Cram - Brisbane Marriage Celebrant
| Vows |
are an intimate an optional addition to a wedding
ceremony. While saying the words that will create the
marriage (in Australia those are referred to as the legal
) is not optional, making personal promises
is a choice.
Personal promises give a couple the opportunity to
express their deep love and commitment to each other.
and to speak their intentions for their marriage.
While you don't necessarily have to write your
personal vows yourselves, it is almost universally
accepted that you will, either as a collaboration, or
as an individual exercise where each keeps their
promises secret from the other until you read them
aloud on the day.
Surprise personal vows -
The secret to ensuring that your surprise vows don't
cause any uncomfortable moments is three things
- Make sure that both of your are on board with
The first step is to make sure that the surprise
aspect is something that your partner will
actually appreciate. Some people may feel
uncomfortable or overwhelmed by a sudden public
declaration of emotions, while others may find it
incredibly romantic nd touching. Discuss it with
your partner. And listen carefully. If you're
still not sure how your partner would react,
consider talking to close friends or family
members for their input.
- Without going into details, reach an
agreement about length and content.
By content, I mean broad agreement about whether
you will mention part of your story, whether you
will express personal feelings, or whether you
will stick to making promises, or some or all of
There is nothing more uncomfortable than a wedding
where the personal vows by the two people getting
married don't mesh! If one of you speaks at
length, and the other is succinct and to the
point, it will feel unbalanced. If one of you
makes a wide range of promises and the other makes
very few, your commitment will feel unequal. And
if one of you is very emotional and the other very
business-like, your guests will start to wonder.
HINT: I can always tell when someone has written
their vows at work. So if your normal job involves
a lot of formal, business writing, check that that
style hasn't leaked into your vows.
- Discuss with your celebrant early. Some
will give you instructions about length, some will
express opinions about content, and some will give
you some very useful tips.
A surprise in part
A touching variation to vows that are a total surprise
is for the two of you to collaborate on part of your
vows, while keeping the rest of your vows a surprise.
How this works is
- You agree on introductory phrases you will both
say to start your vows, and/or
- You agree on how you will express your "for how
long" commitment, for example each of you saying "until
the end of time", or the more usual "for
as long as we both shall live" or something
- You agree on what you will make promises about -
in broad terms, and/or
- You write one or more promises together.
Think before you write
Remember that your vows should be a celebration of
your love and commitment, not a source of stress or
discomfort. So keep them positive. It is surprisingly
easy to inadvertently, usually in the interest of
getting a laugh, make a promise that comes across with
a sting in the tail.
Choose a trusted person to
review both vows
As a celebrant, I do ask my couples to send me their
vows well before the ceremony.
This allows me to
- Compare for length
- Identify anything that might come across as
negative and suggest alternative wording
- Include the vows in my script and in the
- Produce attractive bound copies of the vows to
hand to the couple on the day.
Choose someone who review the vows for you without
spilling the beans!
Pros and Cons of surprise
Surprise personal vows can add an extra
layer of emotion and excitement to your wedding
Your marriage is about your relationship,
keeping your vows a total surprise can mean you miss
out on the relationship-strengthening impact of
discussing what you each will commit to on the day
Keeping your vows secret adds an element
of surprise and intimacy to the ceremony
If not carefully managed, surprise
vows that are dissimilar in content or length could
create an imbalance and make the other partner feel
Surprise vows allow each of you to
express your true feelings without outside influence,
ensuring that your vows are genuine and heartfelt. and
made using words and sentence structures that are
If one partner has unrealistic
expectations that are not fulfilled it could cause
unnecessary stress or anxiety.