Exchanging personal vows is not for everyone. It’s a beautiful and personal way to set your ceremony apart, but if the idea of expressing your innermost sentiments for your partner sends you into a cold sweat, there are alternatives to traditional vows that are equally memorable and heartfelt, but without the need for Valium.
Put the Onus on Your Officiant
For some, sharing intimate feelings isn’t the major issue hindering the execution of personal vows – it is the fear of public speaking, or glossophobia. Not surprising since experts estimate that 75% of the population has some form of anxiety when it comes to addressing a crowd. But guess what? Your officiant does not fall into that 75%. He or she routinely speaks before large audiences and not only is unphased, but most likely, enjoys it. You can still provide the content for your vows, but structure them in such a way that your officiant can read them for you. As the owner of Write Weddings, I am happy to deviate from the traditional and work with you to find a format that fits within your comfort zone. Click here for an example of Glossophobic-friendly personal wedding vows.
Exchange Vows Privately
For others, it is not the recitation that inhibits the use of personal vows – it is the very private nature of the content that some feel should be shared with their partner and their partner only. Fair enough. But there’s no reason you can’t do just that. After all, the very purpose of wedding vows is to convey promises to each other and if you choose not to share them with the masses, there’s certainly no law saying you must. The gravity of your vows, however, is equally as important so if you find yourself stumbling for just the right words, you might need to deviate out of your comfort zone and share your romantic journey with just one person – me! My goal at Write Weddings is to translate your memories as a couple and hopes for the future into perfectly articulated personal vows, whether you share them with a hundred people, or just one.
Shake Things Up
Maybe personal vows aren’t your thing, but the traditional “for richer or poorer” feels too mainstream for you. As long as your officiant is willing, there’s no reason you can’t add some humor to the otherwise, very serious nature of your lifelong promises. Does your partner struggle in the culinary arts? Perhaps adding a tongue-in-cheek promise like, “I promise to be the cook in the household, but if you attempt to make dinner, I will eat every bite – even the burned bits.” Or maybe your future spouse has obsessive compulsive tendencies you can play to – “I vow to put all the canned goods away in the pantry with the label facing out in alphabetical order,” – would get a good laugh from you guests. Again, at Write Weddings, there is no right or wrong, and I’m happy to help break the mold when it comes to crafting your wedding vows. The only wrong, as far as I’m concerned, is choosing vows that don’t speak to you as a couple – because these are words you will live by – they are the building blocks of your marriage. Don’t understate their power and worth.