"Kim and Bill Wedding" by Stephen Graham / CC BY 2.0

Until death or zombies do us part: The new wedding vows

Jul 23, 2019

By Vicky Allan

Ten years ago, when Elizabeth and Bengtis Ericsson got married they shunned the traditional vows and made up their own. As well as penning some together they each created a “secret” vow that neither told each other before the ceremony. The result, hilarious and touching in an unplanned way, was that Bengtis chose the line, “I promise never to be as angry as a pancake.” Elizabeth, not knowing her husband’s choice, plumped for, “I promise never, ever to make you as angry as a pancake.”

Bengtis laughs now as they remember those lines. “The pancake dates back to a time I had a huge argument with my ex wife and I came back and said to Elizabeth, because I don’t really swear and if I wanted to swear I would do it in Swedish, ‘I’m angry as a pancake.’.”

There was a time when, if you were getting married what you promised was the same as most other people promised – the regular vows, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, and so on. But, over the past 14 years, since humanist weddings became legal, more and more of us have been saying something different. It might be, as it was for a couple of my friends promising to be “best mates (with benefits)”. It could be as one bride promised, a vow “to give more warning when I am suffering from PMT.” Or even, as one couple vowed, to stick together “until death or zombies do us part.”

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