Wedding promises and vows

Your celebrant can share a selection of examples of personal vows which you can choose from, ‘mix and match’, or simply use as inspiration for writing your own. They can be long or short, emotional or humorous – whatever feels right for you as a couple. Suddenly coming over all ‘hearts and flowers’ when you’re usually all ‘beer and mountain bikes’ might not feel authentic. The more ‘you’ your personal vows are, the better they will feel.

As with readings, you can even look for inspiration from novels, songs or movies. There is a great website called Drew’s Script-O-Rama which has thousands of movie and TV scripts. So if there is a particular movie or TV show that means something to you both, you can read the script and see if you can find the right words.

Popular sources of ‘alternative’ vows for example include Tim Burton’s ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ and ‘Corpse Bride’, ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and ‘Game of Thrones’. 

Each of you can recite the same personal vows to each other, or you can each choose different vows. You can read them to each other or, if you’re nervous about speaking in front of your guests, your celebrant can recite them and you can either repeat line by line or say ‘I do’ or ‘we do’ at the end. If you do choose to read them, there’s no need to add pressure by memorising them. More often than not, couples will read them from a ‘prompt card’ or equivalent.

So, whether you are having a legal or a non-legal ceremony, you have lots of options for your personal vows. For information on the legal requirements and declarations please see here.