So, you know I’m always going on about the freedom that having a civil ceremony gives a couple? Well, for me, there’s nothing as pleasing, from where I’m standing as celebrant, as when a couple tell me they’ve decided to write their own wedding vows…

As part of any Big Prep Meets, as I like to call them, I’ll always come armed with a copy of my self-penned ‘Guide to Writing your own Vows’ for my couples, and whilst at first, it may seem daunting to many, after a read of that and a think, more often than not, the happy couple step up to the plate .. to take on the lovely task of composing what they’ll finally get to say to their ‘media naranja’ ( other half) on their wedding day.

Of course, there are many other couples that greet the challenge with aplomb from the word Go. Who can forget Paddy and his Perfect Poem, the day he got married to our gorgeous Emma in the Radisson Roe Park, Limavady- I never will… it was everything and more, a rhyming summary of Emma in all her glory! Tears and laughter, just the way we like it…

That’s just one example of many beautiful handwritten vows that i could tell you about from my ceremonies. But they are all just perfect, in fact, because they all come from the heart. Long or short, serious or humorous or a little combo of the two, the point of the matter is that your perfect person has taken the time to sit down and write firstly, all the reasons why they love you in all your ways and secondly, what promises they are making to you, for the rest of your lives together, on this, your wedding day, and in front of all your family and friends.

This is your moment to say it like it is, out loud, like music to their ears. Don’t hold back is my advice….

BUT but but….. as with every single aspect of a civil ceremony, or at least, MY civil ceremonies, writing your own vows is not obligatory in any shape, fashion or form. For those couples who don’t want to go down that road, I have some ready made options to choose from- a little Menu of Lovely Promises, if you will, some very familiar and traditional, others penned by my own fair hand… pick the one that speaks to you the most and that’s you.

Either way, once you’ve finalized or chosen your vows, I’ll take them away to personalize a bit more for the big day, depending on the general vibe of your day…and then, it’s over to you to stand tall, take a take breath, look your beloved in the eye and say those words you’ve been practising in your head all this time. This is your moment. Go for it….