Working as a wedding officiant and professionally certified celebrant this summer, I was excited to discover many couples writing their own marriage vows. In fact, so many, that you could call it a trend. How do they do it? How do we help our couples write their own wedding vows?
It’s simple really. What I like to tell engaged couples is think about your beloved. Think about what they mean to you, and think about what you mean to them. Tell them what you love about them, and what you promise to do to honour that love in the years to come. This can be pragmatic, one groom promised to always “take you (the bride) to Joe’s grill once or twice a month”. More often it is poetic; as one groom so beautifully put it “to have the patience that love demands, to walk along side you in the darkness, to run with you in the light.” Some couples like to speak of how they see their beloved, “when I first saw your sparkly blue eyes” and then move into the “I promise to …”
With the vows it is important to acknowledgement the good and the bad. Marriage and life is full of unexpected surprises. The traditional vows heard in the movies, television and probably many of the weddings we go to today were first written down in the 1500’s. These vows have set the tone for what we expect to hear today in a typical Western marriage ceremony. They emerged from the Anglican and Catholic traditions, but are still are used in both religious and civil ceremonies. We like them because they work:
“I, ….. take you, … , to be my lawfully wedded (husband/wife),
to have and to hold,
from this day forward,
for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
until death do us part.”
Pretty simple, yet deeply profound. However, times are changing and modern couples are more conscious of what it takes for a great marriage. Just as ceremonies are personalized so are the vows. Couples want to acknowledge what is unique to their relationship – and what it will take to keep their love alive.
One bride promised:
“to fiercely love you in all your forms”
“I will be with you in times of sorrow and in times of great joy”
“and when the world grows dim and dark,
I will always be a light for you.”
Another couple focused on choice “I choose you, I see you and when we are fighting I will choose love ”. Many use the idea of a journey through life, “I will go (with you) wherever our journey may lead us.”
When you work with the Modern Celebrant team of wedding officiants we are experienced and skilled at guiding our clients through the tender task of writing their own vows. You can keep them secret from your beloved and we will ensure they are balanced and appropriate. Or you can write them together and we will help with editing them. As with any written detail of your wedding ceremony, when you work with Modern Celebrant, the words are weighed, considered and crafted to reflect your love and brilliant new marriage.
— Celebrant Lisa Hartley,
Vancouver Wedding Officiant