Wedding Memories: Honor and Obey

The oldest traditional wedding vows can be traced back to the middle ages to the ‘Book of Common Prayer,’ published in 1549. Upon agreement to marry, the Church of England usually offered couples a choice of the vows they recited. They could both promise each other to ‘love and cherish’ or alternatively, the groom could promise to ‘love, cherish and worship’ while the bride had to ‘love, cherish and obey’.

Wedding Memories - love honor and obey vows tudor wedding - a National Vintage Wedding Fair blog


As women’s roles continued to be repressed and their lives more controlled by their husbands, the vow of ‘obey’ became more common in wedding ceremonies and pretty much the norm.  However, by the 1920’s, with votes for women and the equalising of women’s rights, the Episcopal Church voted to removed the word “obey” from the bride’s section of wedding vows.  Upon the publishing of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer which replaced the previous 1898 book, the vows of bride and groom became identical, though separate and individually taken.

Wedding Memories - love honor and obey vows advert - a National Vintage Wedding Fair blog


Today, “love, honor and cherish” have largely replaced the historical vow for the wife to honor and obey with many couples writing their own, more personal wedding vows.  So, would you vow to obey your husband or do you think it is an outdated concept?


Do you have any favourite wedding memories you’d like to share?  Let us know and we’ll feature it in an upcoming blog.

Are you going to be a vintage bride soon? Come visit one of our upcoming vintage wedding fairs in Stoke Newington, London on 12th October or Chiswick, London on 9th November and find everything you need for your big day. For more details check the website –

Written by Sarah Gorlov

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