Updated: Jun 10, 2020
I encourage ALL my couples to write their own, personal wedding vows, to follow the legally binding words outlined in The Marriage Act, as it’s usually the best part of the ceremony. For many of us, this is what getting married is all about: promises and declarations of love.
However, the first rule is: they can also be fun!
I ask my couples to email them to me separately, so that I can print them out, ready to read as a surprise to each other, on the big day.
I have devised a simple 4-step process to make writing your vows as simple as possible, whilst also bringing a happy tear to they eye, (probably mine included) and a few giggle moments!
You might need: paper / pens / highlighter / computer / champagne / Google
1. COME TO AN AGREEMENT (Good practice for any marriage.)
Will your vows be humorous, poetic OR romantic? Are you going to surprise each other on the day? Will the wording be different OR will you make the same promises to each other, as you would with traditional vows?
2. START WRITING (Just Do It!)
With your first draft, just get some words down but don’t worry about it being perfect. Perhaps give yourself a 15 minute deadline, then leave it for a few days. Starting can sometimes be the hardest part.
Start by completing a few of the questions below. Choose the ones that seem easy.
Either do this together or separately, but get creative. Think about how you felt when you first met and what made you fall in love.
The first thing I noticed about you was..
I realised that I loved you.. (when? why?)
I knew I wanted to marry you when.. (explain)
Our partnership is all about.. (what are your shared values?)
I love you because.. (perhaps include the small quirky things)
Although you are not perfect.. (describe the most annoying / cute / funny things that drive me you nuts about your partner)
I most admire you because.. (detail)
You inspire me.. (in what way?)
We have been through some difficult times.. (explain)
Since we met.. (how your life has improved)
I want to spend the rest of my life.. (doing what with you)
I promise to.. (outline serious or playful promises)
You could begin your vows in any of the following ways:
On this day..
You have been my..
I remember when we first met.
I can't believe we're finally standing here...
You could continue or end your vows in any of the following ways:
With you by my side..
To me, marriage with you (insert name) means..
Thank you for..
3. PULL OUT THE BEST BITS (You've done the hardest part already!)
Take your trusty highlighter and pick out the most important sentences. The ones that move you in the right way, make you laugh or are the hardest ones to say out loud. (In a good way.)
Your vows could be one simple sentence or several. It's probably a good idea to edit them down, so that you can say them in under a minute or so. (I often help my couples with this part.)
4. EMAIL ME YOUR VOWS (Separately, to ensure awesome surprise moment!)
My couples then email me their vows and I print them and bring on the day.
But first, I always send them back with the legal vow (and with the tips below) for them to check and practise.
Tips for reading your wedding vows:
Read slower than you think.
Speak very closely into the microphone!
You are saying these important words TO your partner, so try to look into their eyes and really mean it.
If you have an issue reading size 12 font, please let me know.
Good luck! x
Kate Morgan is a Melbourne based wedding celebrant. For more info visit the website: https://www.katemorgan.net.au/