Today on the blog, I am happy to present to you Kelly Hawes who is a local wedding celebrant. She is going to speak about wedding vows for a modern couple.
Wedding vows are the promises you and your partner will make to each other during your wedding ceremony.
One of the most popular reasons for choosing a Celebrant led wedding ceremony is for the option of writing your own vows to each other. I personally feel this makes total sense because what you are pledging to each other, for the rest of your lives, could be so broad and is definitely unique to each and every couple.
That said, it is no mean feat to find the right words and as a Celebrant, this is part of my job to be able to guide you and help you along your way.
If you are looking to write your own vows, here’s my advice to get you started
First and foremost, have a bit of a brainstorm by writing all the words that spring to mind when you are thinking of your partner and your future – and what exactly you want to promise to him/her. You will, of course, come up with the most common words such as Love, Respect, Faithfulness, Fun, Dependability, Listening… these are all great things to promise.
Now think a little more personal. What is it you are offering into this partnership. We all have different strengths so this is where to think of your strengths and what you consider your partner needs from you – perhaps your logical mind, organisational skills, or are you the wacky one with the wild and spontaneous ideas?
Think about your partners’ personality traits and where perhaps your own personality creates a balance to your partnership. Is one of you the tidy one, the decisive one etc.
Once you’ve done your brainstorming you might like to think about the style that you wish to write your vows. Here’s where I would suggest you need to think about yourself standing at the top of the aisle and saying these words to your partner. Whatever you say needs to sound natural and in the style and wording that you would usually use. There’s no point using words that you don’t understand or that just don’t sound like they are your own heart.
You might also like to discuss your vows with your partner. Are you both happy to go with the flow and keep your vows completely individual or would you rather your vows are written in a similar style to each other? If the latter is your preference then you should discuss how many different vows you will make and whether you want your vows to follow the traditional vows that we are all familiar with or something completely different.
Lastly, do some research – check out examples on google, Pinterest and youtube. You will see that there is so much variety. That being the case anything is possible and there is no right or wrong way to write your vows.
Examples of Wedding Vows for a Modern Couple
Let me give you some examples. First, let me remind you of the traditional wedding vows that you will no doubt have heard time and time again.
Here’s an example of what you would say during a traditional Church of England wedding:
I, (name) take you, (name), to be my lawfully wedded (husband/wife),
to have and to hold, from this day forward,
for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
until death do us part.
And in a Civil Ceremony, you may have heard something along the lines of:
I call upon these persons here present,
to witness that I (name) do take thee (name)
to be my lawful wedded wife/husband,
to be loving, faithful and loyal to thee
in living our married life together.
The sentiment of these words is still no doubt meaningful, but a little outdated I feel. It doesn’t mean that you should steer away from these words completely though – because if you like it go with it, but perhaps use a modern version such as;
(name) today as you become my (husband/wife)
I promise to love you with all my heart
Through the good times and the bad
Whether we are rich or poor
Sick or healthy
I shall remain by your side
From today until the end of time
If tradition really isn’t your thing then start from scratch with the words you first used in your brainstorming.
(name) today I pledge to be your faithful partner
Together we shall overcome life’s ups and downs
I shall listen to you when you need an ear
Offer advise when you need support
I will always seek and respect your opinion
and ask no more of you than you can give
These are my promises to you for the rest of our lives together
Perhaps you are more of a creative literate, and if this is the case you may wish to write something that flows better than the one-liners above. Also, don’t be afraid to throw in some really personal touches, maybe even a little humour too;
(name) we have been through lots of great times together, along with those that have tested us. Through it all, you have been my strength, my soul mate and my best friend. I know that whenever I need you, you will be there for me – whether to listen to my woes or to massage my feet after a long day. In return, I promise to always be there for you in any times of need but especially when you are seeking fun and adventure. I look forward planning our future together, one that is equally respecting and full of love and laughter. From today until we are old and grey, these are my vows to you
Humorous examples of Wedding Vows for a Modern Couple:
I promise to clear the room of spiders before you go to bed
I can’t promise that I wont eat the stash of chocolates, but I will never finish a box set without you
I promise to cook your favourite food at least once a month
I promise to put the lid back on the toothpaste
Exchanging wedding rings is a very long-standing tradition, within the western world the wearing of a wedding ring can be traced back to ancient Rome where the wealthy Romans used the ring as a symbol of marriage. It is said that the Romans wore the ring on the fourth digit of the left hand because they believed there was a vein running directly from that finger to the heart. It was usual for wedding rings only to be worn by wives, though in the 20th Century the custom soon saw both spouses opting to wear rings. Did you know there is no legality behind giving and receiving wedding rings in a modern legal marriage?
There is usually separate wording to be used during the symbolic action of giving and receiving rings, once again with a Celebrant this wording can be unique to you as a couple.
Generally, you would have wording to explain why you are giving rings and what they mean to you.
I give you this ring to symbolise our marriage
I hope you will always wear it with pride
And know that even when we are apart
You carry a piece of my heart with you
Or even very simply;
This ring shall show the world you are married to me
And it will remind you of the vows I made to you today
Just like any other accessories the rings we chose will be chosen for unique reasons. I would suggest you consider your everyday activities when choosing a ring. If your work involves heavy labour you would probably be best to choose something very plain and of a hardwearing material since it is likely to get scratched. For many women, they will be choosing a ring which will accommodate their engagement ring comfortably, or perhaps they would have bought a ring set which comprises both the engagement and wedding ring in a matching design.
Although many couples like to have matching rings it is obviously not necessary to do so. Embrace your uniqueness!
If you would like to speak to Kelly about a Celebrant led wedding ceremony or about writing wedding vows for a modern couple, then please reach out to her via her website: https://www.kellyhcelebrant.co.uk/
If you found this article useful and want to read some more from the other topics in this series, then check out these blog posts below: