Great wedding ceremonies are memorable and can be inclusive and experiential for you and your guests. They are the most precious aspect of your wedding day and vows are the personal public sharing to your partner in front of your family and friends. Your love stories, declarations of love, promises and commitments are the “icing on the cake” on your wedding day!
Vows are important because you share from your heart, your side of your love journey and what attracted you to your partner from the beginning. Vows can include your marriage intentions, your future dreams and goals in your marriage. Vows are not meant to be a Shakespearean play but a personal statement and lifetime pledge of love to your partner that usually takes one to two minutes. They can be written with the help of your marriage commissioner or written Individually or together with your partner.
1. Where to start?
Don’t leave scribbling your thoughts down on a piece of paper just before you walk down the aisle! Some people find writing vows difficult as writing about your feelings and pledges of the heart to your partner can be stressful and for some - very scary.
Start a list of all your thoughts and feelings on a piece of paper to get you going.
Making notes is an excellent way to help you to organize what you really want to say. This will help you decide the direction you want to take you vows.
Think of who you are addressing – your Best Friend? Soul mate? Confidant?
2. Share the past
Think back to how you met, what attracted you to your partner, what you admire about them, what you enjoy doing together and how has your partner changed your life?
Share the special moments that have been the turning points in your relationship. This may include meeting their friends and family, trips, hobbies and dating stories.
Share a love story that gives your guests an intimate snapshot of why you are standing before them with your partner on your wedding day.
Don’t be afraid to share experiences including when you fell in love and who proposed and where?
Not everyone at your ceremony may know you! It is the sharing of your love story that makes your vows heartwarming and memorable to your partner and guests.
3. Talk about the present
Clearly state your marriage promises and how you will contribute to the relationship.
How are you going to demonstrate your love?
“Insider” funny promises like being the main cook or picking your clothes up off the floor “forever and ever” is endearing to everyone!
4. Project into the future
Keep it real and talk about the possible tough waters ahead and how you promise to deal with these challenges.
Talk about your “forever, till death do us part or eternity” commitment in relation to marriage during the ups and downs plus health challenges.
Share your dreams and aspirations.
5. To share or not to share
Decide on the writing style and how you will share your vows as they range widely from traditional to romantic and funny, right down to musically performed and even acted out.
Agree whether you write your vows together or keep them separate as a surprise on the wedding day.
And finally, check with your partner that the vows have a similar style, tone and length. In writing your vows, two lines may be too short and three pages may be too long. Keep your vows short and sweet. A Shakespearean sonnet may be the perfect length.
Like a piece of music, your finished vows will have a beginning, middle and ending that summarizes your love and aspirations in marriage. Have fun with this process!
Sharon Barwick, CSEP is a licensed wedding officiant based in Calgary, Alberta, and the surrounding area. Sharon strives to design a meaningful ceremony that highlights your genuine love story and is inclusive of all identities, cultures, backgrounds, and traditions. To ensure that she can produce the perfect ceremony for you, she offers consultations and regular phone and email communication. This dedicated professional has experience in incorporating a variety of personalized rituals such as hand fasting ceremonies, family blending ceremonies, and more. She encourages and supports you to write your own vows and she is pleased to include your family pets in your celebration. Whether you are hosting an elopement, full wedding ceremony, or renewing your vows, Sharon Barwick Weddings is dedicated to your vision.
Text Sharon for a free consultation or call 403-880-1900.