Read or Repeat Your Wedding Vows?A Wedding Celebrant's Perspective
Read or Repeat Your Wedding Vows?
Many couples planning their wedding ceremony initially find the Declaration, Vows and Ring Exchange part of the service, ( The Promises) the most stressful part of their whole day.
What to say and how to say it !
Whilst every part of your wedding ceremony is important, the promises you make to one another are at the very heart of your wedding and give meaning to your ceremony.
It’s understandable to imagine that you will be feeling very nervous and the very thought of having to speak during your service, can be terrifying.
Many couples initially want to repeat their wedding vows rather than read them as it seems the easier option.
But, relax, I will help and support you all the way.
And, don’t forget you are surrounded by the people in this world who you love the most, and they love you, and will support you too !!
Below are some top tips on how to write your wedding vows.
I also have a wealth of examples that I will share with you.
More help on saying your vows can be found in my post below !
In most wedding ceremonies there are many occasions when the couple may choose to speak – maybe to recite a poem or give reading or to make a short address. But that’s a choice !!
The Promises are the part of your wedding ceremony where you make your promises to your partner, so speaking is unavoidable !!
They are usually made up of three parts. The Declaration, the Vows and the Ring Exchange.
It makes a wedding ceremony more interesting and lively if different ways of delivering these words are used.
Getting it Perfect !
The Declaration of Intent
For example, just a simple, ‘I do’ or ‘I will’ is just perfect for the Declaration of Intent.
Following the Declaration of Intent, come the Vows.
Here you can enjoy reading the words that you have spent months thinking about and writing.
Vow can be short or long, funny, romantic, modern, traditional, both the same, or different, or a total surprise for one another.
What they are are personal and pertinent to the two of you and reflective of your individuality and the uniqueness of your relationship.
The Ring Exchange
After the Vows come the Ring Exchange.
Here, maybe three, five or even seven short lines, which you will have created for this moment, are repeated after me.
Its easier for you to repeat them as they are not too long and you’ll have enough to do getting the ring on!
Read or Repeat the Vows – Why not simply repeat them ?
Although, initially it seems a daunting prospect to read your wedding vows and it appears far easier to repeat them line by line, I do believe it’s worth overcoming the nerves. And particularly, for the longer, more personalised vows.
Wedding vows can often be quite long. If you decide to make to same vows and they are repeated line by line after me, it means they are actually said four times. And, therefore, can become a little boring for your guests to sit through.
In addition, repeating your vows after me can stop the narrative flow. Similarly, jokes and anecdotes, or poignant meaningful words can be lost and they may sound disjointed.
Stu reading his vows to Caitlin during their beautiful wedding at Anran. Pic Richard Skins Photography
Ben reading his vows to Tasha at their woodland wedding at Streamcombe Farm pic from Ian Jeffery Photography
I promise that you’ll never have to face anything alone. We will walk this life together, side by side, hand in hand.
As you work towards your life goals, I will support you, in all you choose to do.
I’ll be truthful to you and always do my best to make you happy. Even laugh at your silly jokes, get up to take the dog out and make you tea in bed on Sundays.
I promise that we’ll always talk as openly as we do now. That we’ll always find time for each other to do the simple things that make us happy.
Josie, I hope you never forget why you chose me and that I never change who I am to you.’
Worried About Saying Your Wedding Vows?
I will print your wedding vows in a clear size 16 font, onto parchment paper and wrap them up in some beautiful silk ribbon, that matches your wedding colours.
They will come with me to your wedding ceremony and I will hand them to you, just at the moment that I invite you to make your precious vows to your partner.
In conclusion, having the courage to read your wedding vows in full, directly to your partner, without the prompting of the celebrant, will certainly create a tender, beautiful and meaningful moment, at the heart of your wedding ceremony.
Sacha and Ross saying their vows at Wildwood Bluebell, pic from BlackandWhitely
A Great Alternative for those that simply Dread the Thought of Speaking.
If the thought of saying anything really fills you with dread, then you shouldn’t force yourself to say too much. It’s your wedding and you should enjoy every moment!
A good idea is to write maybe five or six vows, each a sentence long and I can turn them into questions and ask you ‘Will you promise …” and you in turn can reply, ‘I will’ or ‘I do’ !!
For my six top tips for writing your own wedding vows – click here !!
For my six top tips for reading your wedding vows – click here !!