In Honor of Galentine’s Day: Wedding Vows for Friends

By Abi Wurdeman
February 13, 2019

A number of years ago (I’m too lazy to look up how many), our foremother Leslie Barbara Knope established the holiday of Galentine’s Day. This sacred celebration (which happens to land on my birthday, not that I’m fishing) centers around lady friendships . . . those affirming, infinitely supportive, occasionally complicated relationships that inspire and sustain us every day.

In honor of this special day and the girlfriends who inspire us to be kinder, wiser, and more emotionally forthright, please enjoy this excerpt from Cross-Section of a Human Heart: A Memoir of Early Adulthood.

Wedding Vows (For Friends)

I have been tremendously lucky in friendship. Every close, married friend I have was a kind bride with reasonable expectations and a strong desire to see everyone enjoy her wedding.

I know it does not always work this way, and sometimes a wedding can be a loaded occasion for both bride and besties. So, I have laid down some vows—just a suggested template—to help you get through your first few wedding seasons.

The Friend’s Vows

Dearest Beautiful Bride,

As I walk with you hand-in-hand toward your day of sacred matrimony, I vow to support you and not be a dick.

I will hold you under no obligation to make me a bridesmaid. I understand that there are many factors that go into selecting a bridal party, and you may have to make some difficult choices or bow to family obligation.

If I am a bridesmaid, I will not complain about your other bridesmaids. These are people you love. Even if I get insecure or feel I don’t belong, I will do my best to love them, too.

If at any time you flip out on me due to stress, I will forgive you and will look for a way to make this process easier on you. I may talk shit about you, but I promise to talk shit only to someone you neither know nor care about, and I will follow whatever I say with the words, “But I know she’s under a lot of stress right now.”

If I can afford it, I will buy you one meaningful gift and one practical gift, like that set of mason jars you want for some reason. I will probably give you the meaningful gift at the shower, because that’s the one I want everybody to see.


If I cannot afford a gift, I will write you a card that makes you cry.

Whatever gift I give, I promise to give it as a true gift, without conditions or expectations. I will not look for the thank you card in the mail. I will not look for the gift in your home. Even if I learn that you returned the gift for cash, I will take joy in the fact that you used my gift to its greatest purpose. Especially since you don’t do any canning, and I really don’t understand why those mason jars were on your registry in the first place.

I will not make your wedding about my own heartache or loneliness. Or at least if I do, I will do so privately. My fear of dying alone is not your problem and will in no way overshadow your well-deserved joy.

I will remember that a wedding is about love and commitment. And though this particular wedding is not about me, I will make all related decisions in the spirit of love and commitment.

I will remember at all times:

It is an honor to be your friend through this milestone.

It is a blessing to see you take this next step in partnership.

It is a sacred responsibility to stand by you in love and friendship, now and always.


The Bride’s Vows

Dearest Beautiful Friend,

As I walk with you hand-in-hand toward my day of sacred matrimony, I vow to appreciate your participation and not be a dick.

298686_538124443191_987770919_n.jpgIf I cannot make you a bridesmaid, I will tell you so gently, acknowledging the meaningful role you have always played in my life. I will tell you honestly that it feels strange to not have you also play a role in my wedding.

If I do not make you a bridesmaid but I do have a bridal party of three or more, I will not try to put you to work unless you offer.

I will remember that I chose to throw this big, complicated party. I may cry or vent to you, but I will not blame you, yell at you, or give you attitude just because I thought I could make thirty centerpieces by hand. A month or so after the wedding, I will invite you out for dinner to say thank you for everything you did to keep me from freaking the hell out during this process.

I will not let some affluent MOH require you to invest $2,500 in a bachelorette weekend in Napa.

I will hold you responsible for giving me exactly zero gifts. You do not owe me a reward for getting married.

In the event that you do get me a gift, I will be sure to use it in your presence someday in the future. I will talk loudly about how much I love it and make sure everyone knows it’s from you.

If you are heartbroken or lonely, I will not use my own love story as the basis for advice. I agree that getting married does not make me a relationship guru.

I will remember that a wedding is about love and commitment. And though it is not you I am officially loving and committing to, I will recognize and acknowledge how fortunate I am to have your love in my life.

I will remember at all times:

It is an honor to be your friend through this milestone.

It is a blessing to have your support as I take this next step in partnership.

It is a sacred responsibility to stand by you in love and friendship, now and always.


Happy Galentine’s to you and your lady loves!


An introverted Midwesterner with big feelings and a shameful people-pleasing streak, Abi Wurdeman hoped her twenties would transform her into one of those fierce, take-charge broads quotCross-Section of a Human Heart is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

About the Author


Abi Wurdeman is an author, screenwriter, and sidewalk poet.

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