It has become more commonplace in a modern wedding to include some sort of personalisation in the marriage service. Ways of doing this can involve friends and family reading poems or bible verses, or playing music and songs that have special meaning to the couple. Another option is to write your own wedding vows.
If you are having a church wedding, you are legally required to say the traditional vows as part of the official marriage ceremony, but most churches will allow you to add your own personal declarations of love.
Traditional Wedding Vows
‘I, (name), take you, (name)
to be my wife/husband,
to have and to hold
from this day forward;
for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish,
till death us do part,
according to God’s holy law.
In the presence of God I make this vow.’
Personalised Wedding Vows
If you are having a wedding ceremony performed by a registrar you can get a little more creative with what you can say to each other.
Start thinking about your vows early on in your wedding planning, you don’t want to be hurriedly scribbling something down on the eve of your wedding and being nervous the next day when it comes to reading them out.
Practice reading them out loud, even if it is just in front of the mirror or to your pet dog! The more you read them the more comfortable it will sound on the day.
Here are some guidelines on what to write:
- Don’t make them too long! Ten to fifteen lines is a good length, even though you don’t have to memorise them, you want to still be able to recite them without having to look at your hands the whole time.
- You probably won’t read the vows to your partner before the ceremony, but you could arrange to either start or end the vows with a mutual phrase – for example, I promise, or I can’t wait to spend my life with you.
- Will your vows be serious or humorous? Or maybe a bit of both? You can include promises to always honour and cherish each other, as well as picking up your dirty socks up off the floor!
- You could include promises to work on certain aspects of your relationship by recognising your strengths and weaknesses.
- Compliment your partner – what made you fall in love with them?
- What does marriage mean to you? How will it change you or what will stay the same?
- How will you support each other during challenging times and what can you see you accomplishing together?
- Add a bit of fun by sealing your vows with a ‘pinky swear’, high-five, secret signal or handshake!
- If you have children from a previous marriage, why not make them feel special and get them involved too? There are a tonne of ideas in this fab article from Offbeat Bride on ‘Blended Family Wedding Vows’ or take a look at this tear-jerking video where a groom says vows to his 3-year-old stepdaughter (skip to 4:20!)
These are just some suggestions – you and your partner ultimately will be the only people who will know exactly what to write and no doubt will have your guests either weeping or giggling along with you!
If you have written your own vows and would like to share them or if you have your own wedding that you would like to feature on our blog, please get in touch!
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