The NZS.com New Zealand wedding vow article contains information on writing your wedding vows, sample wedding vows, and ideas for traditional, funny, modern and Christian vows.
New Zealand Wedding Vows
The vows you say to your loved one on your wedding day are a chance to express in words what the commitment of marriage (and your special person) mean to you. Your wedding vows should be memorable and uniquely styled for your loved one. There are many options, from writing your own vows through to using the services of a professional writer.
Writing your own wedding vows
Creating your own vows isn’t as hard as you might think; many couples choose to show their feelings using their own words. Writing your own wedding vows is also a great way to personalise your wedding ceremony, which will be remembered and appreciated by your partner, friends and family. If you choose to write your own vows, you may also feel more comfortable reciting your own words (instead of someone else’s) and your words will come across as genuine and heart-felt.
When writing your wedding vows, give yourself plenty of time to think about how best to express your feelings. Ask yourself:
- How did I feel when I first met my partner?
- What do I value about him/her?
- What have I learned from this person?
- What dreams and goals do we share?
- What is unique about us as a couple?
- What have been some highlights in our relationship so far?
- What qualities make our relationship strong and long lasting?
- What do I look forward to about our life together?
How to write your wedding vows
Vows are usually between two and three minutes, so be succinct and choose your words well. Remember, too, that your vows are a public declaration of your love for one another and not a private conversation. The key is to be sincere, speak from your heart and strike the right balance between personal and public. Once you’ve both done a draft set of vows, compare your vows with your partner’s to make sure they’re a good match in terms of style and length. As an added touch, you may want to get a copy of your vows printed on special paper to be framed or included in your wedding album.
Funny wedding vows
Your commitment to one another may be serious, but your wedding vows can be a chance to inject some personality and humour into your wedding ceremony. Inside jokes and funny lines can make for a more lighthearted ceremony, but remember to make your funny wedding vows tasteful and keep it at a level that will still make your ceremony meaningful. And be sure to run through what you’re planning to say with your partner!
Think about the sense of humour you share:
- Get inspiration from Dr Seuss: “Will you take her as your wife? Will you love her all your life?”
- Add some extra promises: “Do you promise to love, honor, cook for, clean up after, surrender your share of the blanket to, relinquish the remote to and lift the toilet seat after until death do you part?”
- Add your hobbies and interests: "I, George, take you Sandra, to be my spouse, on the dancefloor, at the beach and on the golf course, as long as we both shall live."
Romantic wedding vows
If comedy in your marriage ceremony isn’t your cup of tea, perhaps romantic wedding vows are a better fit. You might like to:
- Include terms of affection in your vows
- Add to the romantic atmosphere with candles and flowers
- Quote from romantic verse, such as James Weldon Johnson’s ‘The world for me, and all the world can hold, is circled by your arms’
Wedding vow inspiration
If you don’t feel entirely confident writing your own vows, combine elements of your own with words from masters of poetry and prose. Try:
- Snippets of traditional verse from one of the many poets who have written on the subject of love
- Passages from favourite books you’ve shared
- Lyrics from songs that have meaning for you
Wedding vow ideas
If you’d rather use vows written by the experts or handed down through the ages, there are many from which to choose. Vows range from very traditional to contemporary, formal to relaxed, religious to secular, and simple to complex. When you find something that suits you both, use the text as it is or recreate it with elements of your own. There are plenty of wedding vow ideas online, in books and in wedding directories and magazines.
For something simple and traditional:
I, (bride/groom’s name), take thee (groom/bride’s name), to be my (wife/husband),
To have and to hold you from this day forward,
For better or for worse,
For richer or for poorer,
In sickness and in health.
I further promise to love you and cherish you,
And be faithful to you for as long as we both shall live.
For something traditional and with Christian references:
I, (bride/groom’s name), take you, (groom/bride's name), to be my (wife/husband), knowing in my heart that you will be a faithful friend and a true and loving companion.
On this special day, in the presence of God, our relatives, and our friends as witnesses, I give to you my sacred vow that as your (wife/husband), I will always be with you and support you
In times of sickness and in times of health
In times of joy and in times of sorrow.
I promise to love you completely
To console and comfort you during difficult times
To encourage you to achieve your full potential
To laugh with you and to grieve with you
To share with you life's simplest but most enduring pleasures
To be truthful and honest with you
And to cherish you for as long as we both shall live.
For a modern, contemporary take on wedding vows:
I, (groom/bride’s name), take you (bride/groom’s name), to be my (wife/husband), my partner in life and my one true love.
I will cherish our friendship and love you today, tomorrow, and forever.
I will trust you and honor you,
I will laugh with you and cry with you.
I will love you faithfully, through the best and the worst, through the difficult and the easy.
What may come I will always be there.
As I have given you my hand to hold, so I give you my life to keep.
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