Your wedding is one of those important days where what you say can have lasting effect. It can make a big difference.
My husband and I are ordained ministers. We’ve married people. But our first experiences in writing our own wedding vows came from witnessing our friend’s weddings and in our own wedding. We’ve been in weddings where the bride and groom spoke their own vows to each other or the pastor spoke the vows for them.
We chose the wedding vows that we wanted for our wedding which my foster father spoke over us. We spoke scripture passages to each other.
I went online to search for appropriate wedding vows when we have done our own weddings. There are many variations to choose from. We selected ones that we could flexibly make additions and subtractions to.
We went over the choices with the wedding couples giving them opportunity to choose what fit them. It’s important that the vows reflect you and the life that the two of you plan together. This is a contract between two people who plan to live their life together. It helps to set the boundaries for your commitment and expectations.
Here are some guidelines on considering what you might say in your wedding:
Choose what is Comfortable for you and Speaks from Your Heart:
This is your wedding, your life and commitment. Choose what speaks from your heart. It may be a set of pre-written vows, something that you have written or a combination of the two.
Consider Your Choice of Minister:
Question the minister you plan to use to see if they’re agreeable with your writing you own vows and how they are delivered in the wedding. Some have a certain wedding vow they use for every wedding. Some have several to choose from. Some will accept your own wedding vows as an insertion into their own or as a replacement. Some will allow you to speak them and others will do the speaking for you. What’s more important for you, the person who marries you or the vows that you speak, or both? In some cases you can get both. You may need to compromise or choose otherwise.
Go Online to Check out the Various Wedding Vows:
Perhaps what you want to say is already written. Or what you want to say will fit better with another set of vows than the ones presented to you by your minister. Studying different wedding vows might give you ideas for your own. When we made up the wedding vows we use we went online and chose the parts that worked for us from several vow forms. Forever Wed or About.com have a lot of choices.
Discuss Your Choices with Each Other and with Your Minister:
You both need to agree on your choice and discuss your plans with your minister to make sure that they agree with the vows and the order of the wedding.
For each Addition to a Wedding more Rehearsal is needed:
Consider how much time is available for a rehearsal then plan your vows accordingly. If you and your bridal party have the time for a full rehearsal then have fun with your vows. If you and your attendants can only rehearse just before the wedding then keep it simple. Have the minister do most of the work since they’re not liable to be nervous or inexperienced. Rehearsal helps work out the jitters and prevents mistakes like going too fast or forgetting parts.