When it comes to a wedding, vows are one of the most personal bits. The purpose of marriage vows is to make promises to your partner, professing your love and commitment to them and the relationship that you’re in. But, as with relationships, a one-size-fits-all approach may not be quite what you’re looking for.
Personalised or non-religious wedding vows give you the opportunity to inject some personality into your wedding, and use this memorable moment to tell each other how you really feel. Historically, wedding vows started back in Ancient Rome, when the bride would be delivered to the groom by the bride’s father, before the two would mutually vow to marry each other. Now, fortunately, things can be a little more personal - and a little more fun!
The great thing about non-religious wedding vows is that anything goes - you can make them as funny, as personal, as emotional or as unique as you wish. You can create your vows to completely represent your tastes as a couple, and to tell the story of your relationship. Plus, non-religious vows mean that you don’t have to worry about the rights and wrongs, or fulfilling the expectations of what people think you should say during your vows.
Having a completely clean slate on which to write your vows can be a bit daunting, but there are some tips and tricks you can follow to ensure that you’re not totally out on your own.
Firstly, you’ll want to make sure that you’re not waffling on and boring your guests, so keep the timeframe in mind - at maximum, you don’t want to be talking for more than a minute. Also think about the content of what you want to say. While funny is good for a best man’s speech, you may not want to offend people during your wedding vows (or maybe you do?!).
Before you start creating your vows, think about some of the following questions. Do you want your non-religious wedding vows to be funny, dry, romantic, or inspiring?
Are you picturing that you and your other half will write them together, or that they’ll be a secret from each other until the big day?
If you write them together, do you want them to be unique to each person or similar?
Do you want to make the same promises to each other within the vows, or are you happy to include different promises based on the writer?
Once you’ve covered some of these bigger points, you can tweak your draft based on the basics. Keep sentences fairly short, and make sure that it’s easy for you to say out loud - avoid choosing any words that could trip you up. It can also be a good idea to keep your vows short and sweet, so that you can memorise them before the big moment - although it’s advisable to have a copy of them printed out too, just in case stage fright hits under pressure!
Finally, have a couple of dummy runs saying the vows aloud in front of a mirror, or to a friend, and keep tweaking them and adjusting them until you’re happy. Your vows need to ring true to how you feel, and be a real representation of the relationship that you’re in - and the promises that you’re going to make to each other. Pour some heart and soul into your non-religious wedding vows and you’ll end up with a wedding ceremony that is truly personal to you as a couple, and truly memorable for all involved.