No matter the size of your wedding, virtual or in-person, on the day you get married, you will be exchanging vows with your fiancée. Whether you go with reciting traditional vows or writing your own, they're an important part of the ceremony that shouldn't be overlooked. On this week’s podcast episode we chat all about vows.
Q: When does the vow exchange happen?
A: During the ceremony. Usually after opening remarks and readings, before the ring exchange.
Q: What kind of vows can we recite?
A: There's the traditional ones which can be kind of changed around and be different things. Or there's religious versions, there's non-religious versions, there's everything in between and then, of course, you can write your own where it's very personal and each of you say something and kind of recite that yourself, which can also be a little bit nerve-racking.
Q: Where can we find different options?
A: Our friend, Google, is always a good option. We have some samples on the site at Bustld. Of course, your officiant can probably provide options. I'm sure that if you're getting married in a house of worship, there's traditional vows. They might have a couple of versions but you're probably going to have to stick with something they have. If you're doing it yourself, I'm sure there's still tons of options out there that you can find with a simple Google or Pinterest search.
Q: So, if we want to write our own, is there a best practice for that?
A: Don't wait. Don't wait until the night before, give yourself time. I would make it personal, obviously, to the two of you. Make sure you're expressing your love, what you love about the person that you're about to commit to. Make your promises to each other realistic. You are promising this in front of all your friends and family, so you want it to be something that's true. Draft something and then give yourself time to edit it and think about it and make sure that it is exactly what you want to say. And don't make it too long. And make sure you practice it because if it's the first time you're ever saying it out loud with all those emotions and all those eyes on you, I think that would be a lot.
Q: Can we do both?
A: Of course. Some wedding ceremonies still have traditional vows and then the personal vows but something that I love that I've been seeing a lot of lately is couples will do the traditional vows during the ceremony in front of everybody but before the ceremony or even after the ceremony, they will privately exchange their personal vows. So, if you're doing a "first look" that's a great place to do it. Even if you do a "first touch" where you're behind a door on either side, not seeing each other but we’ve seen some couples who do personal vows that way. That that can be a really good way for someone who wants to do that personal vow but doesn't want the pressure of doing it in front of 50 of their closest friends, however many that might be.
Q: How do we preserve the memory of our vows?
A: If you write them yourself, writing them on a piece of notebook paper is not the best solution. There are really beautiful vow books out there, little notebooks, something like that. Or, if you do it on a regular piece of paper, you could have them framed. Make them into artwork. Use them on covers of photo albums. You could choose some of the key words and make it into a tattoo. Put them on your signage around the reception if you already kind of know them. I think there's a lot of options to keep those vows forever.
Photo credit: Jill Shaw Photography