With any wedding, one of the most important parts of the ceremony are your vows. What exactly are wedding vows and what are they supposed to mean? When it comes to the actual vow writing (yes, they are vows – not vowels), this is where the fun starts.
It’s important to mention that this is usually the one and only time you are talking to each other in a civil ceremony and that your vows should be about everyday life and relevant to you both, not something from Google. Personalised, meaningful to each other and something you can renew on an everyday basis.
Let me explain with a story
I met a couple who were really not bothered at all about their vows, but I asked them to just think of one line, just one line! I ran into her in my local supermarket about four months after the wedding and she told me in a very excited fashion “I get it. I really get it!” Her one line to her loved one was that she would always love him, even though he drove her mad playing with his Xbox when she tried to talk to him.
Cut to a few months after the wedding, she was trying to talk to him about kids going to camp and he was
on the sofa playing his Xbox. Frustrated and angry, she stormed over to have a huge argument about it, but as she was doing that, she passed her wedding photo. She stopped, gathered herself, walked over to the sofa and kissed him on the head and then walked away. “What was that for?” he said, “I’m just renewing my wedding vow” was the reply, to which he apologised profusely, put the game down, they had the conversation and a crisis was averted! Now that is powerful!
So have I convinced you to write personal vows? Your celebrant can guide and help write your vows but they don’t feel the same way about your partner as you do!
Here are a few tips to help you
Be authentic and write from the heart. If you aren’t usually flowery and romantic, then don’t write your vows that way, or do so, but maybe throw in some humorous, light-hearted references if that’s your persona. It’s not being irreverent, it’s every day promises you can keep!
Start with a comment about what your significant other means to you, what it is you love about them. Then perhaps 2-3 promises that you want to do in real life, not just on the day, and end with something romantic if you like. Keep it to two paragraphs or so. Oh, and ugly crying is allowed but try and avoid comments that might cause upset!
It’s a good idea to keep your vows secret and surprise each other at the wedding ceremony. I would suggest you discuss the basics of what you plan to say beforehand, like the style – funny, serious, and how long they should be. Keep it simple. Busy, long winded sentences don’t work well in vows and make sure to talk in a way you would actually use in conversation.
Don’t stress about remembering them. A good celebrant will give you a palm card or allow you to read from their book, unless of course you want to remember it all. If you do that, it doesn’t hurt to have a cheat sheet too!
Be careful if you use lyrics from songs, words from movies, poems you find on Google etc as copyright law is a thing, and remember that it is possible a video may surface on Facebook, so if you do use someone else’s work, credit them!
Being honest is a wonderful trait but remember your Grandma or little people may be there, so try and keep it clean! Certain topics may be off-limits as well.
Ultimately, these vows are your personal promises to each other and should reflect you two as a couple, not what someone else has said and posted on the internet! Have fun with them, make them personal and meaningful, and remember the power behind the promises you make to each other!