Often times at weddings, couples may opt for not saying personal vows, due to feeling uncomfortable about sharing their truest emotions for one another in front of an audience of people. While at elopements, often times, couples feel much more comfortable to let the words that are truly on their hearts flow.
We’ve recently teamed up with celebrant extraordinaire, Ceremonies with Haylie, to bring couples looking to elope on the Mornington Peninsula this winter, a joint elopement package. Where they can book their celebrant and photography team together! With a cheeky little savings of $1000 for every booking!
So whilst writing this blog post, we thought it was only fitting to have Haylie also join us in writing this content so you can get the best expert advice straight from a celebrant herself!
In this blog post, we interview Haylie on the topic of how to write your own vows for your elopement day. She shares her expert advice, personal experiences, and new ideas to spark some inspiration so you can ensure you’ll impress your partner with yours vows!
How do elopement vows may differ from traditional wedding vows?
Sharing your vows in an elopement setting may provide you with a more comfortable environment to share your vows with one another. You might feel like you can share more openly in front of one another, whether it’s just the two of you or with those the closest to you.
Even though your celebrant and photographer are there on the day to capture the moments, if you are eloping just the two of you without guests, we can step away for that moment. Your photographer can opt for zoom lenses to capture the moment from afar, whilst still documenting all the emotions. And your celebrant can step away, give you space, and not be a third wheel!
Where do you suggest couples start when writing their personal vows?
The first step is to shake off the fear about writing your vows! Oftentimes we see vows as a few words which encompass absolutely everything we feel about a person… which in some ways they are. But truly, whatever you say in your vows, if you are sincere and mean what you’re saying, will mean so much and be so special to your partner. Allow yourselves to take the pressure off the “moment”.
What is your best advice for writing your vows? Do you have a step by step process?
The best advice for writing vows is to use the approach that works best for you. For example, if pen-to-paper isn’t your favourite thing, record a voice note and spit ball your thoughts about your person. Or get a friend to ask prompting questions and have you think about what you love about your partner. Better yet, jump on the phone with yours truly (your celebrant) and I can ask some prompting questions to get you thinking!
While I don’t have a step by step process, a good old mind map can be really handy (think back to primary school haha) to get all your thoughts out on paper. I generally separate the structure of vows into two parts: openings and pledges. Openings are like “I remember when…” or “my favourite moment together was…” or “I can’t wait to…”. Where as pledges are like your promises or vows, such as “I promise to…” or “I vow to always…”.
While vows are generally structured as a mix of openings and pledges, there actually aren’t any rules! As long as they are sincere, they are golden, and of course, can have a sprinkling of cheekiness in there too!
Do you have any fun prompts you give couples to help spark ideas?
Haylie shared her wonderful resource she sends to all of her couples when helping them write their own vows with us for this question. We gathered our favourites to share with you in this blog post.
Prompts for openings:
Begin your opening statements with
- “I promise”
- “I vow”
- “I commit too”
- “I will”
Follow the beginning of your opening statement with these prompts:
- I promise/vow/commit/will, “laugh with you about…” or “laugh at…”
- I promise/vow/commit/will, “to always tell you…”
- I promise/vow/commit, “to love you…”
- I promise/vow, “together we will…”
- I promise/vow/commit “to be…”
- I promise/vow/commit “I will always…”
From these helpful prompts you can easily fill in the blanks and personalise your vows to your relationship with your partner!
Tips for injecting humour/personality into your vows?
My biggest tip with injecting humour/personality is to make like a “funny sandwich”. So for anything funny that you might say, surround it with a sincere thing first, then maybe say something cheeky, then another sincere thing.
For example, “Linden, I can’t wait to wake up with you every morning… even if that does mean putting up with you touching me with your cold feet! But I wouldn’t have it any other way”.
What are some ideas for couples who are having guests join them for their elopement ceremony but still want to say personal vows?
If you’re not comfortable to share your personal vows in front of your guests, you can simply say the legal vows during the ceremony and say your personal ones later in private.
The legal vows you have to say are: “I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, *full legal name* take you, *full legal name*, to be my lawful wedded husband/wife/partner/spouse”.
Here’s some alternative ideas to sharing your personal vows in the ceremony:
- Share your personal vows but without the microphone, if being used (aka “whisper vows”)
- Vows said privately during a first look
- Vows shared later on during your photos, just the two of you
- Exchange handwritten letters with your personal vows
- Share your vows at an alternative time that suits you! Maybe during the evening or at another time that suits. You can literally do whatever feels right for you!
What can couples do instead, if they decide they actually don’t want to say personal vows?
Haylie shares her best tips below:
- Exchange handwritten letters at the time of the vows
- Have the celebrant read out ‘I dos’ in place of the vows, for example “do you promise to love and cherish one another, etc…” and then “I Do”. These can be sincere with a bit of cheeky – essentially whatever the couple wants
- Reading out a poem or song lyrics, or having a family member to do this on their behalf
- For something more fun, ninja vows. This is where partner 1 and partner 2 write something for the OTHER person to say… for example, Vanessa writes for Linden “I promise to always pick up my dirty socks and put them in the washing basket” and Vanessa reads this out on the day. A bit more of a cheeky option!
And there you have it folks, expert advice from celebrant extraordinaire herself, Ceremonies with Haylie! Sharing this helpful information, which she advices to all of the couples she works with, right here with zero cost for you!
So whether you are on the search for the perfect Melbourne based celebrant to help guide you through all the legalities and to your dream ceremony! Or you are just after some helpful tips on writing your own vows, we hope Haylie’s advice and presense in this blog post has been beneficial to you!
And if you are interested in hearing more about our Mornington Peninsula Winter Elopement Package with Haylie, be sure to inquire via our contact form to receive our free pricing & package information guide today! If you book Haylie and us together this July and August 2023, you can save a whopping $1000 on your photography and celebrant services!