Your Wedding Ceremony Read or Repeat your Vows ?

A Wedding Celebrant’s Perspective
Wedding celebrant  - Devon outdoor wedding ceremony

As a wedding celebrant, when the happy couple send you some photos of their special day to say a massive thank you for conducting their wedding ceremony, you know you’ve done a good job,  and I thank them for their generosity in allowing me to share them.

It is often said that a picture says a thousand words.

Therefore, I hope this lovely photograph taken by Richard Skins inspires you to have the courage and imagination to have the wedding ceremony that you want. One that is  unique, personal and memorable. Above all,  one that reflects who you are as a couple.

This beautiful outdoor wedding ceremony was held at Anran, Devon under a rustic pergola decorated with drapes and flowers. Beyond the pergola was the rolling Devon countryside, stretching as far as the eye can see, rising up to meet the sky on the distant horizon.


Many couples, choose to make their wedding vows by reading them to one  another. Although, initially this seems a daunting prospect and it appears far easier to repeat them line by line after the celebrant. However, I do believe it’s worth overcoming the nerves.

And, above all,  for the longer, more  personalised vows.

Here are some reasons why

In most wedding ceremonies there are many occasions when the couple speak.  For example, during the Declaration, the Vows and Promises and the Ring Exchange. In addition one, or both of you, may even choose to say a poem or some words.

It makes a wedding ceremony more interesting and lively if different ways of delivering these words are used.

For example, just a simple, ‘I do’ or ‘I will’ is just perfect for the Declaration of Intent.

Following this, you can enjoy reading the Vows you have spent months thinking about and writing.

Finally, you could choose to repeat after your celebrant the vows and promises you make during the Ring Exchange.  You’ll have enough to do getting the ring on!

Long or Short Vows ?

Wedding Vows can often be quite long. So, if they are repeated line by line after the celebrant, 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 the wedding celebrant can stop the narrative flow. Similarly, jokes and anecdotes, or poignant meaningful words can be lost and they may sound disjointed.

Ben reading his vows to Tasha during their wonderful woodland wedding – this perfect moment captured by Ian Somethingblue Photography.





 Wedding Celebrant -  reading vows woodland Ceremony


Esme, I love you.

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.

Esme, I hope you never forget why you chose me and that I never change who I am to you.



Wedding Celebrant - Wed-fest Wedding  - Wildwood Bluebell

Nervous about speaking?

Don’t be

At this point in your ceremony, a friend or two, or a family member, will have given  given a reading or shared a poem.

Which, from the laughter or tears or the applause, you can see your guests have clearly enjoyed them. In other words, everyone is happy and this gives you the encouragement you may need to get up and say them.


Also, I often find that people who are the most nervous beforehand are often extremely calm on their wedding day !( And visa-versa !)

Worried you will forget to bring them on the day ?

Don’t be.

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, in the heart of your wedding ceremony.

 Sacha and Ross saying their vows, pic from BlackandWhitely

For my six top tips for writing your own wedding vows – click here !!


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