Tips on Creating Your Wedding Vows
Traditional VowsWho should choose them: Couples who aren’t sure what they want and those who suffer from stage fright, since the officiant does most of the talking. If you and your fiancé have strong ties to a particular religion and you just won’t “feel married” unless you repeat the words you’ve associated with weddings for as long as you can remember, traditional vows may suit you best. Couples who wish to keep their intimate feelings private should pick the traditional-wedding-vows option as well.
What to know: A requirement of most ceremonies in the United States involves what the Book of Common Prayer, used by Anglican-Christian organizations worldwide, calls the “declaration of consent” (usually referred to as the “question of intent”), in which the couple must indicate they enter into marriage of their own free will (“Do you take this man...”). However, in many weddings, this declaration is followed by the exchange of vows, with the couple facing each other as they speak (think of the widely recognized “for richer for poorer” vow sequence). These days most people refer to both of these elements as “the vows,” although your average city-hall ceremony will often include only one question: the question of intent.
- For wedding-related Bible readings, personalized readings, and sample vows, poems, and passages, visit foreverwed.com.
- Pick up a copy of The Everything Wedding Vows Book: Anything and Everything You Could Possibly Say at the Altar―and Then Some, by Janet Anastasio and Michelle Bevilacqua (Adams Media Corp., $10, amazon.com) or Bartlett’s Words for the Wedding, by Brett Fletcher Lauer and Aimee Kelley (Little, Brown & Company, $16, amazon.com) for some ideas.
- Once you find something you like, ask the officiant to adapt the language to reflect your beliefs. Even a religious wedding
may be individualized by modernizing traditional language.
Next: Self-Written Vows
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