How long should my vows be?

The most often asked question I get about a personalized on-location wedding ceremony is: How long should my vows be?

The beauty about having your wedding on-location is that you can influence everything. Every detail is personalized to your vision and dream of what your day should look and feel like.

This includes personalizing your wedding ceremony. The crafting of your ceremony encompasses all parts of the event. From the entrance to the exit, you can add your personal touch. I collaborate with every couple to ensure that this comes true for them. Using my experience from hundreds of ceremonies I’ve performed at various locations, I aim to have a couple’s celebration of love & commitment in a way that’s built around them & their lives.

The most often asked question in discussion with the couple is: How long should my vows be?

The answer is: How ever long you feel it takes to express your love and commitment.

The real issue is whether you should be repeating your vows after me or reading them from a cue card.

The standard vows that I show couples is a perfect length for a repeat after me format. Small variations from that are acceptable too.

In  the presence of our family and friends as witnesses I Marc choose you Carolynn to be my lawful wedded wife to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, to love and to cherish, and to be faithful to you alone. This is my solemn vow.

If your vows get much longer than these, it can seem tedious to repeat them. Take the following vows as an example.

In the presence of our family and friends as witnesses I, Francine, choose you, Gene, to be my lawful wedded husband.  I love you.  You have grown to be my best friend.  Today, I give myself to you in marriage.  I promise to encourage and inspire you, to laugh with you, and to comfort you in times of sorrow and struggle.  I promise to love you in good times and in bad, when life seems easy and when it seems hard, when our love is simple, and when it is an effort.  I promise to cherish you, and to always hold you in highest regard and to love your children and grandchildren to come as my own.  These things I give to you today, and all the days of our lives.

When I had the groom repeat them, it seemed a little long to me. The bride also believed this to be true. So when it came to her turn, she proceeded to take my book and read them for herself. It was a funny moment.

Your vows can be as long as you wish to show your love and commitment. You just need to choose whether a repeat-after-me format or reading them is more appropriate.

Advertisements