The vows, everyone's favourite part... not. The vows are usually compromised of two parts, the mandatory wording- the parts you have to say legally and the personal vows- the part you add on.
To write your own vows or not to write your own vows, ahh such a loaded question. If you don't want to do personal vows, it doesn't mean you love your partner any less, you just show it in a different way. Sometimes couples are so afraid of talking in front of all of their friends and family that they may miss the opportunity to say what's in their heart on their most important day.
On the fence?
Here's my advice if you're not keen on public speaking.
Australia has mandatory spoken word vows, as a minimum you absolutely have to speak at some stage, so if you feel you could manage a few extra lines, it could just make the world of difference for your partner.
If you don't want to do personal vows don't force it, write a letter instead. I'm sure your partner would prefer you put into writing how you feel, then they can read in the morning of your special day rather than say vows that they know are the first result on Google 😂
As a celebrant I always suggest a personal story for every ceremony, for which one of my questions is "what are 5 things you like/love about your partner" if you feel like you can't say how you feel then let me do it! Keep your responses a secret and they'll be hearing for the first time at the ceremony just like vows. Also, you don't have to remember your vows off the top of your head, if you send them to me, I will print them out and hand them to you at vow time.
Ok so you're doing them and need advice on how to write them? I've got you covered there too!
Vows are the one part of the ceremony where couples usually require the greatest assistance. Every couple wants to say the perfect words to each other so if you are feeling the pressure, don't worry you're not alone. The most important thing is to talk it over with your partner, how do you want them to flow? what style? how long?
Vows can be a few different styles too, do you want to simply express how you feel, do you want to make promises or do you want to make "vows" as such.
My biggest piece of advice- Have a beginning, a middle and an end.
Beginning- Things from the beginning, reflecting on the time you've spent together, first impressions...
Middle- Making promises, more examples below and if you're planning on having a bit of fun, this is the most common place to do so.
End- Future plans, things you're looking forward to.
A few content pointers to get you started-
What are the little things they do for you that you appreciate?
What are the little things you do for them that they appreciate?
What would you like to promise to your partner (serious and light-hearted)?
Are there parts of your relationship you would like to emphasise?
What inspires you about them?
What do you respect most about them?
What does marriage mean to you?
Feel free to use attributes in your vows to describe your love, your partner and your relationship.
Do you have special names, words or sayings that are just between you and your partner?
What does marrying this person mean to you? How does it make you feel?
Making "Promises or Vows"- (the middle part)- Use these to get you started
I promise to give you
I promise to treat you
I promise to love you
I promise to laugh at (you)
I promise to tell you
I promise to be
I promise to always encourage (your passions)
I promise that we will
I promise to respect you (and your...)
I vow to…
I will always
I admire (your best attributes)
I will encourage
I look forward to (achieving goals)
Our future will bring us (kids, a home)
I promise to
I choose you to
I will be
I pledge to you
I commit to
Above all, make sure your vows are sincere and remember the following:
This is a public declaration of your commitment, so others will be listening! Try not to talk for too long! Quality not quantity. Don’t stray from your personality – serious, fun, light-hearted – stay true to yourself. Whatever you decide in the end it just needs to be you.
Video link on whether you have to do personal vows or not here-