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The Knot Guide to Wedding Vows and Traditions: Readings, Rituals, Music, Dances, and Toasts Paperback – Unabridged, December 26, 2000

49 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

When planning for the big day, it's very easy to get caught up in beaded white dresses, boutonnieres, and how many platters of mini crab cakes to order, but the most important part of the wedding is the most-often overlooked--the ceremony itself. A wedding ceremony can vary hugely depending on the religious (or not) beliefs of the couple, their cultural backgrounds, and their personal preferences. The Knot Guide to Wedding Vows and Traditions can help you sort through all the choices and come up with just the right vows and music for you and your intended.

Do you want the traditional "I, so and so, take thee, so and so, to be my lawfully wedding husband/wife before God" or do you want a looser style: "I love you. And I look forward to being your friend and companion, your wife/husband and lover for life"? Carley Roney, author and editor-in-chief of The Knot (, strongly suggests taking a stab at writing your own vows, but if that's just too much, cull what you like from the many different styles--from Buddhist to Quaker--offered. Readings can be from the Bible or other spiritual writings, from poetry or even song lyrics. A diverse selection of writings and excerpts are included as are a lengthy lists of songs and music for before the ceremony, the processional, the recessional, and the first dance (everything from Bach's "Brandenberg Concerto No. 4" to Martina McBride's "I Love You").

Also included here are chapters on the wedding program, ring exchanges, and speeches and toasts. Interspersed are stories and pictures of real couples and how they arranged their wedding day. Meant as a jolt to your imagination, The Knot Guide to Wedding Vows and Traditions helps you to put a very personal touch on an age-old ceremony. --Dana Van Nest

From Publishers Weekly

Without letting a lot of fluff get in the way of the facts, wedding expert Carley Roney makes available "readings, rituals, music, dances, speeches and toasts" in The Knot Guide to Wedding Vows and Traditions. Third in her wedding guide series, and culled from her online experience as founder of, this guide is a resource for classy concepts ranging from the conventional to the hip, and drawing on a broad array of cultural traditions. Photos.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Potter Style; 1 edition (December 26, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767902483
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767902489
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,072,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Carley Roney is at the helm of the world's favorite wedding brand as editor in chief of and its sister sites, (for newlyweds) and (for first-time parents). She appears regularly on national television shows, including Oprah, Today and The View. She is the author of several popular wedding and home decor books from The Knot and The Nest and will be releasing a highly anticipated baby book, "The Baby Bump". "The Baby Bump" will feature expert and real mom advice on everything future moms really want to know.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

98 of 100 people found the following review helpful By A. Maxham on February 22, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My fiance and I wanted to write our own vows, pick somewhat original music, have some good toasts, get some good quotes, etc. We stood in the bookstore one day PLOWING through book after book on toasts, another stack of books on vows, another stack of books on quotes, yet another stack of books on music recommendations...
And then I ordered this book- Thank goodness, because it is covers the gamut. I had bought several love poetry books in search of the right words, but this is really the best collection for weddings specifically (many of those love books had "lost love" themes like that "Lost Lenore" poem by E.A. Poe- a little depressing for a wedding.) The quotes are fantastic, the toasts are short and sweet and the vows range from religious, to romantic, to personal. And if you don't like anything that's in the book, they tell you how to write your own toasts, construct your own vows, and find your own quotes.
The book has the feel of a workbook that accompanies a text book in college, with places for notes throughout, and a price that wouldn't make you uncomfortable to scrawl in the book or fold some corners to mark pages.
I highly recommend STARTING with this book. If it doesn't completely fill your needs, you may want to get another one, but at least you won't screw up and spend all kinds of money on all kinds of books first. This books will fill many of your needs off the bat.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Brenda VINE VOICE on December 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
Are you planning a big wedding but don't know what to do or what to expect? Are you aware that there are different vows for different religions or that there is more to a reception than toasting and dancing? Well let me...excuse me... let Carley Roney from tell you about the vows, the rings, the readings, giving thanks, unifying rituals, the symbolic rituals, the programming notes with quotes, the music, the dancing, the speeches, and the toasts. It's all in this larger size paperback.
Weddings are a wonderful experience and getting them right is soooo important, because a couple can't go back and do it again. Even if they retake their vows, it will not be the same as the first. Carley Roney tells everyone how to get it right the first time. She also lets us in on the different religions and what is traditional in their weddings. It's beautifully written with a few pictures. I don't think it's a women only book. It's very practical for those who perform or put together weddings as well.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Reviewer Dr. Beth #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
Although much of the information contained in this book is available through other sources--The Knot's own web site, for example--it is likely to be useful for someone in the beginning stages of planning their wedding and reception. In particular, there are plenty of examples of vows from various religious backgrounds as well as nice descriptions of various ethnic traditions (eg, the Afrocentric "Jumping the Broom"). There are a lot of ideas for those who wish to take a more non-traditional approach as well, as the book makes suggestions for incorporating songs, poetry, and the like into your celebration. The music section breaks the songs down into categories (eg, "first dance," "parents dances") and then further subdivides the categories based on type of music; the section on speeches and toasts is similarly divided based on who is doing the toast. One note of caution: there is less content in the book than its large size would suggest, as a significant number of pages are taken up by examples (eg, page after page of song titles) as well as a resource and bibliography list, both of which I viewed as unnecessary. However, if what you are looking for is plenty of examples so that you can make preliminary decisions about your wedding day, this book would work well.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
I was hoping since "The Knot" had it's name tied to this book it would be exceptional. I found it to be marginal - reiterating a lot of the same information found in every other book about weddings. There were a few ideas for toasts that were really nice - and some of the vows were interesting, but overall - not what I was expecting at all considering the good review some of the other readers gave it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By jessica j on March 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
I'm not the kind of person who has planned her wedding since she was six years old. My family is not religious, we do not have our own traditions, and I really had no idea what I wanted to do for my ceremony.

I liked this book because it provided a lot of options. It showed vows for a handful of different religious, from the traditional Protestant vows, to ethical humanists, to Buddhists. I especially liked that it had a wide selection of readings that were not from the Bible, including some really beautiful Native American prayers, and some of Shakespeare's sonnets. Selections for music were good as well, although not quite as helpful to me since they are so many good lists available for free online.

There were some places I wish the book was a little more descriptive, though. For example, the description of how the Unity candle is used within the ceremony could not have been more vague. I would have liked more information on how things like this are actually staged. Still, a very useful starting point.
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