Posted At : February 23, 2009 3:42 PM
| Posted By : Bridal Network
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Vows, Speeches & Toasts
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Traditional wedding vows are so ingrained in Canadian culture that most of us can even recite the most common misheard versions by heart, such as "...in holy mattress money...." (matrimony) or "...to be my awful wedded wife..."( lawful wedded wife.) If you and the groom have talked it over and decided to forgo the cliche of traditional wedding vows in favour of writing your own, the following steps can help you come up with genuine, heartfelt verses.
"You complete me" and other cliches to avoid
Before you begin writing your own vows, it always helps to be mindful of what sort of things you should avoid - such as cliches. It's easy to spot a cliche if you find that it doesn't really register when you recite it (i.e. "from the bottom of my heart".)
One rule of thumb to weed out cliches is to avoid using words or phrases that come from song titles, such as "everlasting love", "from this moment on", "everything I do, I do it for you", and so on.
Writing Wedding Vows separately or as a couple
- After you and the groom have talked it over and decided to write you own vows either separately (one set for the bride and another for the groom) or as a couple (both bride and groom recite the same vows), confirm with your officiant that personalized wedding vows are OK. Certain congregations, such as Catholic and Episcopal require that all or some of their traditional wedding verses be recited as part of the vows, while others leave it up to the officiant's discretion.
- If you and the groom are writing separate vows, make sure you're both on the same page regarding the word limit (usually no more than a couple of minutes in length each, when read "normally".)
- Answer the following questions separately even if you're writing one set of vows for the two of you (later on you can re-visit your answers and see which ones you have in common.)
- What qualities does your fiancee have that you can't live without?
- What will be your priorities to your spouse, and what do you promise them above all?
- What have been some of your favourite times together?
- - When did you know you were in love?
- Write down some romantic passages from literature/film/music that really resonate with you. Then ask yourself what it is you like about them - is it the romantic metaphors? The simplicity? The sincerity? Whatever it is, try to evoke the same qualities in your own vows. If you find a verse that you really want to feature in your own vows, paraphrase it or referrence it, instead of plagiarizing it:
"As the great American philosopher and songwriter, James Blunt once sang, 'You're beautiful. You're beautiful. You're beautiful. It's true.'.... Rebecca, that's how I feel, too."
- Show your officiant your draft vows. The officiant will most likely want to review your vows in advance of the ceremony, and can also offer some helpful tips.
- Have the best man and maid of honour keep a copy of the vows to present them to you and the groom at the ceremony. Even if you've memorized them, it's never a bad idea to have a backup plan!
- Framed vows make an especially sentimental home decoration that reminds you of your pledge to one another.
- If you want personalized, unique vows but don't quite have a way with words, online services such as Poems, Speeches and Toasts and About Wedding Speeches will write your vows for you, based on some information you provide about yourself and the groom.
Story by G. Melanson