When working with couples to create a ceremony, there is always one section that they can find challenging, the vows. As most people know, there is the legal vow which must be said and said clearly and loudly enough for your witnesses to hear.
'I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, Sarah, take you, Michael, to be my lawfully wedded husband'
or words to that effect.
Some exerpts from my couples that you might enjoy:
"So today, on our special day, I promise:
- to continue to rise the passenger seat when we go out
- to always switch meals when we order food as you always want to have mine"
"You are the brie to my cracker and the parmesan I sprinkle on everything."
"I promise to pretend to be interested in Warner hitting another 100 and I promise to always love you, even during the footy season."
"There is no-one else I would rather watch emotional X-factor auditions with, and
I promise to try to not watch too much cricket in the summer and too much footy in the winter."
A sample vow from my wedding kit:
I treasure the bond we have together and the strength of our friendship; a friendship I have never had before. I feel cared for by you, and long for your touch and your smile when we are apart. I love your sensitivity, I love your caring nature, I love your enthusiasm. I love your optimism and your pessimism. I promise to support you in the good and the bad. I promise to appreciate you, and us, as we journey through the rest of our lives. I am proud to be your spouse/husband/wife
But, there is the option to add in something more, but what? And there seems like hundreds of options but which one is just right? Which words resonate with how you feel about your partner?
In preparing for the ceremony I provide my couples with a Wedding Kit and that's too much detail to go into here, but in that kit I provide a massive range of vow options. If there isn't anything in that lot that rings true I can then work with a bride and groom individually, or as a couple, to put into words how they feel about their partner. I have a little cheat sheet that I send through which helps them construct their own or at least to get started. Then we can meet, individually or as a couple, to craft and create a few lines that capture their thoughts. It may not be as easy as the rest of the ceremony but if you want to add something to the legal vow, it's worth putting in a little time.
And, of course, you can always add in a little humour, something that reflects you and brings a smile or a tear to your loved ones!
Couples then have the choice to either read their vows from a printed card which I provide or to repeat them after me.
I'll leave you with a couple of my off-the-shelf favourites at the moment. One author is unknown and the other is from Sydney poet, Elise Bradfield.
From this moment, I take you as my best friend for life.
I pledge to honour, encourage, and support you
through our journey together.
When our way becomes difficult,
I promise to stand by you and uplift you,
so that through our union
we can accomplish more than we could alone.
I promise to work at our love
and always make you a priority in my life.
With every beat of my heart, I will love you.
My world is gifted with light when you smile
and music when you dance.
There is humour when you laugh
and great adventures when you run.
There are stars in your eyes
and whole galaxies in your hands.
What a wonder to share my world
within the Universe of You.