Should You Have Traditional or Personal Vows?

How to decide whether or not you should say "I do" the old-fashioned way.

Should You Have Traditional or Personal Vows?

Photo: Perez Photography and Sarah Kate, Photographer

Bride and groom exchanging vows at outdoor wedding

While planning your wedding, one thing that might cross your mind is how you and your partner want to say “I do.” This is a special and important aspect of your wedding, because these are the words you will carry in your heart throughout your marriage. The vow exchange is one of the most memorable experiences for every couple, so you’ll likely desire to make the experience truly special. You may be deciding whether you want to repeat a centuries-old promise or personalize your dedication, which can be tricky if you haven’t selected your ceremony venue. You might also be unsure about which vows are most appropriate as you consider religious or secular nuptials, or if there are certain cultural rituals that will occur on the big day. However, there are a couple of ways to navigate this decision.

To help you choose between traditional or personal vows, ask yourself if you are comfortable repeating something many couples have said throughout time. Every wedding is unique, but you might feel that conventional vows are too simple for your own celebration. You might not even like the way certain terms or phrases sound and perhaps have another idea in mind that you’d like to recite. On the other hand, you may find that conventional vows are most meaningful to you because of their timeless feel. If you adore tradition, these may be the best vows for your wedding.

If you are considering personal vows instead, make sure that you have enough time to dedicate to customization. You’ll want to write out exactly what you want to say and make sure you are comfortable saying the words aloud. This means revising your notes and practicing reciting them, so if handwritten vows are something you truly seek, then you must find the time to perfect them. Some brides and grooms may feel too emotional or nervous to share a story or speak of something so dear to their heart, which may mean that personal vows are not the right choice. You may also reach out to others for help with the writing, as long as how you truly feel remains the overarching sentiment.

Whether you want to stick to tradition or create something new, your vows are going to be a huge part of your wedding, and subsequently, your marriage. Whichever route you take, make sure that you and your beloved are happy and comfortable saying them to one another.

Learn how to write your own wedding vows and discover the pros and cons of writing your vows together as a couple.

Opening photo by Perez Photography and Sarah Kate, Photographer; Floral Design by Jackson Durham Events; Planning & Design by DFW Events and Emily Clarke Events