Few things are as important as the vows said during the wedding. Vows are at the center of all civil marriage ceremonies, and they are declared publicly. They are the solemn words spoken by the couple, to each other, expressing both intent and promise. They express how the couple intend to relate to each other, how they intend to navigate the path of life together, and what meaning they intend to give to their marriage. They are an oath to work hard at living out this intent, no matter how challenging that may be.