Love, honour and OBEY?????

Someone in another thread just referred to Prince Andrew & Sophie Rhys-Jones’ “lovely” wedding. I’m frankly horrified at that wedding, mostly because Ms. Rhys-Jones, a successful, bright, (apparently) independent woman actually consented to use the word “obey” in her wedding vows to HRH Andrew, Earl of Wessex.

What I’m more surprised about is that this hasn’t elicited more comment. Does everyone figure she just did it to appease the Queen or something? I just don’t think it sets a good precedent.

Do any normal people use the word “obey” in marriage ceremonies?

What was more bizarre was her explanation along the lines of Obey doesn’t mean obey, it just means I trust him Well, she runs a PR firm, so she probably does double speak on automatic pilot.

I was pleased to see the Queen continue her tradition of winning The Most Godawful Outfit award. Guess since this was an untraditional wedding she didn’t have to follow the don’t color clash with the mother of the bride rule. Lavender vs. orange (ok, they probably called it Apricot, on my screen it lookeed orange), that’ll look nice next to each other in the photos.

That’s interesting, because I seem to remember that Diana had it removed from her vows. I think there was a bit of a stink about it at the time. Maybe Sophie just didn’t read through the vows carefully enough before the wedding. I know that during my wedding I was in such a daze that I would have vowed to turn into a turnip on the full moon if they had asked me to. I bet that’s how they slipped it past Sophie.

That’s the way that it is on this bitch of an earth."
– Pozzo, Waiting For Godot

That’s a nice thought, Greg, but Ms. Rhys-Jones was interviewed prior to the wedding and defended the whole “obey” thing in the manner described by Felinecare. “Yeah, PR bullshit” was what I thought then, but thinking on it further, one doesn’t normally fool one’s self with PR bullshit, so either Ms. Rhys-Jones was morally ok with the “obey” bit, or she’s willing to compromise her morals for the sake of acceptance (although I’d have thought it would be less acceptable to say “obey” than not…)

Greg, did your wife say “obey”? Would you have wanted her to? Would you have said it? Everyone’s all swizzly when they say their vows, but I only had a week between getting engaged and getting married when I went through that, and I made damn sure the word “obey” wasn’t in the vows.

It just bugs me, that’s all. Marriage vows are important - they’re not like election promises or things you say to your mother to get her off a certain topic. If you’re not going to mean them with all your heart, why say them? I’m assuming no woman raised in the West would go into a marriage REALLY thinking she would “obey” her husband in all matters…

No, I’m pretty sure she didn’t promise to obey me. I don’t think it’s part of modern wedding vows in the U.S., especially at courthouse weddings. I think the vows for both of us were exactly the same, except for the names and husband/wife things. I have to admit we didn’t read the vows beforehand though. I wonder if we have a copy of them?

Oh, and as to how I would have felt if obeying had been part of the vows. I would have been furious and refused to allow them to be said, even assuming she would have said them. I don’t cotton to this midieval nonsense.

Byron and I just went along with whatever the JP said… we ended up vowing to love, honour, and MAINTAIN each other… like vehicles or major appliances. I giggled throughout the entire ceremony.

This is really sad. I just got married a few weeks, and I can’t remember anything that was said during the ceremony, except for the part where the judge starting ranting about the bad traffic jams that occurred every day in front of the building. But I’m pretty sure that the word “obey” was not in there. I’ve seen that Bill Cosby special too many times, the one where he says the word “obey” sounds like pig latin. If the judge had said that, I probably would have burst out laughing. (I was having a pretty hard time suppressing my giggles as it was)


Eris asks:

Do any normal people use the word “obey” in marriage ceremonies?[\quote]
Given that so many couples seem, by the evdence, to interpret the phrase “so long as we both shall live” as meaning “so long as we both shall feel like it”, it would not surprise me to find that their definition of “obey” has nothing to do with Webster’s.

“Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away.”

I thought that the Queen had a whole “Phyllis Diller” thing going with her outfit. All she needed was the cigarette holder.

Gotta love the Queen Mum, though…any 99 year old who still wears two-inch heels and beetles up all those stairs is one tough old bird!

“A friend will help you move house. A best friend will help you move a body.”–Alexi Sayle

At the weddings I have been to the man is always asked the same question. “Do you take (Barb) to be your lawfully wedded wife, to love, honour and obey.”

So if the man says it too what is the big deal.

Well, the phrase ain’t used in Jewish weddings (at least not the traditional kind)…

Chaim Mattis Keller

“Sherlock Holmes once said that once you have eliminated the
impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be
the answer. I, however, do not like to eliminate the impossible.
The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it that the merely improbable lacks.”
– Douglas Adams’s Dirk Gently, Holistic Detective

The phrase is no longer commonly found in the service books of at least some protestant religions. When we get married my wife asked whether she could promise to love honor and obey, and the minister looked through several of his books and could not find one (I suppose if we had pushed it he could have scared one up from a library). On the other hand, maybe she briefed him ahead of time :slight_smile:

I didn’t like the idea of repeating the vows after the minister, figuring that if we were going to swear them we should at least remember them. Well, I got MY part right. My wife had memorized them, and recited correctly in rehearsal, but at the ceremony she froze and started to cry until prompted. One of my brothers-in-law commented (sotto voce) “hey, c’mon, he’s not THAT bad.”

I was married by a judge, a “courthouse wedding,” as it was called earlier, in Arkansas. They take that stuff quite seriously there. God figured prominently in our 2 minute ceremony…but the word “obey” was nowhere to be found. If I had had to say it, we couldn’t have continued the ceremony. We would have been laughing too hard.