Wednesday, 26 July 2017

HOW TO WRITE YOUR WEDDING VOWS

With my whole heart

One of the areas where many of my brides and grooms get stuck are their wedding vows. They want to write their own but don't know where to start.

I encourage them to write from the heart and inject some of their personality, both as individuals and as a couple, into their vows. 


For instance, this cheeky bride and groom were full of fun and their promises to each other reflected their playfulness.

Jo-Anna: I love you. I love you for never being afraid to be silly with me, for putting up with my unique sense of humour, bad impressions and my ‘tuneful’ voice. For bringing out in me my childish sense of humour and allowing me to give you plenty of jobs.

Adrian: I love your immense capacity for love, whether it’s directed at me, your family or your friends and for sometimes letting me have some of the quilt when it gets reeeallllly cold.

Can I have some of the quilt please?

In addition, this couple took it in turns speaking paragraphs from their vows which added interest and pace to the ceremony. 

There's nothing that says one person needs to make their promises followed by the other. Alternating lines and paragraphs also helps those couples who are a bit shy about speaking in front of lots of guests.


GET YOUR CREATIVE JUICES FLOWING

So, decide whether you are light hearted, poetic, romantic, sentimental, traditional or something else, and use this as your starting point to create truly personal promises.

I love everything about you
Express yourselves in ways that feel most natural to you. For example, if you're a really lovey-dovey couple, why not write your vows in the form of a letter to the other person? You could keep your "love letter" secret until the big day when each of you surprises the other with your words.

Use words and phrases that reflect what's important to you and mirror your bond as a couple. Honesty. Laughter. Love. Respect. Support. Trust. 

EXAMPLES EXAMPLES EXAMPLES

Nothing brings a love story to life better than examples so make references to happy experiences that you've had together or moments that have united you as a couple. This could include travel and adventure. Challenges and obstacles overcome. Achievements and successes. 
I make a promise to you this day

We all like to laugh and nothing brings people together more than humour so if you have a funny story to tell why not include it like this couple did:

Ben set the benchmark very very high, literally, when it came to his proposal. He organised a surprise hot air balloon flight no less, and asked Hannah to marry him at 3,000 feet whilst flying over beautiful Dorset.

But ladies, before your eyes well up with tears of 'how romantic,' just know that Ben was toying with the idea of pretending to drop the ring over the edge of the basket. Fortunately he didn't because he was a teeny bit concerned that Hannah might follow it as it is really nice and shiny. What a guy and clearly Hannah likes bling!


THINK ABOUT WHY YOU WANT TO MARRY EACH OTHER

What do you love about them? What inspires you about them? What promises do you wish to make to them? What hopes and dreams do you have for your future together as husband and wife?



My best friend
HERE ARE HOW SOME VOWS BEGAN FROM ACTUAL CEREMONIES

I love you. You are my best friend

I love everything about you

I promise to encourage you in all of your ambitions

Little did I know four years ago that I would meet a man who would change the course of my life forever.

I make a promise to you this day

With my whole heart I take you as my wife

Today I promise you this


So grab a pen and paper, or get those fingers flying over your keyboard, and see what vows you can create for your wedding day that are truly unique and personal to you.

Monday, 6 March 2017

GOING THE EXTRA MILE


To Dare Is To Do
The personal touch is what people look for when they ask a Civil Celebrant to create a bespoke ceremony for them. Whether it be a naming ceremony, wedding, vow renewal or celebration of life, it's important that the service is unique and, therefore, meaningful to families, couples and parents. 

I would also add, going the extra mile to the list of "must haves."

I recently conducted a Celebration of Life for a lovely man who was an avid and lifelong supporter of Spurs. I searched the internet for a suitable poem to reflect his passion and discovered that the Tottenham team has a resident poet. What a wonderful surprise!

I contacted the Spurs Poet and asked him to recommend one of his poems that would be most suitable for the occasion. He kindly offered to write a poem, specially for the man whose life we were celebrating, and he did a fantastic job.

The kind gesture meant the world to the man's family and took the edge off a very difficult day. They will treasure the poem always. Here is one of the verses that superbly captures the man's devotion to his beloved football team and his character.

He would not want you to be upset today
Not like if you called him during a game
Nothing worse than the mobile phone buzzing
When you are settled watching your star Harry Kane.


Swell day for a vintage wedding
On a similar note, I performed a wedding for a couple with a seaside vintage theme for their special day. Vintage is currently very popular amongst couples tying the knot so it's always a challenge to come up with new ideas.

I spiced up the ceremony by writing one section using words from bygone days.

Falling in love makes us feel all crazy and tingly, but in a good way. Jo-Anna is Adrian's "baby," she thinks he's the "bee's knees" and they love each other, “really darling, really, really!!!”

It turned out to be a "swell" idea and the newly weds, as well as the guests, loved the jazzy twist.

So, going the extra mile can mean the difference between a good ceremony and a really "nifty" one!