Over the past month I’ve been asked by several brides and grooms for help writing their wedding vows. Which of course, got me thinking about how important they are and how difficult it can be to pin down and express how you feel. So today I want to talk about those all-important promises you make on your wedding day.
When you’re planning a wedding you have a million and one choices to make, things to arrange and people to contact. But the thing that’s most important and what the entire day revolves around, are the promises you’ll make whilst looking into the eyes of the person you love most in the world, witnessed by your families and friends.
I appreciate that some couples want to exchange traditional vows and if that’s what’s meaningful to you, that’s fine; my mantra is your wedding, your way. But as a provider of bespoke ceremonies, I’m a huge fan of writing your own vows.
This year I have about half and half, 50% of couples want traditional vows and 50% want to write their own and also keep them secret until the wedding ceremony, which is lovely but it can be tricky.
Fourteen weeks before the ceremony, I send my couples a questionnaire; one each of course as I believe in equal opportunities!! Some of the questions are designed to get you thinking about why you’re marrying your fiancée/fiancé, when did you realise they were ‘the one’ and what it is about them that you absolutely love. The answers to these questions can be used to kick start the process of writing your vows.
When I’m doing something for the first time, I like to see an example to give me an idea of what it looks like. So I have examples of vows and a ‘how to … ‘guide on the private client area of my website. Sorry folks, only those with the super-secret password can access it! [i.e. my clients]. These tips and hints are designed to make it easier for you to write your vows.
I suggest that your vows should be profound but not too personal. Saying them out loud on the day, is always so much more emotional than you think. The heartfelt and very personal things you want to say are kept for the ‘what I love about you’ part of the ceremony. This is kept from you both until your wedding day but as it’s me saying it, you can be as profound as you want. And it’s not just the bride and groom who get emotional.
Can vows be funny? Oh yes. After saying a whole host of super nice things it’s nice to finish with something funny. “I promise to love you today and every day to come. I promise to be support and encourage you in everything you do. And I promise to never drop my underwear on the bedroom floor!”
Get ready to ‘speak’ to your partner because that’s what you’re doing. Your vows are all the things you promise to do for them throughout your life together. So although it’s lovely to say “You’re funny, smart, beautiful inside and out and I love you”, what exactly are you promising? “And I’ll love you until my dying day” now that’s a promise!
And finally, don’t worry. Don’t worry about being emotional. Don’t worry about being word perfect. You’re the expert on how you feel and why you want to marry the person stood in front of you. You’ll be fantastic – your day will be fantastic and the look on your partner’s face when you say your vows will create a forever memory and will melt your hearts.
At the end of the day though, it doesn’t matter if your vows are traditional or personal, as long as they are meaningful to you.