Wedding vows serve as an intimate moment during your ceremony to express your love, commitment and promise to one another. Writing your own wedding vows gives you the chance to personalise this moment.
SET THE TONE WITH YOUR PARTNER
First you want to set the tone. You have decided to step away from using traditional vows and want to write something that comes from the heart and is about your relationship.
Together you can decide how long your vows are going to be. You can discuss if you want to add elements of lightheartedness or inside jokes. You might decide to keep it more sentimental.
MAKE TIME TO REFLECT
Take some time to reflect on your relationship and how it makes you feel. Start with a statement about who your partner is to you; your best friend, your lover, your partner in crime.
What did you think when you first saw them?
What do you have now that you didn't have before you met?
What do you miss most when you're apart?
Can you think of a funny or touching experience that put your partner in a new light?
What goals and values do you both have?
What about your partner inspires you?
What promise can you make to solidify and encapsulate your devotion?
What are you most looking forward to about married life?
What promises do you want to make to your partner? Mention ways that you will continue to show your love. You can use words like ‘I promise’, ‘I vow’ and ‘I pledge’. Make promises that you can keep, avoid promising perfection, make it real and down to Earth.
SEEK ADVISE FROM YOUR CELEBRANT
Talk to your celebrant about what vows are required by law. In New Zealand you must include “I [name] take you [partner’s name], to be my legal [wife/husband/partner]”, or something similar, to each other at some point in the ceremony. Your celebrant will also be able to structure your ceremony.
WRITE YOUR VOWS EARLY
It can take time before you feel completely satisfied with what you have written. You might have several drafts. Give yourself plenty of time, after all it is your wedding so you want to be putting in your best efforts. Start writing your vows around the same time that you start looking for a celebrant.