In Your Own Words: Selecting and Writing Your
Did you get engaged over the holiday season? Are you in the throes of preparing your wedding ceremony and celebration? Have you ever been to a ceremony (for a friend, acquaintance, or family member) and thought it was a personal and intimate experience, reflecting the couple and their relationship? Well, perhaps, if you enjoyed that ceremony, what you might have heard were vows personally written by the couple.
“But Rev. Sarah, I am not a writer! I wouldn’t know what to say!”
Many couples are daunted by the mere suggestion of writing and hand-crafting part of their own ceremony. Yes, it is an intimate and personal expression of your love for one another and you are putting your emotions at the forefront of your special day. However, if not now, what better time to express these things to your beloved?
Legally, for a couple to be married in the State of New York, an officiant (minister, justice of the peace, priest, rabbi, etc.) needs to hear an affirmative answer from both parties (“I do”) and have two witnesses hear that the couple has answered “Yes” to the question of being joined together in the bond of marriage. Altogether, it counts for about 28 words. The remainder of your ceremony is up to you and your unique relationship! I have heard couples use song lyrics, words from Winnie-the-Pooh or Mr. Rogers, or just spoken their hearts to each other in the moment. They write their vows on index cards, pieces of paper, or just speak from their memory.
There are many sites containing many beautiful words and vows on the Internet and in books. I recommend sitting down with your partner, taking a good look at the person you are going to spend the rest of your life with, and allow your heart to do the rest. You know why you chose this person – why not express it to the rest of the world by writing your own vows? You won’t have a ceremony like anyone else in the world – it will be yours and yours alone. Shouldn’t we all have one thing in the world that is just ours?
Next time, we will chat about music choices – another personal expression of your unique love.