Friday, July 22, 2005



''Til Death Do Us Part' Is Dying Out

In some weddings, "'til death do us part" is going the way of "to honor and obey" — that is, out the window.

Vows like "For as long as we continue to love each other," "For as long as our love shall last" and "Until our time together is over" are increasingly replacing the traditional to-the-grave vow — a switch that some call realistic and others call a recipe for failure.

"We're hearing that a lot — 'as long as our love shall last.' I personally think it's quite a statement on today's times — people know the odds of divorce," said New Jersey wedding expert Sharon Naylor, author of "Your Special Wedding Vows," who adds that the rephrasing is also part of a more general trend toward personalizing vows.

Naylor said killing the "death vow" doesn't mean that people don't take their marriage promises seriously. Quite the contrary.

"People understand that anything can happen in life, and you don't make a promise you can't keep. When people get divorced, they mourn the fact that they said ''til death do us part' — you didn't keep your word in church (if they had a church wedding). Some people are in therapy because they promised ‘til death do us part' — it is the sticking point in the healing of a broken marriage. The wording can give you a stigma of personal failure."

This is why Naylor prefers vows like, "For as long as our marriage shall serve the greatest good."

"You will promise to be loyal as long as love shall last — you don't want to promise 'when you treat me like crap.'"

Indeed, actor Brad Pitt caused a stir recently when he said he doesn't consider his marriage to actress Jennifer Aniston a "failure."

"I see mine as a total success ... that's five more [years] than I made it with anyone else," he told W magazine.

[snip] ...other couples are taking their wedding vows less seriously than ever. At one recent wedding, officiated by Reverend Run of Run-DMC fame, the marrying couple swapped "for richer or poorer" for "for richer or richer."

And when it came time to exchange rings, Reverend Run said, "where's the bling?"


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