Vows. Every wedding ceremony has to have them. I mean, every wedding ceremony HAS to have them!’  Emotionally AND legally.  Without them, it’s just a big expensive party with a giant cake.  And that realization makes many of my couples completely zone out when it comes to that blank piece of paper. But writing your vows should be as evocative and meaningful as actually saying them that day.  They are a true insight into your personalities, and they are the most poignant minutes of the entire day.

Every couple is different, and so are their vows. Some are short, some are long. Some are funny, some are serious; they might make you and your guests laugh; they will inevitably make you and your guests cry. The most important thing to remember is that your vows are your promises to your partner. They are words from the heart; words that express how you feel about your partner, and sometimes, the very real practical ways you’ll show how you feel.

The traditional vows may be something that you have always dreamed of as part of your ceremony, and they are appropriate as a centerpiece for any ceremony.

I, (name), take you (name), to be my (wife/husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.

Or you may opt for something that is sentimental, but not so recognizable.

I, (name), take you (name) to be my partner, my friend and my husband, to laugh loudly and to cry softly, to work and to play, to create a life together that cannot be imagined separately.  I vow to be your strength and your sanctuary, as long as we shall live.

Or something totally, totally funny, like my great couple Michael and Michelle, who wrote their vows in rhyme, detailing the “sacrifices” they would make for each other.  They had their guests in tears. Of laughter. (But then their best man also presented engagement shaped lollipops instead of the real rings, so you can get a sense of what THEIR wedding was like!!! Boy, did we have fun!)   

 Some of my couples write them, some of them steal them from all the great sources online, some of them use the vows that I’ve written, but the bottom line is very very simple. Your vows are the promises that have been evolving in your hearts and minds since the day you became a couple.