Your wedding vows are a promise to each other and a declaration of your commitment, both to each other, and to your relationship together.
While you state your vows publicly, they are a personal statement that you are making to your partner.
So how do you personalise them to suit you as a couple?
Think about what drew you together as a couple, why you love each other now, and what your hopes are for the future together.
Get inspiration from sources that mean something to you, be it a poem, book, movie or song – this can be a great way to get started.
You do not have to use the same vows to each other. Some couples prepare their vows together as a joint statement of their declarations, while others like to surprise their partner on the day.
Think about whether your vows will be formal, humorous or romantic and how this fits into the overall tone and style of your ceremony.
Of course there is nothing wrong with using ‘standard’ vows – the reason they are so popular is that they do speak from the heart and convey a clear message of love.
Most of all, remember that there is no right or wrong way to prepare your vows. They are a celebration of your love and your relationship and will be meaningful to you as a couple.
You should also be aware of the Legal Requirements for Wedding Vows.
Legal Requirements for Your Wedding Vows
The wedding vows are a central part of your wedding ceremony – this is where you ‘lawfully’ take someone to be your husband or wife and tell them of your commitment to them personally and to your relationship together.
It is important that you know that there is a legal requirement for you to say certain words at the start of your vows. You are legally required to say:
“I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, [name], take thee, [name] to be my lawful wedded wife (or husband)”.
There are limited ways you can change this wording. An alternative would be:
“I ask the people here present to witness that I, [name], take you, [name] to be my lawful wedded spouse”.
You do not have to use your full name in this statement, but your full name (including any ‘middle’ names) must be used at some point during the ceremony. Often your full names are used at the beginning of the ceremony, that way it is very clear who is marrying whom.
Nicknames or abbreviations of your name are not allowed when making the legal statement, but they can be used elsewhere in the ceremony. For example, if your name is Nicholas but you are known as Nick, then during the legal statement you must use Nicholas, but elsewhere throughout the ceremony you can be referred to as Nick.
After the legal statement, you can then add your own personal touch to the vows (to be covered in a later blog post).