Don’t put pen to paper until you’ve read this guide.
Are you thinking about writing your own wedding vows for your big day? You’re not the only one.
Self-written wedding vows are becoming more and more popular, with couples looking to create a personalised touch to their ceremony.
Not sure where to start? We’ve put together a little guide to help you get started.
Let’s get the legal stuff out of the way first.
If you’re looking to have a civil ceremony, legally, your vows cannot include any references to religion. Civil ceremonies must also include the statutory declarations during the exchanging of vows which is the following: ““…Solemnly declare that I know not of any lawful impediment why I, (name), may not be joined in matrimony to (name).”
We’d always advise speaking with your registrar when writing your customised vows. They’ll be able to advise you of any potential problems before it gets too late. No one wants a last-minute panic.
Before you start writing without being able to stop, it’s a good idea to read as many different types of wedding vows as possible. And by this, we mean from the very traditional to the highly personalised, and perhaps even those from different faiths.
Basically, the more variety you have the better. This will give you a general sense of what you like and don’t like so you can start thinking about the style that’s right for you.
Quite early on, you’ll need to decide what kind of tone your wedding vows will take. Do you want something with a pinch of humour or will they be simple and romantic? You’ll also need to consider whether you’ll write them together or separately. If it’s the latter, will they be kept a secret until the Big Day?
If you’ve come down with writer’s block, take some time to write about some of your best and most memorable moments together. Maybe you’ve had a special holiday or a spontaneous road trip, or maybe you could write about the first time you made each other laugh until your jaw ached.
After that, if you’re still struggling, give each other the task of jotting down 10 things you love most about one another. Usually, it’s one of those unedited, less-well-thought-out lines that sound best of all because they’re completely honest. Just be careful when you do start writing that you’re not too gushing or intimate. That private pet name is probably best kept behind closed doors…
Of course your vows are important – but no one wants to listen to you going on for 10 minutes, no matter how good they are.
We’d suggest aiming for around two minutes max and time yourself running through them. If they go over, start editing out the least important bits. At this stage, it might also be worth running through them with a friend who can give you another perspective on what to keep and what to cut. Don’t forget, you have a day of speeches and toasts ahead so anything that doesn’t fit in your vows might work better later in the day.