Your friends describe you as a romantic, fun-loving couple. Your Love Story is romantic and it’s romantic to write your own wedding vows. It’s part of the ceremony that can truly be your own expression of why you are marrying this most amazing person.
As a Celebrant, one of my first questions is “Are you going to write your own vows?” and undoubtedly, the answer is a resounding YES! …and then comes the blank stare, and the stiffening in the shoulders. I can just feel their tummy tightening. No words need to be spoken. Their body language tells it all…
“I haven’t got a clue how to start!” “What am I supposed to say?” “How did I get into this?”
Take a deep breath.
Find your Zen place.
These Top 5 Tips will definitely help as you
put words to what’s in your heart.
1. You can both say the same vows. If you decide to both say the same vows, they can be very romantic and you can keep it simple. You can also write them together and keep them private so that only you two know what’s going to be said at your ceremony. You can also choose to write separate Vows which may or may not be more appealing. The choice is yours. To avoid any confusion, you will want to discuss this before you start writing.
Some couples want their vows to stay a secret until the ceremony, and some do not. You might also want to keep your Vows a secret from each other until your Wedding day. There are no hard and fast rules. If this is the case, make sure you share them with me so that I have a copy – just in case. To avoid any confusion, you will want to discuss this with your partner, before you start writing.
2. “Must have” words and “Must NOT have” words. This seems simple enough but if you have never discussed this, it can be an eye opener. Perhaps your marriage partner thinks that the words “Love, honour and cherish” needs to be in the vows and perhaps you think that the words “We’re a Team” should be in the vows.
This is not the time to hold your tongue. If there is something that is absolutely out of the question, speak up. Listen carefully to your wedding partner’s wishes. This is not the time to share your private life with all your guests. Use words and sentiments that will make you both comfortable. Remember who’s listening – your boss, your co-workers and Grandma.
3. Length and number of lines. There really is no limits on this. You should aim to have your vows no longer than 1 – 1 ½ minutes. It will take you about this long to read ¾ of a Word document page. They can be shorter than this, of course. Try to focus on what’s important and what promise you want to make. Remember that you are making a statement and a promise to the person you love the most in this whole world. What does your partner mean to you and what promise would you like to make to them?
The Marriage Act of BC has some stipulations about what must be said during your Vows. I recommend that you check the regulations of the province you live in – or you can just ask me! I’ll make sure you’ve got all the information you need.
4. Your guests need to understand your vows and sentiments. As witnesses to your wedding, your guests will want to be engaged in the process of your ceremony. The biggest things that guests look forward to are your Vows and the Wedding Kiss. Because of this, it’s important to ensure you don’t use inside jokes, pet names or encrypted messages that people won’t understand. Keep it simple, heart-felt, and don’t forget to practice the Kiss!
5. Practice your Vows out loud! It’s really important to “hear” yourself saying the words out loud. I can’t emphasize this enough. Practicing out loud helps put bad nerves in their place and helps you get your timing down right. It also gives you the opportunity to figure out how you want to say your words and how you want your marriage partner to hear them. It will help you decide where to add an inflection in the tone of your voice and where you need another word or two.
As soon as you are finished writing, start practicing out loud. Don’t wait until the day before or the day of your Wedding. I often coach people to add some humour while practicing. Humour can lower your stress level dramatically. Line up your pets on the couch and make them listen to you, or, use a soup spoon as a pretend microphone. Give yourself a beat and pretend you are a Rapper. No matter what style you use, there is no substitute for practice, practice, practice.
Some people use their favourite poems in their Vows. Some use particularly meaningful song lyrics. There are no right or wrong ways to write Vows and there are certainly no hard and fast rules to follow. You will be brilliant if you follow these guidelines and follow your heart.
No matter what happens during the ceremony, at the end you will be married to your one true love. That’s the most important part of any ceremony.
You can do it.
I can help.
If you like, we can write your Vows together.
For a Complimentary Copy of – The “I’m not a Writer” guide to writing Wedding Vows, CLICK here.
– Chocked full of examples, templates, phrases and words! Only a click away…
Contact me for full Wedding Services including help writing your vows.