How cutting out the middle (wo)man can make your vows more intimate

wedding ceremony cortijo de los caballos

In case you haven’t guessed it yet, the middle man or woman refers to the person leading/officiating/conducting your wedding ceremony. And this post is about how you and your love bunny can say your personal vows to each other without your wedding officiant’s involvement.

So why, you’re probably thinking, would I’d be suggesting to leave your celebrant out of your wedding vows?

Do let me explain.

You know the whole ‘three’s a crowd’ expression, well, basically it’s a bit like that!

Your vows are going to be some of the most beautiful things that you say and pledge to each other, not just on your wedding day but in general. Couples often forget that they are saying their vows to each other, not to their officiants, not to their guests but just to each other. Yes, it’s an added bonus for your guests to hear every single word of your vows, but if they don’t, tough! Because your vows are not meant for them, they’re meant for you and your love bunny and that’s it. Yes, of course, it’s important that the person officiating your ceremony makes sure that your vows are carried out properly, especially in legal ceremonies, but the rest really can be down to you!

Your officiant or whoever is leading your ceremony can still introduce your vows and prompt you at the right moment, but there is no reason why, in addition to any legal vows that you might have to respond to, you can’t ask and say your own personal vows as well, without your officiant’s involvement.

wedding ceremony cortijo de los caballos

Vows can be even more intimate when couples speak and respond directly to each other. Photo by Anna Gazda.

So let me give you some examples.

Let’s start with a question vow. These awesome vows that I am about to share were written by a previous gorgeous couple of mine. They wrote the vows themselves in a question format and had me ask the question vows to them. It worked beautifully, but sometime later when I was thinking back on it, I thought how nice it might also have been if they had asked each other the questions instead, without me being involved at all. So here is my version of their vows, re-written in a way that would be perfect for them to be said to each other, by each other.

Jay: Beyoncé, do you take me Jay to be your wedded husband? Do you promise to comfort me, honour me and respect me?

Do you promise:

– to love me as much as you love your shoes

– to not hold my adventuring pants and shirt combo against me

– to embrace my love of survival programs even when it means you can’t leave the house until you know how to escape quicksand

– to love my cooking

– to never try and change me

– to tell me I am handsome

– to be my cheer squad even when it means being there at 6am

– to stay fabulous

– to learn how to fill up the screen wash in your car and put air in your tyres from time to time

– to support my logging dreams and all other harebrained ideas that may make you richer or most likely poorer

But most importantly, do you promise to hold my hand, to tell me you love me and to make me smile every day from this day forward.

Beyoncé: I do

Beyoncé: Jay, do you take me Beyoncé to be you wedded wife? Do you promise to comfort me, honour me and respect me?

Do you promise:

– to love me, even when I sneak new shoes onto the shoe rack proclaiming “they have been there for ages!!”.

– to use the car for the transportation of people and not tree trunks.

– to understand that you are not, nor will you ever be trusted to use the washing machine.

– to stop wearing odd socks.

– to seek council before embarking on any harebrained ideas that will turn the home into a warehouse.

– to continue being the best chef in the world but understand and take note that regardless of how cleverly masked, I do not like chilli, cauliflower or peas.

– to accept that I will cry at literally any content found on TV or YouTube, even adverts.

– to adore and encourage my wonderful singing voice.

– to agree that I am always right.

– to remember the previous point every day of your life.

But most importantly, to hold my hand, to pinch my bum, to tell me you love me and to make me smile everyday from this day forward.

Jay Z: I do.

I can’t tell you how much I loved the original vows, so much so that I actually wrote a whole blog post about them. They simply are an awesome set of fun, honest and heartfelt vows. However, also seeing them re-written this way, to allow a couple to ask their own vows to each, I think is so amazing. I love the impact that these vows have and I think they are really special and really personal. Not just in their content but the way that they are delivered makes them very powerful.

Another technique, involves personal statement vows that couples say to each other. Sometimes, some couples are tempted to ask their celebrant to first say the line, which they then repeat. I do go into this in more detail in my blog post about reading, reciting and repeating vows, but basically, in my books this is probably the least intimate way to carry out your vows. The beautiful words may lose their meaning when they have been repeated several times and the connection between you and your love bunny may not be as powerful when there is a third person guiding you through the whole process. So if you can and you do feel up to it, saying your vows directly to each other can be a better way of doing it.

Well, that’s it from me. I hope I’ve given you a few ideas about ways that you can deliver your vows to help promote a really romantic and intimate experience.

Let me know, if you give any of these a go! I’d love to hear.

About the author

Natasha Johnson

Natasha Johnson is an experienced Wedding Celebrant, blogger and writer on all things related to weddings, in particular wedding ceremonies. Her mission is life is to encourage couples to see the importance of their wedding ceremony and to get married in just the way they want to. Make sure you catch her on the Engaged and Ready Wedding Podcast, here or on iTunes and Stitcher.

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