David and I enjoyed the part of wedding planning where we brainstormed ways to strip the traditions that didn’t matter and kept or amped up the ones that we thought pointed to something bigger than ‘American wedding standards’.

A few examples of things we tweaked:

-David and I made each others engagement rings to kind of go away from some of the pressure of the perfect (and often way expensive) ring. I loved the shape of a solitaire almost more than the specs of a diamond, so he made an aluminum ring with the shape of a diamond jb-welded onto it. the second-round ring was a CAD model of a diamond and it was cast into silver by our jeweler friend.

-I got a dress at a local consignment shop that was $200 and the seamstress there modified it to some sketches I drew for $200, so $400 total for the dress.

-Vows: After the pastor showed marriage as explained in Genesis, we had some pairs of friends stand up in the audience to read vows on a strip of paper. This linked the accountability with who was reading it and added a community touch (kind of like the charge given to the people in the congregation at a baptism). We liked the language of “will you strive” etc instead of making the vows sounds like “will you promise to be the perfect spouse” which is impossible. We wanted it to be implied we can’t do it on our own.

Below are the vows D and I wrote out:

Do you acknowledge the importance of maintaining honest and open lines of communication? Will you strive to uphold the pursuit of communication with your spouse even though this can hurt your pride and make you feel vulnerable?

Do you acknowledge that fulfilling a lifelong commitment to a healthy marriage requires a servant attitude? Will you strive to embrace this as a part of everyday life and prioritize the needs of your spouse before your own?

Do you acknowledge the weight and significance of this marital covenant with your spouse? Will you strive to maintain the vision of using this marriage to become healthier people together and positively affect the lives of others?

The Long Farewell

-Carolyn and David, married on March 30, 2012

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