So many couples sit down with me as their Arizona wedding pastor and one of them wants to write their own vows and the other does not (more often the bride does, not the groom). Then I sit as the tension in the room rises, because both are strong in their feelings about the idea of writing their own wedding vows. I listen, trying not to side with one or the other. Until a couple years ago, I thought it was all or nothing when it comes to wedding vows. Now, I offer them an idea that, more often than not, makes each happy. It’s what I call, “Freestyle Vows” or “Love Letter Vows.” Allow me to explain.
At the beginning of the ceremony, before the promises, the vows or the rings, I take out a letter from each, to each, and read them publicly for the first time. They do not need to match in length, content or style. Both are written from the heart with that magical moment in mind. The following are the reasons why I think freestyle vows have caught on and been embraced by so many of my couples:
- One can be long; the other short
- One can include humor; the other can be more serious and romantic
- One can be poetic and structured formally; the other can be simple bullet points about how wonderful the other person is.
- One can include “inside jokes” that only the couple gets; the other can be a favorite love poem.
As one can see, the ideas are endless. Writing your own vows has become a great way for a bride to bring creativity to the ceremony as well as an extra dose of romance.
So good luck writing, and remember to have fun with it. Your guests will LOVE it and so will you!
– Rev. Randy Williams