Adding Your Own Vows

You have many options if you want the English component of your ketubah to be something more personal than a translation of the Hebrew. Often the English “translation” is not a translation at all. Instead, it is a summary of the more poetic parts of the ketubah that pertain to your obligations to each other. This may be a good opportunity to record your own vows to each other for posterity.

You might want to use the theme of the ketubah, that of your commitments to each other and the obligations of support that are an essential part of any marriage. The process of writing this English “translation” can be a very meaningful one for you both. You will take time out during this hectic period of wedding planning to focus or refocus on your relationship, what you give to each other, how you are different, and how you are alike.

Try asking each other a question such as, “What do you love about me?” or “What is unique about this relationship for you?” Write down some words that come to mind and use this list to begin writing about what you mean to each other. Work the words into sentences that reflect how you feel about each other and your hopes for your future together.

This will not only produce a personal unique “translation” for your ketubah but the process alone will be an indispensable exercise in appreciating each other, your relationship, and the journey that you are embarking on together. As your wedding date gets closer and the planning process gets more hectic, the time you take to reflect together will remind you of what it is all truly about.

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