When it comes to planning your wedding, you are probably focusing on the big five: Venue, Photographer, Food, Flowers, and Attire. But have you actually sat down and thought about the most important part of the day, your wedding vows?
When you and your betrothed exchange your wedding vows, this moment encapsulates the reason why everyone is coming to celebrate the love the two of you share. Without these declarations of love, the venue, pictures, flowers, tuxedos, and dresses wouldn’t matter. These spoken words declare the intent and promise the two of you have towards one another. Just like your wedding rings are a physical symbol, these words are a verbal representation of your love.
Too often, couples rush through the ceremony to get to the dancing and drinks. And while that aspect of your wedding day is definitely one of the more entertaining and festive parts, the service should not be completely overlooked. If a wedding day is the beginning of the happily ever after, then spending some time and money planning the actual ceremony should be thoughtfully considered. When the DJ has played the last song, the final slice of cake has been served, and all the guests have gone home, it is the promises the two of you have made in front of friends and family that will propel you into the journey of marriage.
The history of wedding vows isn’t quite a linear path, but some think the earliest vows can be traced back to medieval times and the Book of Common Prayer. It is here where we find the phrase to “love and cherish” that couples have promised each other. As the culture of weddings changed over history, vows have also changed. Most religions, cultures, and denominations have their own form of wedding vows. Couples will often honor their beliefs in this way by opting to use their faith’s or heritage’s standard vows. However, this moment is about you and your groom crafting and creating your own unique wedding vows together. Remember to double-check with your officiant and venue to ensure there are no stipulations on what vows can or cannot be used. Some places of worship may require that their couples use a specific set of vows in the ceremony.
Should You Write Your Own?
There is no harm in opting to use prewritten standardized vows. In fact, the beauty of these already-created vows is that thousands and thousands of other couples have recited the same beautiful promises to each other throughout history. Speaking those same words to one another will honor the tradition of those bonded together in vows behind and before you. Yet, if you and your partner choose to write your own or do a mix of the two, then those vows become a unique piece of your love story. Writing your own vows will require time and thought. You’ll need to dig into your shared memories and try to use what limited language is available to put into words how you really feel about each other.
How do you say, “I love you more than words?” You express this sentiment by pondering past experiences, your friendship, and common likes and dislikes. Sprinkling in a little romance and humor will help set the tone for these spoken love letters to each other. Moreover, you can use Bible verses, poems, quotes, and song lyrics as needed when creating your unique wedding vows.
Got Writer’s Block? Hire a Wedding Vow Ghost Writer
No matter how much you love your partner, you may need some extra help expressing it in the best way. Enter wedding vow professionals. Yes, there are actually professionals who assist couples in articulating their love for one another by crafting the perfect wedding vows to share. These amazing wordsmiths are there to put pen to paper to the emotions you already feel inside for each other.
Katelyn Peterson, of Katelyn’s Wedding Words, says that one of the common reasons couples turn to her is because “My clients have so much emotion they want to convey within their vows, but they struggle with how to articulate their feelings in an impactful way. That’s where I come in. We meet on a video call, and through a very conversational interview, I learn all the details about the couple’s relationship so I can write vows that reflect their unique love story in their voice.”
Katelyn knows that every couple is unique, and one of her main goals is to discover the important nuances that these personalized vows can be crafted around by asking a ton of questions. Hiring a professional vow writer can also be a great way to grow closer together during the engagement process. You and your partner have the chance to tap into the bond you share and express that through an almost therapeutic process of talking with a professional.
Will Our Vows Still Sound Like Us?
Deciding to use a vow consultant can alleviate some of the stress of writing the vows. But will you worry it doesn’t sound like the two of you? Put that anxiety to rest. These experts know exactly how to work with you to pull out your personal voice and tone.
Tanya Pushkine, The Vow Whisperer, works side by side with her couples to involve them in the entire process. She begins her process with an initial video chat and questionnaire. Tanya describes the next steps saying, “I take their words and craft the first draft of their vows. It is really important to note that I am not the writer. I am a coach and advisor, as I strongly believe these vows need to be 10000% from their hearts, not mine. I cannot write how they feel, but I can certainly take their words and make beautiful vows out of them! It starts with my first draft, and then we edit off that together until we reach the perfect set of words they will recite at their ceremony.”
Your love is intimate and personal. A vow writer has the experience and sensitivity to handle your spoken love letter with precision and care.
What About Saying our Vows Out Loud?
Of course, after you have written your vows, you should be prepared to say them out loud. However, you don’t legally have to say them out loud to be married. As a couple, you can always decide what feels right for your wedding day. If reading your vows to one another in private is more your vibe, then, by all means, disrupt the narrative. Do what fits your relationship best.
Moreover, you can always have your officiant explain that the two of you chose to exchange vows privately. Then he or she will move on to the Declaration of Intent portion of the service. The declaration, however, cannot be skipped as it is required by law to legally marry you. (Do you, [name of one partner], take [name of the other partner] to be your lawfully wedded spouse?” Then, each partner will say, “I do.” or some variation).
If you do choose to share your unique wedding vows publicly, then the goal is to make sure you practice. As always, ask for help if you feel like you may have a little stage fright. Don’t worry about getting choked up with emotion. Authenticity is just another expression of your love and will be a beautiful memory of the day as a couple. Katelyn Peterson reminds couples, “Writing the vows is only half of the task. The other half is making sure each couple recites their vows in a way that’s emotionally impactful.”
Tanya Pushkine agrees when she says that her secret sauce is helping couples with the tone of the words they actually have written themselves. “I often say the delivery of these words is more important than the words themselves, as you could write the most gorgeous words in the world and sound so monotone and flat that no one will care, therefore working on how to say the words in an engaging, memorable way is just as important. The vows are also the ultimate love experience. You are giving the most beautiful, poignant love letter to your future spouse…nothing is more magical than that.”
Will You Now Make Your Vows To One Another?
Finally, it is up to you and your fiancé to determine the style, flow, and format of your vows. The best way to decide if you want to stick to traditional vows is to read some examples together. Talk about how you envision your ceremony and if you feel comfortable reciting these vows publicly or privately. Consider adding quotes or scriptures that reflect your relationship or completely write your own with or without professional help. No matter what you decide, making these promises to each other will be unique wedding vows that you will treasure forever.
If you need additional help feel free to contact our amazing contributors to this article:
Katelyn Peterson, Wedding Vow and Speech Writer
Tanya Pushkine, Officiant and Vow Expert
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