Wedding vows should be simple, personal
It all seems important: Finding the right DJ. Picking out the perfect cake. Pruning the guest list to the perfect number.
But what’s more important to a wedding than memorable vows? Couples who write their own vows put their personal stamp on a wedding ceremony. The good news is that writing the perfect wedding vows doesn’t have to be a challenge. It’s all about the bride and groom sharing with their guests the reasons why they’ve fallen in love.
“The essence of every wedding is the vows,” said Jannette Adams, a Florida-based wedding officiant. “Without the vows, the wedding would be nothing more than a big party.”
Personality is key The best wedding vows are sprinkled with personal touches. The groom might mention how he accidentally knocked over the bride’s soft drink during their first date. The bride might mention the first time her future husband opened her car door for her. “It should have enough personal touches … so that the people at the ceremony recognize that the couple wrote them, and that I didn’t,” said Larry James, a wedding officiant based in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Take the pressure off Another key to successful vows? The bride and the groom shouldn’t force themselves to memorize anything. James prefers that couples write their vows on index cards. They can then read them without having to worry about forgetting a key phrase or sentence. “The couples are usually nervous already. There’s no reason for them to put extra pressure on themselves,” James said.
Short and sweet James recommends that couples keep their wedding vows to five or six lines each. This, too, can reduce the nerves that naturally come on wedding day. “How long the vows are really isn’t the important part. What’s important is what the couples say during their vows,” James said. “So what if the groom talks more than the bride? That’s not important.”
Humor is OK Those couples who feel comfortable with it shouldn’t be afraid to inject a bit of humor in their vows, James said. But the humor should be tasteful and clean. Off-color humor doesn’t belong in a wedding ceremony. And couples should keep the sensibilities of all of their guests in mind before they rip off a raunchy joke. “How the wedding vows and the wedding ceremony are presented is so important,” Adams said. “Many people have cried or laughed with the right vows. It is important, and that is what I stress to my couples. Otherwise, just have a party.”