How do you do wedding vows?
Updated: Oct 22
When I sit down with my couples to plan their ceremony, I ask them, "How do you want to say your vows?"
Some couples instantly know what they want to do, but others look a bit puzzled and ask, "Hmmm, do we have to say our own vows?"
The answer is yes and no
PHOTO: RING AND VEIL
The Legal Bits
Marriages in Australia must comply with the Marriage Act 1961 requires you to say your legal vows.
I call upon the people here present to witness that I, your full name, take you, your love bunny's full name, to be my lawful wedded wife/husband/spouse.
You can say your legal vows with your personal vows, or, in many ceremonies, the couple choose to say these when they exchange rings.
But after that, it is up to you if you want to personalise your vows.
How do I do wedding vows?
There are many different types of wedding vows, but these are the main categories.
The couple read their prepared vows to each other in front of their guests.
The celebrant reads the vows aloud, and the couple repeats each one.
The celebrant asks a series of questions, to which the couple responds with "I do" or "I will."
One: Write and read your individual vows
Some couples just know: they've always wanted to write and say their own vows during the ceremony... okay, maybe one of you does, and the other needs persuading. Regardless of how you arrive at a decision, some couples choose to write their own vows.
The couple will generally write their vows individually and email them to their celebrant, who will print them and bring them to the ceremony.
Two: Repeat after me
Typically, your celebrant will provide these types of vows, but there is no reason that you can’t write your own repeat-after-me vows.
Repeat after me vows appeal because you still get to say the actual words but don’t have to read them or write them.
Repeat after me vows are a great option if you don’t feel comfortable reading in public...one recent groom didn't want to wear his glasses during the ceremony even though he could barely see without them!
Three: Answer 'I Do'
If you opt for 'I do' vows, your celebrant will read out the question or questions, and you will each answer 'I do.'
While a gentle tear or two in a ceremony is heartwarming, watching someone cry can be really gut-wrenching...plus it's a disaster if you're wearing makeup. And no, it is not always the bride who sobs through their vows! “I do” vows are the perfect solution if you are uncomfortable speaking in public for any reason, including if you are worried that you won't be able to get through saying your vows without crying.
Once again, your celebrant will have options for "I do" vows.
If none of the above options appeals to you, you might like to consider won of the options below;
Secret Vows: You write your vows secretly and only share them with your hunny bunny when you read them during the ceremony.
Couple or joint vows: You write and read your vows together during your ceremony. These can become your "couple mantra"
Letter vows: You write your vows as a letter to each other that you can exchange and read during a private moment before or after the ceremony.
Ninja vows: You secretly write vows for the other person to read at the ceremony. These vows are lighthearted and fun. You can find out more about Ninja vows here.
Duelling Vows: You each write a short list of vows/promises and your celebrant reorders them, so you read them out alternately as a Vow duel.
Mystery Vows: Your individual vows are placed into a bowl and you take it in turns to pick one vow out of the bowl and them out.
CAN'T DECIDE ON THE VOWS FOR YOU?
You can always mix it up and combine more than one style.
You’re not limited to only one style of vows in the ceremony! You can do any combination of vow styles if you can’t choose one.
When it comes to ceremonies, you are limited only by your imagination.