As a wedding celebrant, I have had the privilege of presiding over proceedings as couples embark on their beautiful journey of marriage. It is unbelievably common though, for some couples to be absolutely petrified at the thought of writing and delivering vows on their special day. Personally, I think couple exchanges their vows in front of their loved ones is one of the most intimate and heartfelt moments during any wedding ceremony. Writing your wedding vows is a deeply personal and emotional process, and as a celebrant, I've seen the power that heartfelt vows can bring to a ceremony. In this blog post, I'll share insights and tips from a celebrant's perspective on how to craft meaningful and memorable wedding vows.
Look back on your journey: Before you put pen to paper, take some time to reflect on your journey and who you are as a couple. Consider the moments that brought you together, the challenges you've overcome, and the dreams you've built together. Your vows should be a reflection of your unique love story. Share anecdotes and memories that hold special significance for both of you.
Consider a structure:
You should never share your vows before that special moment, but it is worth agreeing on forming a structure so that you both have something to work to and this approach will also give your vows a bit of symmetry. You could settle on a word count (you don’t want one person writing a side of A4 and the other only 5 lines!) or a pattern like a five-line intro and then four or five promises.
Speak from the heart:
Authenticity is key when writing wedding vows. Speak from the heart and use your own voice. Don't worry about sounding poetic or overly stuffy or too mushy if that's not your style. Your vows should be a true representation of your feelings and the promises you want to make to each other. Consider sharing your hopes, dreams, and the reasons why you love your partner.
Keep it personal:
While there are traditional elements to wedding vows that you might be used to, you should personalise yours to make the moment truly special. Add personal touches, inside jokes, or references to shared experiences that are unique to your relationship. This will not only make your vows more memorable but will also create a connection with your guests as they get a glimpse into your love story.
Balance emotion and substance:
Allow your wedding vows to strike a balance between emotional expression and meaningful substance. Express your love, shared humour and commitment, but also include specific promises or commitments you want to make to each other. This could include promises to support each other through thick and thin, always share the last slice of pizza, or to continue growing together as a couple.
Practice, but remember emotions might take over:
Once you've written your vows, practice saying them out loud. This will help you become more comfortable with the words and ensure that they flow smoothly. However, don't aim for perfection. Embrace the natural emotions that come with speaking from the heart. Your sincerity and authenticity will shine through, making the moment even more special.
In short, there is no right or wrong when it comes to your vows providing you follow your heart. I always remind my couples that your vows should just be a conversation between the two of you, although you might have a few extra ears listening in! They can be funny, sincere, traditional, silly or even lyrics from a song if you are that way inclined.
Don’t be scared of them, as I mentioned before, in my experience your personalised vows really are a highlight of your ceremony and, written from the heart, can tears of joy and laughter.