I have written before about how the words can really make a ceremony... that is the part people are giving their undivided attention to and creates the atmosphere people will remember... and to quote the amazing woman that was Maya Angelou ...’People May forget what you actually said .. but they will never forget how you made them feel’...
And of all the parts of the ceremony that potentially create the most apprehension for those involved it has to be the Vows that top the list...
One of the pluses of a traditional registrar or church led ceremony is that the vows are a done deal – they are very specific and generic, and you know you will both say the same thing. ...but in this day and age where couples are wanting to bring in personal touches and individuality it also means that the vows are very much up for discussion.
I will be honest and say the most tension is from the fellas. You see there is that expectation that you will write your own vows... this means putting your feelings out there, declaring your thoughts to the world. It’s one thing to say ‘luv ya’ or in my hubby’s case ‘proper’ to the one you love in private... but to say it and to expand on it and explain it in front of your closest friends and family …. Let’s just say it’s sometimes a blessing I am also a trained therapist as the look of terror strikes.
So, here’s some things to bear in mind that can help put the wow in vow and remove some of that dread.
It’s totally fine to do the following:
1. You don’t have to write your own – you can still use the traditional wording or tweak it slightly if that suits you both – so no pressure.
2. You can both say the same – so if one of you wants to write and the other simply wants to repeat (which is actually what happens in the traditional format) that is totally fine!
3. Your Celebrant will be more than happy to read vows for you either in full on your behalf or in the way of questions to which you answer I do – this helps if public speaking feels you with knee trembling terror.
4. Ask your Celebrant to take your initial thoughts and put something down on paper- after all we are there to ensure the words of your ceremony are exactly what you would like – outsourcing is just fine 😊
And if you are going to write your own ...
Do Consider These Points.
1. Firstly, simply do some free writing of what you like and love about the other person.
2. Make a note of the reason you have both decided to make the commitment to marry and your hopes for your future.
3. Keep it simple and include some of the day to day stuff that really sums up your relationship.
4. It doesn’t have to be all feelings – you can say what you are thankful for and what makes you smile about them. – I thanked my husband for putting up with my ever-changing hair and he thanked me for putting up with OCD way of packing the shopping.
5. Take a look at poems or quotes and see if these helps sum up what you want to say.
6. There are so many different helpful sites available simply by googling Wedding Vows – take your time and explore what is out there.
7. Less is more – honestly it pays to be honest... if you are someone of few words then do that because your partner will know this and loves you already.
Your vows are not a competition with each other – you don’t have to prove anything to each other.
Many couples do not share their vows with each other so there is an element of surprise, but others will write them as a joint effort.
Just because your partner or you can’t write the equivalent of Wuthering Heights is not a reflection of them or your relationship.
If I can add one thing – perhaps avoid reading whole chunks of songs in the form of poetry – they don’t often translate well, and your gusts might get distracted trying to decide if it is a song and if so which one.
However, you express your love for each other do it your way and yes, your vows are important, but they are also just a moment in the rest of your whole lives together – so enjoy the process as much as possible.