Lucy Suze Celebrant

July 23, 2015

HOW TO SAY “I LOVE YOU” IN WRITING… VOWS: Your Verbal Contract to your love


Many people freak out when it comes to writing vows, so worried about getting it right and forget to connect with what they really want to say… My advice is, always speak from the heart and be authentic. Don’t say anything that you are not comfortable to say publicly, but also remember you will only do this once, with each other, so you don’t want to regret not saying the things you want to say. Some things to think about might be, ask yourself who do you want to be for your partner for life or as husband or wife? What are you grateful for in this person? There is only one rule and that is that the following legal wording must be said; as part of the Marriage Act 1961. I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, (insert name), take you (insert name), to be my lawful* wedded* wife/husband/partner/spouse. *you can leave out lawful or wedded, but not both.  Other than the above wording you can say anything you want. Some couples choose to just say the legal wording and then they might say one or two lines to each other, that can either be the same of different, more personalised words. Other couples choose to surprise each other on the day with their words, this is what I did at my own wedding, we wrote different, personalised vows to each other and the celebrant brings them for you, on a card or whatever they use and you can read them to each other on the day. It is important to speak slowly, obviously not too slowly, but take your time, breathe and look up on commas and full stops, that kind of thing. Other couples have said the same vows to each other, other couples have recited poetry. You get the idea, there is no right or wrong, speak from the heart. Here’s some tips in summary:
  1. Do not wait until the last minute to write your vows: when you get the feeling jot them down, don’t force it and guaranteed they will be perfect.
  2. Do not try and fit all of it in there, leave some good stuff for your speech or the ceremony itself.
  3. Embrace sentimentality: Like I said the vows are the heart of the ceremony, so don’t hold back, go for it, but of course it is YOUR day so do what you like, if you are not comfortable saying them in public write them to your partner and give them to each other on the day of the wedding (you risk running your make up when you cry though)
  4. Have a laugh: Look who doesn’t love a giggle to break the emotions up, also if you make each other laugh a lot then use it.
  5. Pause and look up: break it up with pauses and leave time to feel the emotion.
  6. Promises to each other: try to avoid finite language like “always” “never” let’s be realistic about what you promise to each other and why, avoid just saying vows that are I promise you this, I promise you that, some are good, but not the whole lot.
  7. Look at examples, get inspired: Your celebrant will have some examples and really have a look and see if any lines or phrases speak to you and don’t be shy, use them if you can.
  8. Avoid repeat after me: I am not a fan of repeat after me with the vows, I believe it should be between you two, not a third party with different intonation saying it to you. (But that’s just me)
  9. Verbal love contract: think of your vows as a verbal love contract, a public contract that all your guests are witnesses for, so they can hold you accountable if you slip up in the future.
  10. Don’t be afraid to say I love you: let’s face it everyone is there for the money shot and we want to see you in love and not afraid of it.
References
I have my own vow examples that I allow my clients to see, so book me and you have access to these. https://www.ag.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-03/guidelines-marriage-act-1961-authorised-celebrants.pdf https://www.documentsanddesigns.com/vows-and-verses/non-traditional-wedding-vows-and-love-poems/
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