This is really what it’s all about right? The promises you are making to each other in front of your family and friends.
You can write your own vows, and I encourage you to take pen to paper to make them truly personal. Just be aware that you must both say the legal words: “I [name] take you [partner’s name], to be my legal [wife/husband/partner]”, to each other. You can incorporate these words in to your personal vows or repeat them after me, but you must say them.
Where do you start? A quick internet search will give you a ton of advice but I’ve gathered together a few of my own top tips below.
- Don’t leave it until the last minute and, even if you are a confident speaker, I strongly recommend using a cue card. I usually ask for your final vows at least a week before the ceremony and will print vow cards for you.
- Before you start writing, talk to each other. What are the values you share that matter most? For example: honesty, respect, integrity, kindness, compassion, family and hard work. Figuring out your shared values will help you write your promises.
- What tone do you want your vows to take? Most couples prefer to write vows that are similar in tone and length, although if you have very different characters there is no harm in letting that shine through.
- Do some research on the internet, find vows you both love, what is it that you like, are there any structures that stand out to you that you could use as a template for your own vows?
- Well done, you are well on the way to writing your vows. Now it’s time to get creative. Take a seat, think about your partner and write down a few words that describe them and how you feel about them.
- Dig a bit deeper; What is is that you love most about them? How do they make you feel? What are your plans for the future? What does marriage mean to you and what are the qualities you are bringing to your marriage?
- If you have children it is lovely to recognise them in your vows, your marriage includes them.
- Last, but definitely not least write from the heart and don’t forget to tell your partner that you love them.
“It doesn’t work for everyone, but some of my favourite vows to date were written by Tom and Keith. One set of vows were short and heartfelt, the others were much longer and filled with humour and love. Both were meaningful and fully reflected their relationship, love and commitment to each other.”