Inevitably when I meet with couples, the ‘oh man, how do we do our vows?’ question surfaces. And it’s a good one. Would you agree wedding vows are pretty darn intimate words to share? The pressure of finding just the right promises – unique to who you are – can be daunting. Just today, I met with a mature couple who said they would be at a loss to write their own vows. “We really need your help there,” they said to me (cringing a bit).
And I’m happy to oblige! By using a couple’s very own words, in fact. I have a few keystone questions in my set of Sweetgrass Couple Reflections, which support me writing meaningful vows. When I work with couples, ceremony crafting is a co-creative process. They answer a good long set of questions individually. And I weave together the ceremony based on their stories, beliefs and values. (Yes, I do love reading heartfelt, emotional or even irreverent responses!)
I also leave open the option of couples writing their own vows to each other. Or we do a combination of both – they write a few lines and I write a few lines – by weaving their words into a cohesive whole as I mentioned above. Some of the best tips I’ve read for DIY vows are in this post at a Practical Wedding.
Here are some questions to ask yourself, too: do you want to have your Celebrant say the vows in a question form whereby you answer “I do” or “I will”? Or would you rather repeat whole phrases? Or memorize the lines?
This ought to be entirely up to you. And if you really want to remember and repeat these pledges of love to each other sometime in the future (anniversary? Valentine’s? vow renewal?) then the words are best spoken comfortably, reflecting who you truly are.
It is this delivery of vows that I encourage couples feeling really familiar with and comfortable about. Whatever you write, or someone writes for you – make sure you read it aloud to each other before the ceremony! (Unless of course you plan to surprise each other.) See how the words feel while speaking them aloud individually at least, if not together.
And hopefully, you’ll have vows that well, you’ll love saying to each other again and again.