Vows are essentially a promise – when you make a vow you are evermore bound to act in the way you have vowed to do so. History tells us that prior to the 13th century, vows were likely not to have been part of the marriage ceremony. But nowadays, your vows are one of the most important parts of your big day. With all the excitement and planning, party preparation and all that goes in to creating the perfect celebration, the vow is often left to the last minute. This guide will help you to create the perfect vow, to write and declare a promise on your wedding day that you will remember and will be happy to be bound to for ever.
Traditional and classic vows
Im sure you have heard this before:
“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today, in the presence of God and in front of these witnesses, to join together this man and this woman in Holy matrimony”
The priest then asks –
“Do you, _____, take _____, to be your lawfully wedded wife/husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, forsaking all others, till death do you part?”
Then you say “I do“.
There are a few more parts to this depending on religion and how conservative or liberal you are, but generally you know what I am talking about.
After this you often get the part that has you and your betrothed saying something along the lines of:
“With this ring, I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Amen.”
The thing is though that we are no longer living in the 15th century and you can pretty much do what you want when it comes to writing your vows. You may have a few expectations or traditions in your family or your belief system but if you are working with a celebrant like me, the whole ceremony is pretty flexible.
So, how do you start?
First step is to be clear on what you are doing and the style you want to use. Think about your loved one and the kind of relationship you have, and also consider the guests at your wedding and what it is you want to declare in front of all of your friends and family. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
Is this a first marriage, a second, a vow renewal?
- Do you want your vows to be a promise or commitment?
- Do you want your vows to be a declaration of your love?
- Do you want your vows to be an acknowledgment of your betrothed or to thank them?
- Do you want your vows to be a combination of the above?
- Do you want your vows to be funny and entertaining?
- Do you want to speak form the deepest part of your heart, or do you prefer to keep that private and be a little less deep in public?
- Do you want your vows to offer a sense of joining together to become one?
Writing your vows
The vows them self are fairly easy to write, what is hard is finding the right words to convey how you feel. So, over the next few posts I will outline a few methods to help get you started. I have also included a post with a list of words that might hep you with inspiration and some examples of vows that you can cheat from .