Should You Write Your Own Vows?

I’ve had couples tell me that they want to write their own vows, but it seems too difficult. Weddings can be stressful enough so I don’t encourage anyone to add unnecessary stress to their plans.

Under my Samples page I have vows that range from traditional to more contemporary. I invite couples to choose either an entire set that speaks to them or take their favourite lines from different sets and combine them. This way they have sort of written their own but did it without any stress.

An added bonus of this method is that, if done separately, the bride and groom will likely choose different lines or arrange them in a different order. The final product can be unexpected. The bride and groom can each e-mail me their personally written vows and wait to hear what his/her partner has chosen until the ceremony.

It’s personal, fun and best of all…not stressful!

Yes, a friend can perform your wedding ceremony!

Our laws in Ontario state that only clergy and justices of the peace can officiate marriage ceremonies. Too often people are disappointed when they find out that a friend or relative, even one who is licensed in another province or country, is unable to perform their ceremony.

The disappointment is understandable. After all, a bride and groom are making lifelong promises to one another and would love to have someone they know and love standing with them and leading them through this moment.

If this is important to you, I may be able to assist you in fulfilling this wish. Please contact me for further information.

Trends in Wedding Ceremonies

  Been to a wedding lately? Noticed anything different?

Wedding ceremonies have gone through a lot of changes over the past few years, even since my wedding in 2003. The sky’s the limit when it comes to creativity.

Some of these changes are fairly obvious – such as the switch from church/religious ceremonies to non-denominational ceremonies, small weddings and wedding parties, and unique vows.

The first ceremony I ever conducted was very, very small. About 8 guests, all immediate family, gathered in the couple’s backyard, drinks in hand. I had never been to such a small wedding myself and was very lucky that it was this type of wedding that got to be my first. I wasn’t nearly as nervous as I could have been. The couple and I wrote the ceremony together and they played with the wording and content until it was a true reflection of themselves. I guided them along the way with samples but ultimately it was their ceremony and their final say…as it should be!

I’ve performed countless ceremonies where there wasn’t even a bridal party. The couple simply invited two close family members or friends to come forward at the appropriate time to act as witnesses. And it works very well. No one has to buy a dress or rent a tux. People come to the wedding as they are, not a made up version of themselves. And for that I would like to apologize to my own bridesmaids for the dresses I made them buy and the money they had to spend. We had a great time so I think it was ok…but I certainly could have given you girls more choices. After all, it was my wedding and not yours.

Large weddings are still lots of fun to go to and officiate. I may meet someone I haven’t seen in years and didn’t know they were connected with the couple. Plus there is a party atmosphere like no other. But not many people can truly afford such large weddings anymore unless they are potluck. And I don’t see that trend coming back around just yet.

If I was asked to pick just one trend that I repeatedly see, it is a couple’s personalization of their ceremony. Everything from the content to location, each ceremony is becoming very unique and you are able to distinguish one couples’ ceremony from the next. When given choices, couples are becoming as excited about their ceremony as they are about the reception. It is no longer just a part of the day to get through to get to the party. Why can’t the party start with the ceremony?

My hope for each engaged couple is that they find ways to make their ceremony unique and memorable, for themselves and their guests. Look for ways to include people (such as passing the rings around so everyone can make a wish) and hold the ceremony in a meaningful location, such as the park where you had your first picnic together. If you can, invite your pet to walk down the aisle since they are an important family member. Try something new and it could become the latest trend.

Remember – ceremonies can be FUN!