Wedding Reception Forum

How to incorporate our own vows into reception?

ntn16ntn16 member
Fourth Anniversary First Comment
edited May 2015 in Wedding Reception Forum
It looks like my fiancé and I will be having a Catholic ceremony for our wedding. While we are content with our decision to get married in the church, we are very disappointed that we will not be able to say our own vows. I'm looking for some suggestions on how to somehow incorporate our own vows into our reception without it seeming random or awkward. Any suggestions and opinions appreciated-thank you in advance!

Re: How to incorporate our own vows into reception?

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited May 2015
    Well, whether or not it's okay depends on what you wanted to promise each other in your vows that the Church won't allow during your ceremony. You didn't specify this in your post, so I can't answer that particular question not knowing that.

    But in general, to be honest I think most people, me included, feel that the actual ceremony is "vows" enough for them. It's like, even if you didn't get exactly the ceremony you wanted, you still walked down the aisle, exchanged vows, exchanged a ring or rings, maybe kissed, were pronounced husband and wife (or spouses, for same-sex couples), maybe were introduced by your officiant, recessed back up the aisle, and will be receiving your guests, thanking them for attending in a receiving line and/or table visits, dancing spotlight dances, and cutting the cake. And you'll have chosen your outfits, food, drink, entertainment, and decorations. Trying to incorporate any more personal things into your wedding on top of that may come off as AWish.

    Edited to add: That said, you and your FI could have a personal vow exchange in private.
    [Deleted User]STARMOON44charcoalandblushCMGragain
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    ntn16 said:

    It looks like my fiancé and I will be having a Catholice ceremony for our wedding. While we are content with our decision to get married in the church, we are very disappointed that we will not be able to say our own vows. I'm looking for some suggestions on how to somehow incorporate our own vows into our reception without it seeming random or awkward. Any suggestions and opinions appreciated-thank you in advance!

    Vows belong in the ceremony.  If the best you can muster is "content" for your ceremony, perhaps that choice is the one that should be revisited.  I agree with others that if you want to personalize your vows with your FI, then find some private time on your way to the reception.  Vows do not have to be publicized to be meaningful.
    charcoalandblushCMGragain
  • If you both are and intend to remain practicing Catholics, I should think the vows within the ceremony would be sufficient. If you are having a Catholic wedding merely to please someone else and do not intend, for example, to raise your children in the Church, you ought not have one in the first place.


    Private letters exchanged by the two of you would be the only way to accomplish this appropriately without changing your ceremony.
    The bolded is what I was going to suggest.
    charcoalandblush
  • ntn16ntn16 member
    Fourth Anniversary First Comment
    edited May 2015

    Thanks for the feedback. I wanted a bit more of a personal touch to our ceremony, unfortunately our parish is very traditional and will not allow us to add anything in. I've been to weddings where couples have said their own vows and I always found that to be the most touching and memorable part (in my opinion.) That being said, I respect that everyone has different ideas of what is appropriate and what isn't. I'll keep brainstorming.

  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    ntn16 said:

    Thanks for the feedback. I wanted a bit more of a personal touch to our ceremony, unfortunately our parish is very traditional and will not allow us to add anything in. I've been to weddings where couples have said their own vows and I always found that to be the most touching and memorable part (in my opinion.) That being said, I respect that everyone has different ideas of what is appropriate and what isn't. I'll keep brainstorming.

    Say your personal vows privately to each other. 
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    STARMOON44charcoalandblushCMGragain
  • KatWAG said:

    ntn16 said:

    Thanks for the feedback. I wanted a bit more of a personal touch to our ceremony, unfortunately our parish is very traditional and will not allow us to add anything in. I've been to weddings where couples have said their own vows and I always found that to be the most touching and memorable part (in my opinion.) That being said, I respect that everyone has different ideas of what is appropriate and what isn't. I'll keep brainstorming.

    Say your personal vows privately to each other. 
    Exactly.  If your church isn't going to let you change the vows, there's no brainstorming needed.  Either you get married in their church with their rules, or you get married elsewhere and include your own vows.  Them be your choices.
    PrettyGirlLostSTARMOON44charcoalandblush
  • If I'm sitting through mass I'm done listening to you to make vows. And I think the traditional ones cover all the bases. Say them to each other privately on your honeymoon.
    [Deleted User]charcoalandblush
  • Sometimes the bride and/or groom makes a toast at the reception. I think it would be fine if you each gave a toast that was at most 60-90 seconds long, as long as you seriously limited the other toasts....maybe JUST a best man toast in addition to you guys, under strict rules to keep it under a minute?

    I'm thinking something along the lines of the groom starting, standing up right before the meal is served, and saying "Thank you all for coming today. It means so much to both of us that you could all be here to share in our joy and happiness. Bride is the most important person in my life, and I'm so lucky I get to spend the rest of my life with her. She brings a smile to my face every day, and I'm so happy you are all here to support our love. I know Bride would like to say a few things also." And then you can say something like "I join Groom, my new husband!, in being so excited and happy you could all be here with us on this special day. Groom means the world to me, and I cannot imagine life without him. Thank you all again for coming today". Then you kiss. And everyone claps. 

    Not vows, but still a public statement of your love outside of the church ceremony, if that's what you're looking for. I really don't think there's a way to do "vows" outside of the ceremony, aside from privately. 
    ntn16
  • edited May 2015

    Thanks for the feedback. I wanted a bit more of a personal touch to our ceremony, unfortunately our parish is very traditional and will not allow us to add anything in. I've been to weddings where couples have said their own vows and I always found that to be the most touching and memorable part (in my opinion.) That being said, I respect that everyone has different ideas of what is appropriate and what isn't. I'll keep brainstorming.



    I'm going to come across as a grumpy old asshole, but I HATE IT when couples recite their own personal vows.  Unless they are Nobel laureates in prose, personal vows always come across to me as awkward, cliche, kitschy, and saccharine.
      I always experience fremdschamen sitting in the pews, listening to them.

    That feeling would quickly turn from fremdschamen to annoyance if I had to sit through vows at the reception, and would make me think that what you said to each other in front of us hours earlier, which was then sanctified by God, wasn't good enough for you. . . but why?

    I agree with PPs that it would be far more romantic and meaningful to send each other letters prior to the ceremony.  I have seen this done where the letters accompanied a gift.


    ----pretend i am a box-----


    Ditto. I agree 110%.

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    PrettyGirlLost
  • louxnoellelouxnoelle #patriotsnation member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    I may get push-back for this being too cute or kitschy, but FI and I are playing around with the idea of having some prints made up. The first one would say "HE" in big pretty letters at the top, and then go into the things I love about him: keeps my feet on the ground, is a wonderful father, makes me feel safe and loved, etc. Another would say "SHE," and then go into the things he loves about me, whatever those may be. The last says "WE" followed by are so happy you could all be here tonight, are excited to share our lives together, feel so honored and by your love, etc.

    Then they'd be framed and put something noticeable, like the guest book table or something.

    Not quite vows, but just a nice way for each other's extended family to get to know about the new spouse, acknowledge what's special to you about the other person, and thank guests for coming, all in one.
    image
    ntn16SP29
  • I may get push-back for this being too cute or kitschy, but FI and I are playing around with the idea of having some prints made up. The first one would say "HE" in big pretty letters at the top, and then go into the things I love about him: keeps my feet on the ground, is a wonderful father, makes me feel safe and loved, etc. Another would say "SHE," and then go into the things he loves about me, whatever those may be. The last says "WE" followed by are so happy you could all be here tonight, are excited to share our lives together, feel so honored and by your love, etc.

    Then they'd be framed and put something noticeable, like the guest book table or something.

    Not quite vows, but just a nice way for each other's extended family to get to know about the new spouse, acknowledge what's special to you about the other person, and thank guests for coming, all in one.

    Yes, slightly "too" cute, but if it's somewhere where I CAN read it but don't HAVE TO read it, I don't care.  It's when I'm held hostage and forced to listen to that saccharine stuff that I want to hurl.  Put it out there so I can read it if I want to and I won't judge.
    louxnoellePrettyGirlLostredoryxcharcoalandblush
  • We found out while talking to our pastor that we would be reciting the vows that the church has. Originally, we wanted to write our own but we want to get married in this church and the vows are beautiful in a traditional sense. 

    My main reason for our own vows was because I love how FI writes. I wanted to hear his own words. The pastor said that we will be required to pick out 3 readings (2 from the bible, and one specifically from the Gospel) and he did say that if we wished we could incorporate a different reading or poem for one of the other two readings as long as it appropriate for the church. I would LOVE if FI would write something up for one of those readings instead.
    11/21/2012 - Chapter 1: The Text
    10/23/2014 - Chapter 2: The Proposal
    11/21/2015 - Chapter 3: The Wedding

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    ntn16
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    NicRen17 said:

    We found out while talking to our pastor that we would be reciting the vows that the church has. Originally, we wanted to write our own but we want to get married in this church and the vows are beautiful in a traditional sense. 


    My main reason for our own vows was because I love how FI writes. I wanted to hear his own words. The pastor said that we will be required to pick out 3 readings (2 from the bible, and one specifically from the Gospel) and he did say that if we wished we could incorporate a different reading or poem for one of the other two readings as long as it appropriate for the church. I would LOVE if FI would write something up for one of those readings instead.
    Ask your FI to write a letter to you, then have him or a groomsman give it to you the to read the morning of your wedding.

    Problem solved.

    I may get push-back for this being too cute or kitschy, but FI and I are playing around with the idea of having some prints made up. The first one would say "HE" in big pretty letters at the top, and then go into the things I love about him: keeps my feet on the ground, is a wonderful father, makes me feel safe and loved, etc. Another would say "SHE," and then go into the things he loves about me, whatever those may be. The last says "WE" followed by are so happy you could all be here tonight, are excited to share our lives together, feel so honored and by your love, etc.

    Then they'd be framed and put something noticeable, like the guest book table or something.

    Not quite vows, but just a nice way for each other's extended family to get to know about the new spouse, acknowledge what's special to you about the other person, and thank guests for coming, all in one.

    Yeah, not a fan because honestly most guests aren't going to care that he keeps your feet on the ground- that's one of those cliche, kitschy phrases that many ppl hate.  It's enough for your guests that you two are happy and that you are getting married, they don't need to know what's special about you and your FI.

    But I agree with a PP that as log as this stuff isn't totaly in your face, and people can look at it or not as they choose, it's not really a big deal.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


    [Deleted User]
  • I love the idea of "regular" vows for the ceremony. Then save your own written vows to read for the one year anniversary.

    A recent wedding I went to had "vows" during the reception. During the instrumental part of their first dance, they had a voice over of their vows. Not sure if it was from the cermony or pre recorded. It was a bit odd, and (IMO) ruined the song.

    ntn16
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I agree that vows aren't really appropriate at the reception.

    I would exchange them privately, either before or after the ceremony. Write them in a letter to each other. Make them into an "art" for your home (either as a print on it's own, or related to one of your wedding photos). 

    I included the text of two of our readings into the photobook I made for us of our wedding photos. 
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    ntn16 said:

    Thanks for the feedback. I wanted a bit more of a personal touch to our ceremony, unfortunately our parish is very traditional and will not allow us to add anything in. I've been to weddings where couples have said their own vows and I always found that to be the most touching and memorable part (in my opinion.) That being said, I respect that everyone has different ideas of what is appropriate and what isn't. I'll keep brainstorming.

    I'm going to come across as a grumpy old asshole, but I HATE IT when couples recite their own personal vows.  Unless they are Nobel laureates in prose, personal vows always come across to me as awkward, cliche, kitschy, and saccharine.  I always experience fremdschamen sitting in the pews, listening to them.

    That feeling would quickly turn from fremdschamen to annoyance if I had to sit through vows at the reception, and would make me think that what you said to each other in front of us hours earlier, which was then sanctified by God, wasn't good enough for you. . . but why?

    I agree with PPs that it would be far more romantic and meaningful to send each other letters prior to the ceremony.  I have seen this done where the letters accompanied a gift.


    #1 pet peeve that isn't actually an etiquette violation: vows that aren't actually vows. It happens so frequently when people write their own. "You keep my feet on the ground" (sorry to borrow your wording, @louxnoelle) is a declaration of love, yes; too saccharine, maybe; a promise of marriage? Nope.


    I love the Catholic vows because I think they cover everything at an appropriate tone; if you're going to have those for your ceremony, OP, try to appreciate them for that. If you want the declaration of love in your FI's words, have him write you a letter as PPs have suggested.

    ntn16
  • ntn16 said:

    Thanks for the feedback. I wanted a bit more of a personal touch to our ceremony, unfortunately our parish is very traditional and will not allow us to add anything in. I've been to weddings where couples have said their own vows and I always found that to be the most touching and memorable part (in my opinion.) That being said, I respect that everyone has different ideas of what is appropriate and what isn't. I'll keep brainstorming.

    I'm going to come across as a grumpy old asshole, but I HATE IT when couples recite their own personal vows.  Unless they are Nobel laureates in prose, personal vows always come across to me as awkward, cliche, kitschy, and saccharine.  I always experience fremdschamen sitting in the pews, listening to them.

    That feeling would quickly turn from fremdschamen to annoyance if I had to sit through vows at the reception, and would make me think that what you said to each other in front of us hours earlier, which was then sanctified by God, wasn't good enough for you. . . but why?

    I agree with PPs that it would be far more romantic and meaningful to send each other letters prior to the ceremony.  I have seen this done where the letters accompanied a gift.


    #1 pet peeve that isn't actually an etiquette violation: vows that aren't actually vows. It happens so frequently when people write their own. "You keep my feet on the ground" (sorry to borrow your wording, @louxnoelle) is a declaration of love, yes; too saccharine, maybe; a promise of marriage? Nope.


    I love the Catholic vows because I think they cover everything at an appropriate tone; if you're going to have those for your ceremony, OP, try to appreciate them for that. If you want the declaration of love in your FI's words, have him write you a letter as PPs have suggested.

    The other day we were doing a long-distance drive and turned on some NPR for a change.  They were talking about weddings with a long time wedding reporter from NYC.  In between questions and segments, they'd play something from like a youtube video from someone's wedding.  "And listen to these vows from Annie and Casey's wedding..."  And they'd cut to Annie's wobbling emotional voice saying how much she loves and trusts Casey, and how she knew from their first date that they'd be together forever, and that he makes her feel safe, blah, blah, blah.  I gave FH the thumbs down with a raspberry noise, and he called me a terrible person.  I just said, "no, the sentiments are lovely, but those aren't vows.  She didn't promise him a damn thing.  They're not vows."  I think he started to understand it when the second "vows" came on and they were slam poetry.
  • ntn16 said:

    Thanks for the feedback. I wanted a bit more of a personal touch to our ceremony, unfortunately our parish is very traditional and will not allow us to add anything in. I've been to weddings where couples have said their own vows and I always found that to be the most touching and memorable part (in my opinion.) That being said, I respect that everyone has different ideas of what is appropriate and what isn't. I'll keep brainstorming.

    I'm going to come across as a grumpy old asshole, but I HATE IT when couples recite their own personal vows.  Unless they are Nobel laureates in prose, personal vows always come across to me as awkward, cliche, kitschy, and saccharine.  I always experience fremdschamen sitting in the pews, listening to them.

    That feeling would quickly turn from fremdschamen to annoyance if I had to sit through vows at the reception, and would make me think that what you said to each other in front of us hours earlier, which was then sanctified by God, wasn't good enough for you. . . but why?

    I agree with PPs that it would be far more romantic and meaningful to send each other letters prior to the ceremony.  I have seen this done where the letters accompanied a gift.


    #1 pet peeve that isn't actually an etiquette violation: vows that aren't actually vows. It happens so frequently when people write their own. "You keep my feet on the ground" (sorry to borrow your wording, @louxnoelle) is a declaration of love, yes; too saccharine, maybe; a promise of marriage? Nope.


    I love the Catholic vows because I think they cover everything at an appropriate tone; if you're going to have those for your ceremony, OP, try to appreciate them for that. If you want the declaration of love in your FI's words, have him write you a letter as PPs have suggested.


    This has been my experience at every single wedding with personally written "vows." They're usually a recitation of how the couple met, fell in love, etc. and all the things they love about each other. That is not a vow. A vow is a promise.

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  • ntn16ntn16 member
    Fourth Anniversary First Comment
    I don't imagine my personal vows to be a list of reasons why I love my fiance, just promises that are more personal and specific to us. I'm leaning toward private letters because it seems my original idea was awful. 
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited May 2015
    ntn16 said:

    I don't imagine my personal vows to be a list of reasons why I love my fiance, just promises that are more personal and specific to us. I'm leaning toward private letters because it seems my original idea was awful. 

    The bolded can go bad too. The danger when people get into "personal" promises is that they often make ones they can't keep, or just stupid ones for the sake of being personal.

    Example: Oh really? You promise to never go to bed mad? That's a) maybe not a promise you can keep and b) a reasonably trivial thing to promise. While it's a decent relationship-communication goal not to, if someone does in fact go to bed mad at their spouse a few times, that's not going to materially affect the marriage. If someone stops loving and honoring their spouse, or decides not to be there in sickness or in health, that's usually a genuine marital issue. That's why I think the traditional vows are often the best... unless, as PGL said, you're a Nobel laureate and can understand ways to a) actually promise things and b) promise the right things.
    [Deleted User]geebee908
  • ntn16 said:

    I don't imagine my personal vows to be a list of reasons why I love my fiance, just promises that are more personal and specific to us. I'm leaning toward private letters because it seems my original idea was awful. 

    The bolded can go bad too. The danger when people get into "personal" promises is that they often make ones they can't keep, or just stupid ones for the sake of being personal.

    Example: Oh really? You promise to never go to bed mad? That's a) maybe not a promise you can keep and b) a reasonably trivial thing to promise. While it's a decent relationship-communication goal not to, if someone does in fact go to bed mad at their spouse a few times, that's not going to materially affect the marriage. If someone stops loving and honoring their spouse, or decides not to be there in sickness or in health, that's usually a genuine marital issue. That's why I think the traditional vows are often the best... unless, as PGL said, you're a Nobel laureate and can understand ways to a) actually promise things and b) promise the right things.
    Agreed.  I once thought I would be cute and include things like, "I promise to always keep her GPS filled with the most current geocaches."  Or, "I promise not to fire the elves that do his laundry."  But those are barely funny jokes, and they're not real promises.
  • louxnoellelouxnoelle #patriotsnation member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    I'll totally cop to my examples being cliche and, yes, saccharine. I was just pulling them out if my ass for the sake of explanation. ;) I understand that a vow is, by definition, a promise.

    My minister actually has something called "thoughts and intentions" built into the ceremony, which is an opportunity for the gushy "I love you so much" stuff that everything seems to hate, haha. They precede the more classic vows.
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