Vancouver Officiant Blog


9 Places to Look for the Perfect Ceremony Passages

Your Own Story

Before delving into the wide world of possible readings, look to your own backgrounds and relationship first. Remember the time your fiance gave you a Pablo Neruda book for your birthday? Or did you meet in English class and read Pride and Prejudice together? Or maybe a Stevie Wonder song was playing in the restaurant when he proposed? Do some reminiscing -- the perfect passage might be right in front of you.


Scripture and Cultural Texts

Feel free to use ethnic or cultural readings that don't necessarily reflect your backgrounds -- what's important is that the words resonate with you. Some places to start: theDhammapada (Buddhist), the Song of Songs (Jewish), the Bible (Christian) and the I Ching(Chinese). Just make sure to explain the reading's source in the introduction or in your ceremony programs. And keep in mind that if you're having a religious ceremony, there may be certain requirements about or restrictions on what can be read.


Classic Poetry

Poems were practically made for wedding ceremonies, from Shakespeare's love sonnets and Elizabeth Barrett Browning's romantic verses to the works of more modern scribes like E.E. CummingsMaya AngelouWalt WhitmanNikki Giovanni and William Butler Yeats. If you can't decide between several short poems, consider having multiple readers recite them one after the other. Each person can introduce the next.


Literature

Browse books and short stories to find passages that remind you of love and your marriage. Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet is popular for weddings, as are classics by Jane Austen and Charlotte and Emily Bronte. But think beyond the obvious and consider modern authors you love. Maybe one of Jonathan Safran Foer's novels spoke to you, a passage written by Nicole Krauss really stuck with you, or you loved one of David Sedaris's funny yet touching essays.


Children's Books

Your favorite storybooks from childhood can actually be quite profound, given their audience. Excerpts from books by Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein, Maurice Sendak, Roald Dahl and other classic authors might surprise you with how romantic they can be. One idea we love: Have your seven-year-old cousin read the passage and there won't be a dry eye in the room.


Love Letters

Love letters penned by historical figures (like James Joyce's to his wife, Nora, or Simone de Beauvoir's to Jean-Paul Sartre, for example) can be especially moving. If you'll have two or more readings, ask one person to read from a love letter, and another reader to handle the response letter. And don't forget about your own ”love letters.” Search your email inbox for messages from when you first met or were falling in love. You may find sweet tidbits of old correspondence that chronicle your falling in love from a totally personal and unique angle.


Your Favorite Movies

If historical literature or old-world poetry just isn't your style, try drawing from romantic movie quotes: Billy Crystal's speech at the end of When Harry Met Sally, Tom Hanks's radio call from Sleepless in Seattle, Leonardo DiCaprio's conversations with Kate Winslet in Titanicand the first-person narration from The Notebook come to mind. Think beyond your typical romantic movies too. If you have a special, nontraditional film you both love -- maybe you always watch it together when one of you is sick -- check it for quotes too.


Song Lyrics

If you're more likely to have a list of favorite tunes than favorite sonnets, check your iPod for songs with romantic, readable lyrics. Some of our favorites? The Beatles' "In My Life," The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows," Van Morrison's "Someone Like You" and Bob Dylan's "Make You Feel My Love."


Your Family

If you're looking for a way to honor a deceased or absent relative, reading from that person's favorite poems, books or passage of scripture is appropriate. Another touching option? Choosing excerpts from a meaningful book or letter written during their life. Maybe your grandmother kept a diary about her marriage and family life, or your favorite aunt read The Steadfast Tin Soldier to you when you were a kid.

Source: The Knot. com
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Ambush Weddings: Newest Wedding Trend for 2014?


You've heard stories of celebrities flying their friends to exotic island vacations that are really for their secret destination wedding. While avoiding paparazzi is a great reason to have an "ambush wedding," there are equally great reasons for non-celebrities to surprise their friends.
Ambush weddings or "Trojan weddings" as they are sometimes called, also offer the following benefits:
a. Condensed timeline
A lot of what takes up wedding planning time is finding at least 10 types of wedding vendors, and coordinating with them and your bridal party. By keeping the affair simple, you cut down on the number of search and coordination.
b. Element of surprise and fun
Surprises are always good. What better way to make your wedding memorable and ensure everyone is in good spirits?
c. Excuse to do away with some expected wedding traditions
Because it is not a "traditional" wedding, you have much more leeway on what wedding traditions you want to keep.
d. No-stress guest list
Don't want to agonize over who to invite, sending invitations, and RSVPs? Invite as many people who are in town, and have someone manage the RSVP. Better yet, have a buffet to have more flexibility.
Of course, a surprise wedding is not for everyone. If you have a very clear vision of your wedding and actually do enjoy the planning process, then this option is not for you. If you also like travel and do not want to deal with orchestrating a surprise event, then eloping still remains a popular option for an intimate and easy affair.

Oh and by the way, if you're planning on ambushing, let your Officiant know ahead of time!

Source: The Knot. com
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Wedding Ceremony: 10 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Civil Officiant


  1. Is the officiant available on your wedding date?
  2. Can the officiant travel to your chosen wedding site?
  3. If you don't have a site, can the officiant suggest one or provide a courthouse or meeting room?
  4. Does the officiant charge a standard fee? Is the fee a donation?
  5. How long has the officiant been performing weddings? Why does he/she do them?
  6. Does the officiant have sample wording/ceremonies/readings to show you?
  7. Will the officiant let you specify ceremony details such as music, readings, and vows? Can you include religious touches if desired?
  8. Is the officiant available for a ceremony rehearsal? 
  9. Does the officiant make you comfortable? Does he or she seem genuinely interested in you as a couple? Be sure you like and respect your officiant -- and that the feeling is mutual.
  10. Would the officiant (and his/her spouse) like to come to the reception and rehearsal dinner?

    Source: The Knot. com
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12 Tips to Writing Your Own Wedding Vows


Penning your own wedding vows is no easy task -- it’s like writing poetry, public speaking and having the deepest conversation of your life all at once. Putting your promises on paper is an emotional, eye-opening and often extremely memorable experience. Up for the challenge? Here's the homework you need to do (and the questions you should ask) to make your vows perfect.

  1. Get Clearance
    Make sure your ceremony Officiant will actually allow personalized vows. Certain celebrants and houses of worship may require you to recite a specific set of traditional vows. And remember: Even some of the most accommodating Officiants will want to review your words in advance.

  2. Start Early
    We can't say this enough: Don't leave writing your vows until the day before the wedding! You'll be too nervous, excited and rattled to give them the time and thought they deserve. Give yourselves at least a month, or work on your vows in that pocket of time after you've set up all your major vendors and before you have to start thinking about the details. Vow writing should be done in a relaxed, not rushed, frame of mind. Some loose deadlines to aim for: Try to get a first draft together about three weeks before the wedding and have your final version completed at least two days out.

  3. Look to Tradition
    To get inspired, start by reading traditional, by-the-book vows -- from your own religion, if you practice a certain faith, but others, as well -- to see what strikes a chord with you. You can incorporate these into the original words you write, or simply use them as a jumping-off point to base your personalized vows on.

  4. Set the Tone
    Before putting pen to paper, decide what overall tone you want to achieve. Humorous but touching? Poetic and romantic? It's your call -- the most important thing is that your vows ring true and sound like they're from your heart. One word of advice: While your vows can be lighthearted (or even hilarious), they should, in some way, acknowledge the seriousness of the commitment you're about to make. One way to do that is to weave little jokes into traditional vows (for example: "I promise to love you, cherish you and always watch Monday Night Football with you").

  5. Figure Out the Logistics
    Make sure you and your fiancé are both on the same page. Are you each going to write your own vows, or will you write them together? If you're writing them separately, will you want to run them by each other before the wedding? If you're writing them together, will they be completely different for each of you, or will you recite some of the same words and make the same promises to each other, as you would with traditional vows? If you want them to be a surprise on your wedding day, make sure you both send a copy of what you've written to your Officiant or to one friend or family member so they can check that your vows are about the same length and similar in tone.

  6. Make a Vow Date
    When it's time to come up with the actual content of your vows, go out to dinner or set aside an evening at home to brainstorm. Talk about your relationship and what marriage means to each of you. Discuss what you expect from each other and the relationship. What are you most looking forward to about married life? Why did you decide to get married? What hard times have you gone through together? What have you supported each other through? What challenges do you envision in your future? What do you want to accomplish together? What makes your relationship tick? Answering these questions will help you make and keep your promises, and talking about your bond may expose your inner Wordsworth and help you come up with phrases and stories you can incorporate into your vows.

  7. Schedule Some Alone Time
    After chatting with your future spouse, take some self-reflection time to think about how you feel about your partner. What did you think when you first saw them? When did you realize you were in love? What do you most respect about your partner? How has your life gotten better since meeting your mate? What about them inspires you? What do you miss most about them when you're apart? What qualities do you most admire in each other? What do you have now that you didn't have before you met? You may be surprised how these answers may lead you to the perfect words.

  8. Steal Ideas
    Borrow freely from poetry, books, religious and spiritual texts -- even from romantic movies. Jot down words and phrases that capture your feelings. Widely recognized works ring true for a reason.

  9. Create an Outline
    An outline can get you started by helping to establish a structure. For example, plan to first talk about how great your fiancé is and then about how you work together as a couple; pause to quote your favorite writer and then go into your promises to each other.

  10. Remember Your Audience
    Don't make your vows so personal that they're cryptic -- or embarrassing! You've invited your family and friends to witness your vows in order to make your bond public, so be sure everyone feels included in the moment. That means putting a limit on inside jokes, deeply personal anecdotes and obscure nicknames or code words.

  11. Time It Right
    Don't make them too long -- aim for about one minute or so (it's longer than it sounds!). Your vows are the most important element of your ceremony, but that doesn't mean they should go on for hours. Get at the heart of what marrying this person means to you with your vows; pick the most important points and make them well. Save some thoughts for the reception toasts -- and for the wedding night.

  12. Practice Out Loud (Seriously!)
    These are words meant to be heard by a live audience, so check that they sound good when spoken. Read your vows out loud to make sure they flow easily. Watch out for tongue twisters and super-long sentences -- you don't want to get out of breath or stumble.

    Source: The Knot. com
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6 Ways to Personalize Your Ceremony


Your ceremony is the most meaningful part of your wedding day. Depending on how traditional your ceremony will be, there are ways to personalize your nuptials to ensure that the experience feels true to you and your future spouse. Check out some of our favorite ways to personalize your wedding ceremony.
Music
Check with your ceremony venue to see if you can incorporate non-classical music into your ceremony playlist. Whether it’s an instrumental version of your favorite pop ballad during the prelude or a cheeky pop tune as a recessional, selecting music that you love will give your ceremony a personal touch.
Readings
Depending on your ceremony traditions, you may be able to include a few readings into your ceremony. From Shakespeare to religious texts to more modern-day literature, pick a few passages that speak to you. You can ask close friends or family members who would feel comfortable speaking in front of a crowd to perform the readings.
Vows
Many couples prefer to write their own vows. Work with your officiant to come up with a general template to help you get started.
Programs
Include personal touches to your ceremony program. Design the program using colors and fonts that you like, and write a note thanking your guests for attending. 
Officiant
Be sure to meet with your officiant several times before your ceremony. It’s important that your officiant gets to know you as a couple, so that he or she can create a ceremony that includes anecdotes and details about your relationship.
Decor
Incorporate flowers and other decor items that are meaningful to you - whether it's including your grandmother's favorite flower in your altar arrangements or including a family quilt in your chutzpah or ceremony canopy.

Source: The Knot. com
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Get Ready for the New Year! The Hottest 2014 Wedding Trends

As 2013 comes to a close, the WeddingWire Editorial team is celebrating the launch of their WinterBook (yay!) and looking ahead to the upcoming wedding season. There are several wedding trends that started to emerge this year that we think are going to be big in 2014.

So to help you prepare for those 2014 couples, check out their list of 2014 wedding trends!
Metallic Color SchemesFrom wedding dresses to stationery, linens to cakes, expect to see a lot of gold and silver next year! We sawmetallic wedding dresses at New York Bridal Market, and think this trend will carry over into décor, as well.
Art DecoInspired by The Great Gatsby (both the book and the 2013 movie), we’re expecting to see lots of 1920s-era décor and themes in 2014.
Unique EntertainmentPhotobooths have been popular at weddings for a while now, but expect to other types of “alternative entertainment” next year. We’re thinking Slow-Motion Video Booths, I Spy or Mad Libs, lots of lawn games, and much more! Check out some of our favorite guest entertainment ideas here!
Halter Neckline Wedding DressesSee ya later, strapless! Halter necklines were all over the runways this season. It’s a great look for brides who want to show off some gorgeous shoulders.
Radiant OrchidPantone just announced the Color of the Year for 2014, and it’s Radiant Orchid – a pretty pinky-purple that is a beautiful hue for wedding décor. Purple was the hot hue a few years back, so is it making a comeback? We’ll soon find out!
Custom HashtagsGone are the days of placing disposable cameras on guest tables – now it’s all about the Instagram hashtag as a means of collecting guest photos! Couples are creating signs to inform guests of their Instagram hashtags (#nickandsara for example) so that all of the photos of their wedding will be easily accessed.
DahliasWe’re predicting that this beautiful bloom will be the hot flower for 2014. They come in a wide variety of colors and create such a lush, unique look!
“Naked” Wedding CakesWe’re not trying to be crass here, but wedding cakes without any icing are becoming a quite the trend for rustic, casual weddings.
Hanging DécorFrom lanterns to flowers to ribbons, crepe paper, even parasols – couples are clamoring for décor hanging from the ceiling! It’s a striking and dramatic look that turns the traditional centerpiece upside-down!
Bridesmaid Dress Color = MintPale green bridesmaid dresses were all over the runways at bridal market, so expect to see this minty fresh color at spring and summer weddings in 2014!
Kim Forrest is one of WeddingWire’s editors. She manages content creation on both WeddingWire and EventWire. Kim has been writing about weddings for nearly a decade, and has been quoted as a weddings expert in the New York Times, Washington Post, Slate, and more.
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The Power of Monogamy: 10 Surprising Claims Regarding Modern Love

Never underestimate the power of someone who has your back: It’s the message in Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships, the book by Ottawa clinical psychologist Dr. Sue Johnson, slated for release on Dec. 31.

Her thesis, based on decades of neuroscience research into human emotion, is that just like the bond parents have with their offspring, monogamous love makes sense as a survival code.

“We’ve understood so much about the power of adult love relationships, how this emotional bond creates a safe haven for us in life, allows us to grow and function on an optimal level, as well as how emotional isolation and disconnection are extremely costly to us as a species,” Johnson said. (Johnson is a psychology professor at the University of Ottawa and founder of the not-for-profit organization the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy, which trains mental-health professionals – not to be confused with Toronto’s vibrator-waving sex educator Sue Johanson.)

Monogamy, she says, makes sense, and yet “there are so many forces pulling us away of being aware of relationships.” Among them are porn, a robust friends-with-benefits culture and attention-splicing technology, she says. Just as parenting has undergone a radical shift over just several generations, Johnson is hoping for an overhaul in the way North Americans think about love.
“In the last 40 years we’ve really started to understand exactly how much impact a parent can have on a child’s development,” she said. “The revolution that we went through in parenting, we have to go through it with romantic relationships.”
The Globe asked the author about 10 of her more surprising claims regarding modern love.
Our culture exalts independence even though it’s not natural
“We are supposed to live in a rich social environment, and part of it is long-term bonds with special people. It sometimes feels like modern society is just determined to forget this,” said Johnson, referring to the high rates of solo dwellers in North America. (Census figures released last fall showed that 27.6 per cent of Canadian homes have just one occupant, a massive shift from decades past.) “We don’t live in little villages any more. People now often depend on romantic love as their main source of social support.”
Romantic love is a bonding attachment like that of a mother and child’s
“We are not wired to face the perils and uncertainties of life by ourselves. Our brains are designed to use the people we love as physiological and emotional safety cues to make the world a safer place. What our society does with that is, as children we have parents, and then we have life partners as we get older. These are the bonds that we count on,” explained Johnson. “In that sense we never grow up.”
Emotional dependency is healthy, not ‘clingy’ and pathological
“Secure attachment – having one other person you can count on as an adult – is related to almost every index of good functioning, happiness and health,” says Johnson. She cites the physical and mental-health implications of social isolation and loneliness, from increased risk of anxiety, strokes and heart attacks to elevated heart rate and increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which impacts the immune system. “Having no one to confide in at all literally is going to stress your body out all to hell.” The caveat: “You don’t have to be glued to each other, that’s not healthy, but you have to be available.”
People are at their best when coupled up, not isolated
“It’s been shown in research but we know in our gut that with somebody valuing us, loving us, listening to us and supporting us, we are the best we can be then,” said the author. “We take risks, believe in ourselves and deal with problems better. If you’re securely connected you’re more assertive, more trusting, confiding … you’re better at dealing with ambiguity.”
Secure relationships breed independence
Beyond health, the benefits of monogamy extend to “emotional balance,” says Johnson. “The safer our relationships are, ironically, the more independent we can be. Closeness and independence are two sides of the same coin. They’re not opposed.”
Attachment styles can change, depending on their partner
“Yes, people can change,” says the psychologist. The thinking used to be that we receive a relationship template from our parents, a model we would then use our whole lives. Newer research suggests “we’re adaptable animals,” says Johnson. “If we have new experiences and we’re open to them, we can change our template.”
The novelty of open relationships is ‘overrated’
Friends-with-benefits relationships don’t “make sense” as a survival code, says Johnson. The trouble with polyamorous arrangements, she says, is they don’t fulfill the physiological bonding needs people have for “someone in the universe to depend on, who we come first with.”
Porn is a bad teacher
“People who don’t trust other people are into performance and sensation. The trouble with that is it’s endless: You need more and more performance and sensation because you’re emotionally numb,” said Johnson. “What we’re creating in our society is this empty, formulaic, going-through-the-motions sexuality. Porn is a lesson in how to be a really bad lover.”
Monogamy yields the best sex
“The people who have the best sex, enjoy it the most and have sex most often are people in long-term committed relationships,” says the author, citing the survey research of University of Chicago sociologist Edward Laumann, who found that monogamous couples were the cohort having the most sex, and so also the happiest with their sex lives.
Technology erodes our relationships
“Look at couples courting on dates: They’re on their little screens almost half of the time,” says Johnson. She argues that technology should be used as a tool, not a replacement for more intentional relationships. “What you don’t use you lose. Face-to-face conversation is an essential in human life. It’s not an incidental.”

Source: Zosia Bielski via The Global & Mail
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Why I’m Getting A Divorce In 2014

Before you start assuming I will be leaving my wife, let me just tell you that’s just simply not the case. I’m looking to leave someone else. Someone you may not know about. Someone who takes up most of my time, distracts me from spending time with my wife, and even spends time with me during the late hours of the night.
Her name is iPhone 5. She’s extremely smart, funny, reliable, and keeps me up to date with all the latest trends. And although she’s always by my side, I can’t help but notice that she is keeping me from spending time with the people who matter most in my life: God, my wife, my family, and my dreams.

She’s really good at keeping my attention. So much so that I’ve been known to completely ignore people when they are trying to have a conversation with me. She tempts me to use her apps while at church, weddings and funerals, instead of enjoying the moment un-distracted. She even keeps me from working on personal projects that have strict dead-lines.
She’s extremely insensitive when it comes to my safety, and is always tempting me to be with her while I drive. I can’t help but notice she is slowly infecting my social life, my marriage, and the lives of those around me. Many people act like it’s no big deal, but I imagine the longer one ignores this issue, the worse one’s personal relationships will be affected in the long run.
We need to bring our phones back to being an accessory, not a priority.
2014 Challenge: Divorce your phone, your apps, your social-feeds, and engage in relationships with people that actually matter. Vow to spend a significant amount of time off your mobile-devices, unplugged, and instead get back to making personal relationships that will stand the test of time.
Other than God, my wife deserves to be the #1 priority in my life and I don’t want anything to get in the way of that. The reality is, we’re all married to our phones in one way or another.
Mind you. Not everyone struggles with this. But I hope you will take this into consideration regardless.

  1. Learn to balance the time you spend on your phone.
  1. Make your phone an accessory rather than a priority.
  1. Give yourself limitations as to when and where your phone can be used.
  1. Control how you use your phone, and stop allowing your phone to control you.
  1. Try spending parts of your weekends unplugged, offline, and away from your mobile device.

In 2014, I vow to divorce my phone. Will you join me? Share this with a friend, and let’s get the “Divorce Your Phone” movement going.

My name is Jarrid Wilson.  I am a Husband, Pastor, Author, Blogger. A gospel sharing misfit. I yearn to share Christ to the world.
http://jarridwilson.com
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Marriage Isn’t For You

Having been married only a year and a half, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that marriage isn’t for me.


Now before you start making assumptions, keep reading.

I met my wife in high school when we were 15 years old. We were friends for ten years until…until we decided no longer wanted to be just friends. :) I strongly recommend that best friends fall in love. Good times will be had by all.

Nevertheless, falling in love with my best friend did not prevent me from having certain fears and anxieties about getting married. The nearer Kim and I approached the decision to marry, the more I was filled with a paralyzing fear. Was I ready? Was I making the right choice? Was Kim the right person to marry? Would she make me happy?

Then, one fateful night, I shared these thoughts and concerns with my dad.

Perhaps each of us have moments in our lives when it feels like time slows down or the air becomes still and everything around us seems to draw in, marking that moment as one we will never forget.

My dad giving his response to my concerns was such a moment for me. With a knowing smile he said, “Seth, you’re being totally selfish. So I’m going to make this really simple: marriage isn’t for you. You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn’t for yourself, you’re marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.”

It was in that very moment that I knew that Kim was the right person to marry. I realized that I wanted to make her happy; to see her smile every day, to make her laugh every day. I wanted to be a part of her family, and my family wanted her to be a part of ours. And thinking back on all the times I had seen her play with my nieces, I knew that she was the one with whom I wanted to build our own family.

My father’s advice was both shocking and revelatory. It went against the grain of today’s “Walmart philosophy”, which is if it doesn’t make you happy, you can take it back and get a new one.

No, a true marriage (and true love) is never about you. It’s about the person you love—their wants, their needs, their hopes, and their dreams. Selfishness demands, “What’s in it for me?”, while Love asks, “What can I give?”

Some time ago, my wife showed me what it means to love selflessly. For many months, my heart had been hardening with a mixture of fear and resentment. Then, after the pressure had built up to where neither of us could stand it, emotions erupted. I was callous. I was selfish.

But instead of matching my selfishness, Kim did something beyond wonderful—she showed an outpouring of love. Laying aside all of the pain and aguish I had caused her, she lovingly took me in her arms and soothed my soul.

Marriage is about family. 

I realized that I had forgotten my dad’s advice. While Kim’s side of the marriage had been to love me, my side of the marriage had become all about me. This awful realization brought me to tears, and I promised my wife that I would try to be better.

To all who are reading this article—married, almost married, single, or even the sworn bachelor or bachelorette—I want you to know that marriage isn’t for you. No true relationship of love is for you. Love is about the person you love.

And, paradoxically, the more you truly love that person, the more love you receive. And not just from your significant other, but from their friends and their family and thousands of others you never would have met had your love remained self-centered.

Truly, love and marriage isn’t for you. It’s for others.

This post originally appeared on ForwardWalking.com, a website dedicated to helping people move forward in life.
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How Do I Write My Own Vows?



Penning your own wedding vows is no easy task -- it’s like writing poetry, public speaking and having the deepest conversation of your life all at once. Putting your promises on paper is an emotional, eye-opening and often extremely memorable experience. Up for the challenge? Here's the homework you need to do (and the questions you should ask) to make your vows perfect.


Get Clearance

Make sure your ceremony officiant will actually allow personalized vows. Certain celebrants and houses of worship may require you to recite a specific set of traditional vows. And remember: Even some of the most accommodating officiants will want to review your words in advance.






Start Early

We can't say this enough: Don't leave writing your vows until the day before the wedding! You'll be too nervous, excited and rattled to give them the time and thought they deserve. Give yourselves at least a month, or work on your vows in that pocket of time after you've set up all your major vendors and before you have to start thinking about the details. Vow writing should be done in a relaxed, not rushed, frame of mind. Some loose deadlines to aim for: Try to get a first draft together about three weeks before the wedding and have your final version completed at least two days out.




Look to Tradition

To get inspired, start by reading traditional, by-the-book vows -- from your own religion, if you practice a certain faith, but others, as well -- to see what strikes a chord with you. You can incorporate these into the original words you write, or simply use them as a jumping-off point to base your personalized vows on.




Set the Tone

Before putting pen to paper, decide what overall tone you want to achieve. Humorous but touching? Poetic and romantic? It's your call -- the most important thing is that your vows ring true and sound like they're from your heart. One word of advice: While your vows can be lighthearted (or even hilarious), they should, in some way, acknowledge the seriousness of the commitment you're about to make. One way to do that is to weave little jokes into traditional vows (for example: "I promise to love you, cherish you and always watch Monday Night Football with you").




Figure Out the Logistics

Make sure you and your fiance are both on the same page. Are you each going to write your own vows, or will you write them together? If you're writing them separately, will you want to run them by each other before the wedding? If you're writing them together, will they be completely different for each of you, or will you recite some of the same words and make the same promises to each other, as you would with traditional vows? If you want them to be a surprise on your wedding day, make sure you both send a copy of what you've written to your officiant or to one friend or family member so they can check that your vows are about the same length and similar in tone.




Make a Vow Date

When it's time to come up with the actual content of your vows, go out to dinner or set aside an evening at home to brainstorm. Talk about your relationship and what marriage means to each of you. Discuss what you expect from each other and the relationship. What are you most looking forward to about married life? Why did you decide to get married? What hard times have you gone through together? What have you supported each other through? What challenges do you envision in your future? What do you want to accomplish together? What makes your relationship tick? Answering these questions will help you make and keep your promises, and talking about your bond may expose your inner Wordsworth and help you come up with phrases and stories you can incorporate into your vows.




Schedule Some Alone Time

After chatting with your future spouse, take some self-reflection time to think about how you feel about your partner. What did you think when you first saw them? When did you realize you were in love? What do you most respect about your partner? How has your life gotten better since meeting your mate? What about them inspires you? What do you miss most about them when you're apart? What qualities do you most admire in each other? What do you have now that you didn't have before you met? You may be surprised how these answers may lead you to the perfect words.




Steal Ideas

Borrow freely from poetry, books, religious and spiritual texts -- even from romantic movies. Jot down words and phrases that capture your feelings. Widely recognized works ring true for a reason.




Create an Outline

An outline can get you started by helping to establish a structure. For example, plan to first talk about how great your fiance is and then about how you work together as a couple; pause to quote your favorite writer and then go into your promises to each other.




Remember Your Audience

Don't make your vows so personal that they're cryptic -- or embarrassing! You've invited your family and friends to witness your vows in order to make your bond public, so be sure everyone feels included in the moment. That means putting a limit on inside jokes, deeply personal anecdotes and obscure nicknames or code words.




Time It Right

Don't make them too long -- aim for about one minute or so (it's longer than it sounds!). Your vows are the most important element of your ceremony, but that doesn't mean they should go on for hours. Get at the heart of what marrying this person means to you with your vows; pick the most important points and make them well. Save some thoughts for the reception toasts -- and for the wedding night.




Practice Out Loud (Seriously!)

These are words meant to be heard by a live audience, so check that they sound good when spoken. Read your vows out loud to make sure they flow easily. Watch out for tongue twisters and super-long sentences -- you don't want to get out of breath or stumble.



-- Special thanks to Alisa Tongg, a wedding celebrant



Read more: Wedding Vows & Readings: 20 Tips for Writing Your Own Wedding Vows – Wedding Planning – Wedding Ceremony http://wedding.theknot.com/wedding-planning/wedding-ceremony/articles/20-tips-for-writing-your-own-wedding-vows.aspx#ixzz2XGngEmLF
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Wedding Ceremony Sample (With Translator)



Check out the amazing video made by Jason Leung from Infinitum here 
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15 Romantic Wedding Readings from Children’s Books

15 Romantic Wedding Readings from Children’s Books
Choosing a romantic reading for a wedding is one of the most exciting parts to planning your special day. It’s also one of the more memorable moments at any wedding ceremony for both yourselves, as the bridal couple – as well as for all your wedding guests.
Check out these amazing readings from children’s books. 
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Wedding on a Boat

I’m on a boat 

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