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Marriage Vows - To Write or not to write?

What's better - traditional vows or your own?

Marriage Vows - To Write or not to write?

A conversation that is often had when planning a wedding is deciding whether or not to write your own vows. It seems like a brilliantly romantic notion, but the traditional and classic vows exist for a reason - so which is better?

There's only one way to find out... FIGHT!

(And by fight, I mean let's look at both and figure out which would be better for you, as this is a very individual choice)

  • Traditional Vows
  • The biggest thing that the traditional vows have going for them is in the name - they are traditional. They are what people think of when they imagine a wedding, and they are the most famous part of the entire ceremony. They have an in-built romance within them, and they are tried and tested.
  • For some people, however, they may not express what you really want to say, and they aren't exactly easy to amend or alter. So if you have a belief or lifestyle that doesn't fit with some of the traditional "For better for worse, for richer for poorer" type of language, then you may want to consider another option.

  • Personal Vows
  • On paper, at least, these seem like the obvious option. Because what better way to express your individual love for each other than saying your very own, finely crafted, oscar-worthy speech?
  • And if you're the sort of person who didn't flinch at the sentence before, then you're probably the type of person for whom this option is a great idea. However, if you are the sort of person whose stomach flips at the idea of writing a declaration of love to your other half and then reading it aloud in front of friends and family, then this may not be your best option!
  • In films and TV, you often have characters trying to write their vows and either coming up with comically funny options, or panicking, scrapping it all and just speaking from the heart at the ceremony itself, often to rapturous applause.
  • But that doesn't work in real life. Have you ever tried to speak from the heart in an already nervous situation, in front of everyone you know? The likelihood is that your vows would consist of 56% pauses or "umms" and the rest would be some words that sounded good in your head but don't quite give off the impression that you wanted when you speak them aloud.

After reading both sections, you probably think that I'm leaning towards the traditional vows side, and that I think personal vows are a bad thing - and that's just not true. If you have the time and the skill to write and practise them, they can be a brilliant addition to your perfect day. But on the other hand, if you don't have the time, or writing and performing are not amongst your skillset, then it's probably best to stick with the tried and tested marriage vows during the ceremony - you can always get more personal at the reception afterwards!

As I said at the start of this article, this is a very personal choice, and I'm not here to tell you what to do. But just remember, at the end of the day - it's just some words that you say for a couple of minutes at your wedding - it's not something to get overly stressed about! Pick whichever suits you and your partner the best.