These days, “non-traditional” families seem to be the norm. Many couples wish to combine their own wedding with a public declaration of their new blended family. A ceremony idea with fantastic impact is a vow exchange between the elders and the children. One family that I recently worked with exchanged the following vows:
The groom recited the following to the bride’s children:
(children), I want you to know that I dearly love your Mother. We have become very good friends, and we have learned to love each other. As you have so graciously shared this wonderful woman with me. so will I share the love I feel for her with you. Together, we will learn more about each other. I promise also to be fair and to be honest, to be available for you as I am for your mom, and to earn your love, respect and true friendship. I will not attempt to replace anyone, but to make a place in your hearts that is for me alone. I will be father and friend, and I will cherish my life with all of you. One this day, when I marry your Mom, I promise to love and support you as my own.”
The bride recited the same vow to the groom’s children.
In response, the Children were posed with their own set of vows, read by the Celebrant. (The groom’s children were asked on behalf of the bride, and the bride’s children were asked on behalf of the groom.)
(Children), do you promise to love your mother and her new husband?” I do.
(Children), do you promise to support their marriage and your new family?” I do.
(Children), Do you promise to accept the responsibility of being their children, and to encourage them, support them, and accept them?” I do.
This proved to be a very moving part of the ceremony and a clear statement of the blending of these two families.