I always suggest to each couple booking with me that they take the time to find a quiet space to write down each promise they’d like to make to their partner and … to write from the heart. This part of every ceremony is so intimate and special. It’s like a moment in time, perfectly captured by two people who love each other.
Whether it’s in the presence of their celebrant and a minimum of two witnesses over the age of 18 or in front of a crowd of family and friends, it is a significant moment in their wedding ceremony.
The length of the vows is not overly important. They can be four lines in length or quite a bit longer if you like. One thing I would suggest, though, is that it’s probably a good idea to check that the number of lines that you and your partner write are roughly the same so the length is somewhat balanced.
♥ Secret vows
If you like, you can also choose to keep your vows “secret” from your partner until you actually make your promises to each other. I’ll ask you to provide them to me separately and am happy to leave them out of the draft ceremony I send to you so they’re like a special gift to one another on your wedding day.
♥ Using sample vows
Each couple booking with me goes home with a resource folder which includes a variety of sample vows. These are provided for inspiration to help get you started when writing your own. Of course, if you get stuck, you can choose one from those provided that means something to you and say these to your partner on your big day.
♥ Using humour
Although making lifelong promises to one another is a significant and, generally, somewhat sacred part of your ceremony, if humour plays a big part in your relationship, then I’d encourage you to include it in your vows as well. I can give you some ideas on this when we meet. Vows which contain humour can often lead to laugh-out-loud moments during the ceremony which relieve the tension and emotion which has built up to that point. The important thing is to be “real”. If you’re a fun-loving couple, then humour will suit your personalities and sit well with you in most situations.
♥ Making your promises
There are a few ways that you can say your vows to each other.
Traditionally, each couple repeat their vows, line by line, after the celebrant. When doing it this way, I direct the microphone to either the groom or the bride, quietly say each line to them so that only they can hear them, and they then repeat each line into the microphone so that everyone can hear the promises they are making to each other with only a slight delay between each line. It also means they can look at their partner, hold each other’s hands and have a really strong connection without worrying about how close to hold the microphone or whether they’ll have a steady hand to hold it.
Another other way is to use vow cards which I can prepare for you. You can either hold the vow card in one hand and the microphone in the other or hold the vow card in one hand and your partner’s hand in the other while I direct the microphone to you in turn.
Or, if your vows are the same, you could choose to say them together.
Each way works; it’s just up to you as to which you’d like to choose and whether you feel confident holding a microphone and looking up at your partner frequently so that you connect with each other.
Family and friends often comment on this part of a ceremony after it’s over and it’s easy to see why. They’re there on the day to witness an important occasion and to support you as you pledge your love to your partner.
♥ One other thing
Just as an aside, it’s not actually essential that you include personal vows in your wedding ceremony for it to be legal. In Australia, you must say something (with only very slight variations) along the lines of:
“I call upon the people here present to witness that I, (first name, middle name/s if applicable, surname) take thee, (first name, middle name/s if applicable, surname) to be my lawful wedded husband/wife.”
Most couples will, traditionally, say their personal vows to each other after this but, whether you choose to or not, is entirely up to you.
If your vows are personal and unique to your individual relationship, it will be obvious to all those present at your wedding and, most importantly, it will mean so much to the person you’re marrying. I’m happy to provide you with further information on this when we meet.
028 – 29/04/2016