Declutter your Vows: 3 Vows are Better than One!

by Jennifer Cram - Brisbane Marriage Celebrant © (21/05/2021)
Categories: | Vows |  Wedding Ceremony   |
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Cream card with the
                    words Vows Jenny & Jens on a burgundy marriage
                    register. Lying on the vows card is a wooden
                    filigree heart that includes the word love and a
                    silver pen lying on a pale carpetIf you are struggling to write your personal wedding vows there is a solution. And it is a simple one. It is easier to write three different vows than to write one.

OK so that sounds crazy. But it is true.

The hardest thing to get your head around when you are writing your vows is that you are going to be both the writer (who wants to put things in) and the editor (who knows the value of taking things out). Great vows are distilled down to the essence of your commitment.

To explain that, let's look at the traditional vows
to have and to hold
from this day forward,
for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish,
till death do us part
It not only covers every circumstance of life, but remove even one word and it is diminished.

Of course, it is not personal. Which is why the majority of couples marrying in a civil ceremony decide to write their own personal vows, or at least have input into them with celebrant help to achieve the final product.

So why would I suggest that you write three different vows? For the simple reason, as we know from everyday life, it is easier to put something somewhere else than to throw it away completely. So let's look at decluttering your wedding day vows.

Why Three Vows?


One vow (or set of vows) for your wedding day. We all get that. So what are the other two for?

One for the wedding, one for the rehearsal and one for the honeymoon!

I'm hearing pennies drop.

Your wedding day vows

On your wedding day, your vows need to be succinct, heartfelt, and G rated. They need to have some gravitas to reflect the seriousness of the promises you are making, and the solemnity of the moment when you commit your lives to one another, commit to treating one another with respect and love, and take that final step that changes your legal status for ever more.  It is not the time to be going for the cheap laugh.

So what do you do with all of those great phrases that have flowed so easily onto the paper? You relocate them. At which point you will see that removing them hasn't diminished what you are promising. In fact it has more than likely made those promises more powerful. Distillation increases impact.

Your rehearsal vows

A wedding rehearsal isn't like the dress rehearsal of a play. The full script isn't spoken. Mostly, a rehearsal is about the choreography.
  • How people enter, leave, and move about the ceremony space during the ceremony
  • How and when anyone hands something to someone else
  • Who presents your rings
  • When you hand over your bouquet, and who to
  • How a ritual unfolds
  • When you turn to face one another and join hands

The choreography of your exchange of vows and rings is practiced. But for both legal reasons and in the interest of keeping your vows a surprise to your wedding party and the guests, you won't be saying your wedding day vows at your wedding rehearsal. When my couple is going to be saying their vows by repeating after me, I get them to practice that at the rehearsal, and I change up the words for light relief. There is no reason why you can't create and use your own wedding rehearsal vows - especially if you are going to be reading your vows. Silliness is perfect. It lightens the mood at your rehearsal, and helps people relax and laugh. All of which makes the coming wedding day feel less daunting.

Your honeymoon vows

Neither your wedding day nor your rehearsal are appropriate places to share bedroom secrets or risqué remarks. Parents and grandparents will be present! But the saucier the better for honeymoon vows. Honeymoon vows are also the perfect place for in-jokes between you.

More information about writing vows

Thanks for reading!
Jenny xxx Let's talk soon about how you can
                    have the best ceremony ever
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