One of my friends suggested that I write a blog about writing your own vows as it is one of those once in a lifetime opportunities that she felt she had missed out on. She was married overseas in a registry office style wedding where there are no changes that can be made, and no place to have input into the ceremony.
One thing that I really love about weddings is the vows, especially when couples put a lot of themselves into it. It is also something that I would have liked to have known more about when I got married myself. The great thing about writing your own vows is that you can speak from your heart and in your own ‘voice’ to your partner. It is up to you whether you want to have long or short vows.
In accordance to the Australian law there are vows that you have to say when getting married in Australia by a marriage celebrant. This includes the process where you have to ‘call upon all people present’ to witness that you take your partner as your husband or wife. As long as you abide by the legal part, you can pretty much promise each other whatever you want. There are not many components that you legally have to have in a wedding ceremony in Australia, but vows are one of them.
Some people are happy just to have what is legally required, but most people want to put something of themselves into it. I find that most of the time people don’t need too much help to get them started with this part. Sometimes just a few examples get people inspired, and some people have come up with some of the most beautiful promises. A few couples that I have worked with who are not all that comfortable with writing it themselves have expressed to me generally what they want said and I do the rest for them. That is the beautiful thing about writing ceremonies for each couple. Everyone’s vows are different because of the different things that people feel are important to them and their partner.
There are a number of things that I get people to think about when they are writing vows. To aid in their inspiration I give them a list of questions to answer, some people actually answer them and other people just like to read the questions as a starting point as to what they would like to promise to one another. I like to ask things like, What does marriage mean for you as a couple? What are the foundations that your marriage will be based on? What is a stand out quality that you feel that your partner has? All of these things and the answers that people give help me and them to decide what sort of things that they want in their vows. Not only do personalised vows mean a great deal to you and your partner but they are really nice for your friends and family who are there to witness your special day to hear too.