03 Sep 2015
September 3, 2015

Options for Wedding Ceremony Vows – Part 3

In our part 1 vows blog post we discussed why, no matter what format is being used to do vows, the couple should be the ones writing the vows for their wedding ceremony.  In that same post, we covered the basics of the three main ways the couple can do vows; repeat after me (which we don’t recommend); questions asked by the officiant; and the couple writing and reading vows to each other.   Then, in our part 2 blog post, we went into more depth on the questions option for vows.   Which leaves us with the third option, the couple writing their own vows which they then read to each other during the wedding ceremony.

Since vows are a combination of here is why I love you and why I have chosen you, and here is what I promise you, writing vows to each other is the most personal and meaningful way to do vows.   And, because they are so personal and meaningful, when a couple reads their vows to each other, it is usually the most heartfelt part of the ceremony.

Helpful hints and tips – when writing vows, there is really no length requirement although we find that 150 to 225 words each usually is a great length.   Independent of the length, the couple can read the same vows to each other, or they can have certain pieces the same, or the vows that each reads can be completely different.  Think of it this way, why one chose the other, and what they want promise the other, can be different so why can’t the vows be different.  And, unless the couple are reading the same vows to each other, they shouldn’t be shared between the couple, or even with any of the family, before the wedding day.  The impact of the words are much more powerful when it is the first time they are being heard.

Similar to the rest of the ceremony, the vows should represent the relationship.  Most of the couples we work with are a good mixture of lovey and mushy, and light-hearted, and thus their vows tend to be a combination of words that make the other, and the guests, tear up but also smile.

Here is an example that I think is very representative of beautiful and well written vows. Oh, and it is 210 words, in case you were wondering.

Michelle, from the moment I first met you, I knew that you were special. Over the past 7 years you have proven to be my little firecracker. You are beautiful, charismatic, intelligent, driven, fun loving, and opinionated. You have so much personality packed into that little body. You captivate my attention, feed my goofiness and desire to have fun, you challenge me to step outside my comfort zone and be a better and stronger man, and last but not least you test my patience and frustrate me in a ways that no one ever has before. I know that we have something special sweetheart because I can never stay mad at you, I can never get enough of your touch, your attention or your love. I’ve fallen in love with you over and over and my love only grows stronger for you every day.  Before our family, friends, and [the angels of loved ones that I know are watching], I vow to you Michelle, that I shall always respect you, I shall always be honest and faithful to you, I shall always be patient with you while simultaneously testing yours, and I will always be your partner, your lover, your best friend, your goofball, and above all your devoted husband.

Beautiful and personal and, a combination of how he feels for her and what he vows (promises) to her.  So, do the vows always have to be a mixture of lovey and light-hearted?   Are there other ways to do vows?  Is there anything the couple should avoid when writing vows?  And, what are the officiant’s responsibilities when it comes to vows?  For answers to these questions and more, check out our vows conclusion blog post (part 4 in the series) – coming soon!

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