In their essence, wedding vows are words exchanged between two people that will unite them forevermore. But they are not just words. They’re an oath, they carry meaning and power, and are possibly the most important words you’ll ever say. These days, more and more couples are opting for originality when it comes to exchanging these oh-so-important vows. But often the task can be daunting. How does one declare their love and promises for the future, in a few words?
Australian celebrant, Josh Withers has the honour of helping couples write their wedding vows and shares his top tips to writing the perfect wedding vows.
Keep it real
Josh’s number one advice to writing awesome vows is to not Google. “When you Google ‘example wedding vows’ you’re stepping into years of tradition, other people’s love, other people’s celebrations, and other culture’s parties. They’re all awesome examples of how to party, but they’re not you”, advises Josh. Keep your vows true to who you are and what your partner loves about you. Don’t be afraid to pull back the blinds and be genuine about how you actually feel.
Add meaning and make them purposeful
“They’re meaningful, something you actually believe. I want to spend the rest of my life with you and this is what it means to me” says Josh. If your vows are the most important words you’ll ever say, make sure they mean something to you and your partner and they carry weight.
Don’t forget to make them purposeful. They are the beginning of a new life together, and their purpose to join the two of you – make sure that’s represented. “Good vows, result in a great marriage. The vows don’t actually hold up a marriage…they are just the firing gun.”
From the heart and from your head
Take some time to write the vows yourself. Do get inspired by books, movies, poems, friends, but make sure when you write your vows, you write something that is authentically yours. “Good wedding vows are something you have thought of, even if it’s one line…something that has come from your head”.
Not too little, not too much
The best wedding vows follow what Josh calls the ‘Goldilocks rule’. “Say everything you want to, nothing more, nothing less, there’s no right length for the vows outside of the Goldilocks rule: just right”. If your vows are too long, try to narrow down which vow means the most to you. And if they are too short, sit down and brainstorm everything you love most about your partner. Once you’ve penned your vows, read them aloud and see if they follow the ‘Goldilocks rule’.
Forecast your future
“Awesome wedding vows aren’t necessarily a recollection of all the days behind, they’re a forecast, a prophecy, an opportunity for the two of you to speak life into your marriage, which is beginning today,” explains Josh.
Perfect wedding vows describe the image you have of the future with your partner by your side. “It might be you sharing a list of promises. If that doesn’t make sense to you, maybe it’s a list of commitments. Maybe it’s you saying: I’d like to become a better person, I think you can do that with me. Or maybe it’s something funny, if you can do that the rest of it will be awesome.”
All images via Instagram @marriedbyjosh
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