda like Lana said above, there was something extra special about vowing our hearts and lives to each other. I felt such unspeakable joy in those moments and couldn't stop smiling as I looked into his eyes and said those words.

  10. So, honestly, you guys' vows are some of the most beautiful I've ever heard (read?) My husband and I wrote our own, but I had no idea what I was doing and no one to guide us, and I always felt like they could have been "better." Oh well, God's grace is sufficient! Blessings to you both.

  11. Thanks for sharing these, Chelsy! I'm getting married in October and we're writing our own vows too. :) It's so sweet to see the couple's personality come out in their vows as they commit their lives to each other before the Lord!

    1. That's so awesome that you are writing your own vows also!


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