Wedding vows are the chance for you to express to your loved one what love (and in particular, the love you share) means to you. It's an expression of your faith and your continued love and future together.
It's important to enlist an experienced celebrant who can make you feel comfortable and at ease with the ceremony process – from preparation right through to that first smooch. We asked the experts at the Celebrants Association of New Zealand (CANZ) to share their views on modern marriage vows: what's popular, what's new, and where to start.
THE LEGAL BIT
The required legal part of a wedding ceremony is called the “Declaration of Intent”. This is where a couple make it clear that they accept each other in marriage and this can be incorporated in the vows or can stand alone.
Celebrants are finding that many couples are writing their own vows, often keeping them secret from each other until the ceremony. Other times they write them separately but then compare notes with hilarious consequences! It can be a humbling and moving experience to hear a certain vulnerability in the words and the way they are spoken and you value the deep trust that allows this candour.
Often couples feel they don’t know where to start and their celebrant can certainly give them some ideas and a bit of guidance but really vows should simply be what you want to say to your partner on this most special of days.
Vows have certainly become a lot more fun and relaxed. Interestingly the things said in a humorous way are often the things that reveal the truest understandings a couple have of each other, and can be deeply meaningful, so humour should never be mistaken for flippancy.
KEEP IT REAL
When writing vows, you should remember to keep the words real and relevant. It is no use speaking phrases that have come from a book or which feel awkward or embarrassing. Really, vows are just two people saying I love you today, I know I will love you tomorrow and I want to be part of your life always because you matter to me.
Find the right celebrant for you thanks to the Celebrants Association of New Zealand (CANZ).