My Guide to Writing your own Wedding Vows
Why should you consider writing your own vows?
Personally I feel the whole point of getting married is about pledging yourselves to each other and making promises for your future lives ahead. The vows are the whole point of the ceremony. It’s often the only part of the ceremony where you get to speak to each other, so when you do, it makes total sense that you speak direct from the heart with your own words.
Now there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the traditional vows; but they are a little dated and often worded in a way that isn’t the way we would speak.
Here’s an example of what you would say during a traditional Church of England wedding
I, (name) take you, (name), to be my lawfully wedded (husband/wife),
to have and to hold, from this day forward,
for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
until death do us part.
And in a Civil Ceremony you may have heard something along the lines of;
I call upon these persons here present,
to witness that I (name) do take thee (name)
to be my lawful wedded wife/husband,
to be loving, faithful and loyal to thee
in living our married life together.
So where to start if you are writing your own vows?
First have a chat. Do you want to keep your vows secret from each other? This means they will be unique and since you are both individual you will have your own way to express yourself.
Even if they are secret you might like to choose the same style – either as a list of 4/5 promises written in sentences like the traditional vows above, or maybe you would prefer to write a few paragraphs?
That said, there is nothing wrong with you both using a different style – there is no right or wrong way to write your vows.
Before you start writing, brainstorm a few words which sum up what you consider important to promise to your other half – perhaps; love, faithfulness, respect, support. It’s really important to use words that you understand and that you would use in your everyday language – keep it real!
Depending on your character you might also like to add a little humour. “I promise that I will clear the room of spiders before you go to bed”, “I promise to not watch our favourite box set without you”
If you’ve got this far, you might have already conjured up a few sentences, if not do some research, check out google and pinterest for wedding vows. You will see there is so much variety and perhaps you will find some inspiration. Try to avoid completely copying what you see, use these as a guide and be yourself!
If you’ve decided you want the traditional vows to feature in your ceremony, here’s my suggestion to modernise the wording:
(name) today as you become my (husband/wife)
I promise to love you with all my heart
Through the good times and the bad
Whether we are rich or poor
Sick or healthy
I shall remain by your side
From today until the end of time
And here’s some inspiration for something more unique;
(name) today I pledge to be your faithful partner
Together we shall overcome life’s ups and downs
I shall listen to you when you need an ear
Offer advice when you need support
I will always seek and respect your opinion
and ask no more of you than you can give
These are my promises to you for the rest of our lives together
And some inspiration if you are looking to write in paragraph style:
(Name) through the 6 years I have known you I can honestly say I have loved every single minute and not one bit would I change – well perhaps you could learn to put your shoes away!
Even when we have gone through some testing times, I know that these only make us a stronger team together. You are my best friend, my partner in crime and I look forward to making so many happy memories together.
I promise to always be supportive to you and offer my honest opinion but respect yours if it is not the same. I promise to always talk to you and let you know what is on my mind and not to go to bed on a cross word. Life is too short for that.
I want to have kids with you, grow old with you and I shall always be proud to call you my (husband/wife).
I hope this has helped and you can feel a little more confident about writing something. As your Celebrant I am always happy to help you with these, let me know what you have written so far and I can give you some tips to make sure it flows nicely on the day.
I would stress that you should not feel pressured to write your own. If this is completely out of your comfort zone leave the writing to me! After getting to know you, I will have a good idea as to the tone and wording to suggest to you and I will offer you lots of options to chose the words that are just perfect for you.
Photo Credits: Angela G Photography
Social Media: @kellyhcelebrant