Curious as to when that magical moment happens and you actually become married? That would be when you respond to the question, “Will you have this person to be your spouse?” In other words, the I Do’s, sometimes called The Intent. According to most state laws, responding positively to this question fulfills the legal requirement to sign a marriage license.
As my ministry name suggests, my goal is to take you BEYOND “I DO” so that all the other parts of your ceremony reflect who you are as a couple. Because honestly, you could walk down the aisle, respond “I Do” to the question, kiss, and walk out. Everything else said and done is totally up to you!
For the most part, the question you answer does have to fulfill legal requirements, but some minor changes can be made to the question, so I offer a couple of different wordings for you to choose from.
Remember, your response is the first time your guests will hear your voices in the ceremony, so say “I Do” or “I Will” loud and proud!
Let’s also address that dreaded, “If anyone knows a reason why this couple cannot be married, speak now or forever hold your peace.” Personally, I never ask this question. Why? You’re asking the negative, and your guests are doing their best not to shift in their seat, cough, sneeze, or make any sound at all. Instead, I like to ask your guests, “Will you support and defend this marriage?” To which they can all respond “We Will!” Asking the positive and encouraging a response is much more comfortable for your guests and makes them feel like a significant part of your ceremony and marriage.
If you consider the I Do’s to be the legal contract of marriage, the Vows are the covenant above the contract. Vows are what you promise beyond “Yes, I want to marry you.” Vows come next in the ceremony.
Note: Some couples choose a Handfasting instead of traditional I Do’s. I will explain in detail what that entails in a future blog.
– Reverend Meghan Gurley