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You don’t have to be Shakespeare to write your own vows, you just have to be sincere.
Vows are integral to your wedding ceremony and should be just as unique as you are, so why not write your own?
While there’s nothing wrong with standard, pre-written vows, it’s always nice to add a little flair of your own to such an important, life-changing occasion.
Melbourne celebrant David Schneider performs 80 – 100 wedding ceremonies each year and says that about 4 out of every 10 couples opts to write their own vows, though nearly all alter existing vows in some way.
David, a professional celebrant, provides his couples with at least 50 alternatives and, if none suit, will help them pen their own oaths.
However, he warns, there’s a fine line between tear inducing – and yawn inducing – when it comes to writing your own vows.
The trick is keeping it simple and sincere.
“Writing your own vows is not something that all couples find easy,” says David who has been a wedding celebrant for four years and has performed more than 300 nuptials in that time.
“Many couples have thoughts of what they would like to say but have trouble expressing it in the best, most romantic way,” he adds.
“Your celebrant should be able to help you with this, but if not, I suggest each person taking a piece of paper each and writing down the words and phrases that express their feeling for each other, things like words that express how they felt when you first started dating and what their life has been like so far.”
From there, you’ll find your vows virtually write themselves – and often couples find themselves with too much to say!
If you’re still stuck, David suggests taking traditional vows, such as; ‘I take you, Mary, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part’ and inserting the words, phrases and sentiments on your paper into such existing oaths.
For couples who don’t want to write their own vows, but still want something a little different, David suggests “mixing and matching” from as many as you need.
“I provide my couples with over 50 vows and I describe it as being like a take away menu,” says David. “Then they say, ‘I’ll have numbers 4, 8 and 12, thanks’.”
“From this point I then look at the themes of the vows they have chosen, and having gotten to know the couple and listening to their thoughts and ideas, I then blend all of this together to write vows that are special and unique to the couple.
Though David says every one of the 300+ oaths he’s had a hand in, one in particular, written by the groom, sticks in his mind – and brought him, the bride and most of the guests to tears.
Groom: I, Peter Robinson, love you, Kate Winslow, with all my heart. You are my best friend, my one and only Buzzy.
Since I was 17 there has never been a doubt in my mind that one day I will make you my wife, and today here we stand.
Over the past six years we have grown together and learnt a lot about each other and I look forward to spending the rest of my life learning a lot more with you.
I promise to always be there for you, support you, to always make your life fun and never boring, to show you love, to tell you everyday just how beautiful you are.
I love you so much it is hard to put into words.
When I hold you, it is not tight enough. When I kiss you, it is not passionate enough.
Even my most passionate kisses don’t come close to show you how much you mean to me.
You are my Wonder Woman, my Little Mermaid, my Goddess and my Queen.
When you run up and throw your arms around me, I know that you feel the same as I do and that is the best feeling in the world.
I am completely happy and never want that feeling to end.
So I stand here today in front of these witnesses, our friends and family, staring into your amazing big green eyes, to ask you a very important question;
Will you, Kate Winslow, my best friend, my lover, my soulmate and my partner-in-crime be my lawful wedded wife?
Bride: I will
“The most important thing that I encourage couples to consider is that the vows are the most important part of the ceremony,” says David. “This is what you want to express to each other, so having input into your vows is the best and most beautiful way of expressing your love for each other during the ceremony.
If you’ve written your own vows, feel free to share them below in the comments box! We’d love to read them!