Over the last few years, I've been to a lot of weddings, and I've noticed a lot of detail in the always-touching ceremonies: The bride's veil. The couple's first kiss as man and wife. The look on the face of the father giving his daughter away. It's easy to get swept away in the loveliness of a wedding, but I never really considered how many subtle traditions may be outdated.
For example, the Episcopal Church had the traditional vow 'obey' taken out in 1922, but in many Christian ceremonies, it's still used. My friend Liz realized this, and made a decision in her own wedding:
"The promise to 'obey' my husband was not coming out of my mouth," Liz tells me. "My father is a preacher and he officiated the wedding, he kept joking that he was going to sneak it in there-I said, 'If you do, then we won't be getting married because I won't go through with the vows!'"
Indeed, it does seem a bit unfair that the wife is encouraged to "obey" the man. And that's another point of contention-the phrase "man and wife." Barbi Pecenco Kolski, a licensed marriage and family therapist in San Diego, provides premarital counseling for couples. She told us:
"Many people I know had the phrase 'man and wife' changed to 'husband and wife,' because they felt uncomfortable with the former. I can see how someone would consider those phrases sexist, but I think it's important that the couple talk about what's in their comfort zone.
Kolski also points out that "couples have more say these days over that kind of language being present in their vows."
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