Vows are the heart of the ceremony. Whenever folks t hink about customizing their wedding, the vows that they make to each other are among the first items that come to mind. It is not surprising because these are the very heart of the wedding ceremony. The composition and delivery of the vows are seen as setting the tone for what is to follow in their lives.
Most people opt to recite a traditional set of vows to each other. There are many versions available on the internet that can be applied to fit the couple’s spiritual orientation. The choice of vows usually reflects the overall theme of the wedding ceremony. I don’t recommend using humour in the vows because this is the serious part of a wedding ceremony. The promises made by the couple in the vows are intended to last throughout the married relationship.
It is usual practice that the vows are repeated in short phrases (repeat-after-me). The groom is first invited to repeat his vows after the officiant, and the bride is invited to repeat hers afterwards. I advise couples to read their vows out loud to each other a few times before the wedding to familiarize themselves with the wording. This avoids stumbling through them during the ceremony. If they don’t, the groom is usually the one who stumbles because he goes first. One very embarrassed groom asked me if I saw grooms stumble often. Unfortunately, I do see this because they did not follow this advice.
If the vows are long, then it is less tedious to each partner to read the vows from a cue card. It provides a better flow to the vows. Some couples ask about memorizing their vows. Although a wonderful idea, I find that the couples are so stressed by the events of the day that they don’t remember them at the required time. I’ve had professional actors, who are trained to remember lines, prefer to do the repeat-after-me format because of this.
Composing your own vows is a super way to add a special touch to the ceremony. In this case, the vows said by one partner do not need to be the same vows as the other. The bride and the groom bring different strengths and personalities to the union that can be reflected and shared in the vows. Vows are promises the couple makes to each other that are shared publicly. The vows become personal messages about their feelings towards each other. The couple needs to be comfortable with sharing these feelings with all gathered. It is a guarantee that the feelings will reach out to all gathered.