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The run down on vows… what you need and where to start!

One of the ‘must have’ (as in legal bits) that must be included in your ceremony is the exchange of the minimum legal wedding vows. I will write these into your ceremony script and you will repeat after me...super easy.

Many couples also choose to share personal vows. While is completely optional, I must say that personal vows are a super special ceremony moment that you and your partner will not regret including – even if the thought of speaking in front of your guests makes you nervous. Read on for some tips on where to start and other ideas for making your vows memorable.

Where do you start:

Your personal vows are your chance to share your love with each other. Sure, you are getting married and your partner knows you love them, but this is your chance to tell them why. Here are my tips for writing memorable vows your partner will love.

Before you start

  • Think about your audience (tip - it’s your partner, not your guests). While you want to add in personality, and even a bit of humour, you should hold on stories or comments that might embarrass your partner (totally not the time to mention ex’s or that time they broke your heart!)

  • Get out your pen/paper/the back of a napkin/your laptop/tablet or even start in the notes section on your phone... whatever works!! Just start!

  • Don’t over think it – write whatever comes into your head

  • Aim for 200 words or 3 – 4 paragraphs is fine

What to include and questions to assist

  • Opening – let them know you are speaking directly to them

o Write like you are writing a letter to this person you are about to marry.

o What do you call your partner? It may just be their name, or you might want to call them by the pet name you call them privately. It’s completely appropriate to start with ‘Babe’ or ‘My love’.

  • Set the scene

o Remind them of the journey you have been on to get here today.

o How did you meet?

o How did you know they were the one?

  • You are

o What do you love about them?

o Think about the little things that mean the most to you – what do they do to show you their love?

  • We are

o Who are you together?

o How do you feel when you are together?

  • Your promises

o What do you promise? Add in 3-5 promises for your life together.

o These can be a combination of serious and fun.

  • Sum it up

o What are you looking forward to in the future?

o You may like to sum up with a quote or short poem that sums up your relationship and your hopes for the future.

Next steps:

I recommend my couples send their vows through to me separately. I can check them and make sure they are aligned (ie: around the same length) and I will also print them out and bring them along on your big day – one less thing for you to think about.

I am also here to support you if you need someone to read them and assist with wordsmithing to make them express exactly what you have in mind.

I also recommend you do a practice run a few days out. Reading them out loud – either to yourself or to a close friend or family member really does assist to calm your nerves.

On the day I will remind you to look at your partner when you deliver your personal vows. You can absolutely read them but take a deep breath and go slower than you think you need to.

Remember that I have got you. I will be there to support you every step of the way. It’s totally fine to get emotional, simply stop for a moment and then continue when you can. If for some reason you can’t read on, I can even step in and assist.

Alternatives to personal vows:

If the thought of sharing your vows in front of a crowd makes you break out in a cold sweat, know this is completely normal. Most people rank fear of public speaking as their number one fear, in fact the National Institute of Mental Health reports that 75% of adults say they fear public speaking over death. So ah, just know you are not alone.

If reading my tips above has done nothing to alleviate your fears, know there are alternatives including things like:

  • Share your personal vows/promises with your partner privately – either pre or post ceremony

  • You can choose to whisper your vows as part of your ceremony – this makes for a cute moment and the smile on your partners face while you are whispering in their ear makes for great photos

  • Hold your personal vows until your private photo time together and take a moment to say how you really feel out of the eyes of your guests

Whatever you decide to do, I will be there to support you. I will probably be looking on with a proud mama kinda smile on my face (like in the image of Amber & Jimmy above... their personal vows were so beautiful!)


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