What you didn’t know about wedding vows: 3 vow options to consider

*warning* some wedding officiants use the words “vows” and “wedding ceremony” synonymously. So in an effort not to confuse you… “vows”, by my definition, is a small (but mighty) part within the entire wedding ceremony! 

short version of this entire post: You have more wedding vow options than you likely realize

As a wedding officiant & justice of the peace, I have met with many couples. When I meet with them (usually the second time around) we talk about each subsection in their wedding ceremony (because ultimately, the couple can design the ceremony however they’d like).

One section that we spend the most time discussing is the vows. 

I’ve watched as one person revels in the idea of writing their own vows, while their partner winces during a FaceTime meeting. I’ve witnessed confused looks and blank stares on people’s faces… and side-eye contact that says, “we’ll discuss this later”. And sometimes, I’ve seen both partners adamant about writing their own vows. 

Why is there so much talk around the vows section in a wedding ceremony? It’s the most vulnerable, tender spot. 

It’s when everything quiets down, and we hold our breaths to listen intently to what the couple says to one another. And trust me, no matter whether it’s only the couple or 100+ people, it’s not easy. Why? Take public speaking fears and then rip someone’s heart open… so yeah, not easy, but AMAZING. Newsflash: the most beautiful moments in life aren’t usually the easiest. 

So to increase awareness and perspective, here’s some things to consider, as a couple, when deciding how you’d like to “do your vows”. 

Option A: “Repeat-After-Me Vows”

My personal opinion: don’t knock them! Are you someone who cringes at public speaking? Are you an introvert? Are you marrying an introvert? Great option for these folks. I’ve married extraverts who opt for repeat-after-me vows too. They are truly just good for everyone. In general, they take a bit of the pressure off (unless you or the officiant fumble a word because hey…we’re all human)

Example:

Need Inspiration? Dare I say it, Pinterest & Google. And perhaps my favorite internet ceremony resource, Officiant Eric

Option B: “Write-Your-Own Vows” 

My personal opinion: one of my biggest wedding regrets was not taking the opportunity to write our own vows. I was uneducated and naïve, and knowing what I know now…we WILL be writing vows for our five year vow renewal (in Hawaii) in 2023. Keep in mind: you could “write-your-own” vows and exchange them during a first look, first thing in the morning, or at the end of the night after everything quiets down…there’s no rules!

Example:

Need Support? I co-authored a “how to write your own vows” eBook with the AMAZING Kendra, the owner of Whole Weddings, and here is the link to purchase it!

Option C: “Conversational Style Vows”

My personal opinion: not enough people are familiar with these and they happen to be my absolute favorite. I finally have a few couples choosing them for 2021 and I couldn’t be happier!

Example: 

Ultimately a wedding is about the vows you take as a couple. It’s to celebrate the promise, to the love of your life, that you’ll love them as best you can and be the best partner you can. However you choose to do your wedding vows should feel good to you, because that’s all that matters. 

My advice: you’re going to say SOMETHING, so take some time to think about it.  It could be a great opportunity for the two of you to create something amazing together, and for each other.

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