As the summer wedding season gets into full swing, I’m seeing more and more couples putting the emphasis on their ceremonies. I love this! After all, your wedding ceremony really is the main event. It’s the whole reason that your friends and family have gathered together and the moment your life together truly begins. If you’re having a traditional or religious ceremony, you’ll probably be using standard wedding vows. However, if you’re not going this route, there’s a little more room for creativity. So how do you make your wedding vows as memorable and unique as your love story? Here are ten great ideas.
Include favorite quotes, poems, or lyrics. If you’re not sure where to start, get inspired by the experts. Whether it’s a line from a movie or the text from a children’s book, quotes can help to express your feelings. You can also mix traditional vows with contemporary wording or personal elements.
Acknowledge your community. Marriages don’t survive in a vacuum. They’re witnessed and nurtured by the community that surrounds you, especially your loved ones. So why not bring them into the wedding vows? You can do this by verbally acknowledging their support or doing it in a symbolic way, like a ring warming.
Ask a friend to officiate. Having a friend or loved one conduct your ceremony is truly special. Be sure to communicate clearly with them so they know what you want and double-check all legal requirements to ensure you’re in compliance. You could even send them to school to perfect their ceremony with an online course from Wedding Ceremony Master Class.
Add humor. A sprinkle of humor always goes down well and makes wedding vows feel more personal and fun. This isn’t about telling jokes or sharing long anecdotes (save those for the speeches, if you must). It’s usually about acknowledging those little quirks that make your relationship one-of-a-kind.
Take your wedding vows in unison. Traditionally, a groom (if there is one) answers the officiant’s questions and says his vows first. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Saying your vows in unison is a lovely way to show your unity, and that your marriage will be a partnership.
Or flip for it. Another cute alternative to the groom-goes-first tradition is to flip for it – right there at the top of the aisle. Your guests are sure to get a kick out of it. This is an especially apt idea if one or both of you are sports fans or athletes.
Change up the format. For something really unique, throw out the traditional formula and use your own. A poem, a song, a rap. Get creative! Even non-literary formats like a recipe or a set of instructions can be romantic when written well.
Include a unity ritual. There are so many unity rituals that you can include in your ceremony. The unity candle is a classic, but there are also ideas like planting a tree together or pouring sand or wine together into a vessel to blend them and symbolize how you cannot be separated. There are also lots of ceremonial aspects from around the world you could adopt, like Celtic handfasting.
Make vows as a family. If either or both of you have children, including them in your wedding vows can create a very special and meaningful moment. It allows each of you to say yes to one another, forging a new family for the future.
Celebrate your vows beyond the ceremony. The power of your wedding vows doesn’t need to end with the ceremony! Ask your wedding planner to help incorporate them into the reception as a piece of statement décor. For example, calligraphed onto a backdrop or painted onto the wedding cake. And be sure to invest in a pair of pretty vow booklets so you each have a copy to treasure.
Whatever else you choose to include, remember that wedding vows are just that: vows! Think about what you are promising to each other, and what you are saying yes to in your marriage, and be sure to include these promises in your ceremony.
Image by Amy and Stuart Photography