Wedding vows articulate how you and your future spouse truly feel about each other and solidify the life-long promises that you both make. Wiring the perfect, heartfelt vows can be overwhelming, especially if you are unsure where to begin. Olivia Morffew speaks with marriage celebrant, Elaine McNamara of A Certain Celebration, to find out how to write that perfect promise.
Image Credit: Josephine Lee Photography
While the first kiss may cement your martial status, it’s the spoken vows that establish the foundation of your future relationship. These vows may change as you and your spouse-to-be grow together, but they are still commitments and declarations that come from the heart. Here, Melbourne Wedding & Bride explores what you should consider when it comes to writing and personalising your wedding vows.
Light Your Creative Spark
So, where should you start? Staring at a blank page when beginning to write your vows can be quite daunting. Searching online for wedding vow prompts is one way to remedy writer’s block, with many websites and online articles providing prompts to suit many different personal tastes. Alternatively, consulting family and friends is another option to consider if you’re struggling with the task at hand. “Sometimes, it’s hard to start [writing] and couples like to take inspiration from family and friends as to where to find samples or sentiments,” McNamara explains. Looking inward, and drawing on from those memories and moments you’ve shared with your beloved is another way to obtain inspiration for your wedding vows.
When it comes to the art of writing vows, some couples like to collaborate, while others prefer to keep their sentiments a secret. Those choosing to work together to write their vows can ensure that the tone – whether it’d be light hearted or more serious – is consistent, especially if you’re writing your vows around a theme. Or, if you prefer, keep your wedding vows a secret to see your partner’s face light up in response and to make your wedding day even more memorable. “Anecdotes, humour, serious messages – all can be included
but none should be forced,” McNamara says. “It comes down to what you want to say and promise to each other for your life as a couple.”
McNamara suggests that it’s beneficial to start thinking about wedding vows as soon as a date is confirmed. “If your date is two years away, that’s a lot of time to think about them, but if its less than six months away, make a start now so you have time to revisit and refine them without being stressed.” You can even enlist your celebrant to help! Asking your officiant for tips on writing your wedding vows can help elevate stress before the big event as they should be able to point you in the right direction. “I give my couples a leaflet with sample vows in it, so they can take inspiration from this and go from there,” McNamara says. No matter what you write, your partner is sure to appreciate the time and effort you have put into them.
It’s A Kind Of Magic
There will always be legal, and often religious, requirements to fulfil when it comes to verbalising your promises and vows to your spouse-to-be, but that shouldn’t deter you from adding your own personal touch to your vows! As long as the requirements are adhered to, it’s perfectly fine to tailor your vows in whatever way you like. If you and your partner have a special connection to a film franchise, for example, then you can add pop culture references in your vows to show how special that film is to you and your partner. “One couple I looked after had a few Harry Potter references during the ceremony and a golden snitch as their ring box,” McNamara highlights. There are no rules attached when it comes to personalising your vows; listen to your heart and keep it personal if that’s more your style.
Saying ‘I Do’
The exchanging of vows is the perfect time to briefly say how you truly feel about your partner and what you love about them, before verbalising your life-long commitments and promises. If you have an anecdote or joke that comes from the heart, then pop it in! Including personal anecdotes will have an emotional or humorous impact on both your partner and guests. If guests know the couple quite well, they will enjoy hearing the story and might have a laugh or two, while the loving smile on your partner’s face will be absolutely worth it. Including short anecdotes is also another way to remember the fun and loving moments from your relationship, while also inserting a bit of your personality into your vows. If you and your partner have children, incorporate them into your vows for a truly personal touch. “We can’t see what the future holds, but for this moment in time, make promises and commitments to each other for your life together from this point,” McNamara suggests.
Vows have no rules and verbalising these promises on your special day is one of the many steps you will take on your life-long journey together. These promises will change over time, just as you and your partner will grow, too. While marriage deepens the emotional bond between you and your partner, your vows reinforce that no matter the challenges and obstacles that lie ahead, you will both be there for each other through the good times and the bad.