Quickie Question: DIY Vows or Standard Form?

Let’s face it. The ceremony is the whole reason for all the trappings of a wedding. There’s no particular point to the flowers and fancy clothes and music and all the rest if nobody says some form of I do.

And yet we spend little time here at Manolo for the Brides discussing those actual vows.

There are a lot of people who feel strongly about how those vows should be ordered and spoken. Some believe that the standard, traditional form for their particular religion is by far the best and most meaningful. I can’t argue with that, and I wouldn’t if I could. Others feel that writing one’s own vows shows a level of thought and commitment that can’t be shared by those who repeat vows others have said down the years. Again, I have no argument and wouldn’t raise one if I did.

My feeling is, very simply, that each couple needs to figure this one out for themselves. Traditional or custom, you’re the ones taking the vows and they need to mean something to you.

In my own case, I probably would have preferred to write my own vows. I come from a long line of lapsed Catholics and cultural Presbyterians, and never developed a religious system or faith of my own. I didn’t particularly want to speak words written for people who believe in something I just plain don’t. Still, I wound up researching and finding a set of standard vows I could live with and using those. Why? Because Mr. Twistie wanted nothing to do with writing the ceremony and I wasn’t going to put my words into his mouth. The only thing he wanted to say was ‘I do’ and he probably would have said that to pretty much any vow I had chosen or written. He just wanted to be married to me with a minimum of fuss and feathers.

Sometimes it’s all about finding a compromise you can live with as a couple. And since I wrote the rest of the ceremony, well, I was still getting my philosophy in there. It’s not like I just grabbed someone else’s religion and had my secular officiant deliver it in the woods for a pair of non-believers.

What about all of you? Writing your own? Following tradition? Finding a compromise path between the two options?

Tell me all about it!

2 Responses to “Quickie Question: DIY Vows or Standard Form?”

  1. Katie says:

    As we had a civil celebrant, there were no set vows. She sent 8-10 sample vows, we picked the one we liked best and altered them to suit us.
    Often when a couple writes their own vows, they end up making their guests feel awkward by making them too personal and specific.

  2. Jenn says:

    Originally we were going to follow the usual bits and write our own personal vows instead of the to have, to hold part, but then we decided to include a handfasting and I found a really good script for one that we’ll modify to make it a little less awkward for some of our more conservative guests. Since our friend is officiating, we’ll pull together parts of what we like and string them together to make them fit us.