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Ceremony and Vow Ideas

2 questions - when to sign the papers & saying your own vows

Hi ladies,

I have 2 questions and looking for your advice. I'm from Ontario Canada so it may be a bit different in the states if you're from there. 

1. Do you sign the papers before or after the kiss - The officiant we're working with says 99% of the time they sign the papers after the kiss/announce you as man and wife. But that doesn't seem right to me. Shouldn't the final kiss/announcement be after the signing of the papers? That's a nice way to end the ceremony and then you walk down the aisle. I think it would be weird to sign the papers and just walk down the aisle right afterwards without any words.

2. Writing your own vows - We'd like to say or own little thing to each other during the ceremony. The officiant said we would do this before we say the official vows. I believe I've seen other couples do this. So we're not really saying our own vows, it's more of a little thing we say to each other about how much we mean to each other. Is this normal? Or do people usually write thier own vows and don't say the regular official vows? And how long should this message be to each other - so I can give my fiance guidance. I'm thinking a paragraph or so. 

Thanks all!
 

Re: 2 questions - when to sign the papers & saying your own vows

  • 1. We signed after the ceremony was over and we came back in for pictures.

    2. We did not say any traditional vows other than "I do." Our vows were sonnets, so 14 lines each. Remember that vows need to be in the form of actual promises, not why/how much you love the person you're marrying. Good luck!
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  • HobokensFuryHobokensFury member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited April 2012
    In NJ the bride and groom do not sign papers.  The 2 witnesses and officiant do.  Therefore we were legally married before the ceremony actually started. I personally would not hault the ceremony to sign papers.
     
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  • Where we live, we signed the certificate at the town hall when we applied for it.  The only other person that needed to sign was our officiant.

    Our entire ceremony was written specifically for & by us so none of it was the "standard" vows.

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  • kfraskfras member
    100 Comments
    I think we sign before as well, like days before. When we drop the license off to the church. And then the priest signs it that day as the officiant/witness. We did have to give him our MOH and BM's names as witnesses, but I am not sure when/if they sign it. Of course this is a Catholic ceremony. For yours I would just do what the officiant suggests. During a Catholic ceremony there are the vows with the official "kiss" and becoming husband and wife. And then following that there are still other parts of the ceremony to be done. There is still the sign of peace, communion, and the final blessing. After the final blessing is when the priest will announce you as  "Mr. & Mrs. Tom Smith!!!" and you will turn and be elated and walk back down the aisle together. I tis entirely up to you, I would either sign the license when the officiant says, after the vows, or do it after the ceremony altogether. Before you take photos.

    As for vows, I really wanted to do something similar. I know at my church we are not allowed to write our own vows, but I wanted to just be able to say something to each other, something personal rather than just repeating after the priest. I ended up not asking the priest about this at all, because while it is something I really wanted to do, my FI is nervous as heck about just standing in front of everyone without having to say aloud something that he wrote. He really hates the idea of everyone looking at him, and I had to calm him down by explaining that he only has to repeat after the priest. So that is out of the question for me :/ But I think it is a great idea. As fun as it is to write your own vows, I would really like to say the traditional vows still. So it is nice to have both, say your personal thoughts followed by official vows.
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  • Each state's requirements are different as for who signs and when, so you might want to look into that first. 

    However, if you do need to sign it, I've never seen it signed during the ceremony itself.  Our officiant explained it that the ceremony IS the legal marriage, signing the certificate just confirms that it took place (ie, you are already husband and wife).  After our ceremony, we went back into the getting ready room and signed our certificate.
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  • In Response to Re: 2 questions - when to sign the papers & saying your own vows:
    [QUOTE]In NJ the bride and groom do not sign papers.  The 2 witnesses and officiant do.  Therefore we were legally married before the ceremony actually started. I personally would not hault the ceremony to sign papers.
    Posted by HobokenBride2012[/QUOTE]
    Whoa, I didn't even know that! I just looked at my license and sure enough, we don't sign it. Interesting.
    Like PP have said, this isn't usually done DURING the ceremony. Either right before or right after. I'd imagine that the proper way would be right after since the witnesses are signing that they 'witnessed' the wedding. They haven't witnessed anything before the wedding, but no one will know that anyway. 
    Also, the ability to say your own vows, rather than the standard vows, varies. In my religion, saying our own is not an option. Others do allow you to replace it with your own or do as you are, saying them both. I'd ask your officiant why you can't only use your vows. Perhaps it's due to religious reasons or due to regulations from your province.
  • My officiant told me that the bride and groom do not sign the papers, only the officiant and 2 witnesses.  I live in NY.

  • Keeping in mind I am from the States...

    1-We signed ours right after dinner at the reception.  So I don't think it would be weird.

    2-Honestly, I would save the "I love you so much" speeches for the reception but you can have them before the vows.  I'm sure it will be sweet no matter where you put them. :o)
    November 2011 Siggy Challenge: The First Kiss
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  • In Response to Re: 2 questions - when to sign the papers & saying your own vows:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: 2 questions - when to sign the papers & saying your own vows : Whoa, I didn't even know that! I just looked at my license and sure enough, we don't sign it. Interesting. Like PP have said, this isn't usually done DURING the ceremony. Either right before or right after. I'd imagine that the proper way would be right after since the witnesses are signing that they 'witnessed' the wedding. They haven't witnessed anything before the wedding, but no one will know that anyway.  Also, the ability to say your own vows, rather than the standard vows, varies. In my religion, saying our own is not an option. Others do allow you to replace it with your own or do as you are, saying them both. I'd ask your officiant why you can't only use your vows. Perhaps it's due to religious reasons or due to regulations from your province.
    Posted by rlavach[/QUOTE]

    Actually the papers were signed at our RD on March 15th, but postdated March 17th LOL.
     
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  • vexievexie member
    100 Comments
    Hi! I'm also from Ontario :)

    1. We did our vows, exchanged rings, lit the unity candle, signed the paperwork and THEN kissed :)

    2. We also wrote our own vows but wanted to do the traditional ones too.  The traditional vows came first, then our own personal words to each other.  I'm not sure it matters which way it goes, this just seemed to make the most sense.
    84image 73image 11image Wedding date: June 11, 2011 :)
  • In Anne Arundel County, Maryland, only the minister/officiant signs the marriage license.  Ours did so before the ceremony.  I'm sure she could have done so after the ceremony as well.  Of course, the two of us (bride and groom) signed the application,  No witnesses were required for either.  This was for my second wedding (2011).

    In the District of Columbia, only one person is required to sign the application.  The officiant signed the certificate after the ceremony.  I cannot remember if we (bride and groom) signed the license/certificate.  I do remember no witnesses were needed to sign anything.  This was for my frist wedding (1992).

    As you can see, every jurisdiction has different requirements.  Have you asked the clerk in the jurisdiction where your ceremony will be performed?
  • babe915babe915 member
    100 Comments
    edited April 2012
    As far as I know in michigan the bride, groom, MOH, BM and I believe the minister sign it.

    Also they do it after the ceremony.
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  • In Response to Re: 2 questions - when to sign the papers & saying your own vows:
    [QUOTE]As far as I know in michigan the bride, groom, MOH, BM and I believe the minister sign it. Also they do it after the ceremony.
    Posted by babe915[/QUOTE]
    This is correct. In Michigan, the officiant is required to witness the Declaration of Intent ("I do") before signing the document. Therefore, it cannot be signed until after that portion of the ceremony. Since the witnesses need to sign it as well, most people wait until after the ceremony.

    I have seen a couple weddings where they incorporated it into the ceremony. They would have a song played (or have someone sing) while signing the license, and the MOH/BM would step forward to add their signatures. Then, the officiant would say, "I present to you, for the first time, Mr. & Mrs. Blah Blah! You may kiss your bride!" Both times were during a smaller ceremony, though, where everyone could see what was going on. I've never seen this done at a church wedding or a larger wedding.
  • Thanks all for your answers. We're from Ontario Canada so it seems to be much different than in the States. I'm used to seeing people sign the papers during the ceremony, near the end. So we're going to do it after the kiss and then when done, the officiant announces us as a couple and we walk down the aisle. I prefer the idea of taking a 5-10 pause near the end of the ceremony to sign the papers while the guitarist plays a nice song. It just seems more official to me when you sign the papers at the ceremony vs later or earlier. And we're going to say some kind words to eachother (just a few) after we say the traditional vows - I love this idea that we can kind of proclaim our love to eachother in our own words infront of everyone - hope I don't cry!

  • In Response to 2 questions - when to sign the papers & saying your own vows:
    [QUOTE]Hi ladies, I have 2 questions and looking for your advice. I'm from Ontario Canada so it may be a bit different in the states if you're from there.  1. Do you sign the papers before or after the kiss - The officiant we're working with says 99% of the time they sign the papers after the kiss/announce you as man and wife. But that doesn't seem right to me. Shouldn't the final kiss/announcement be after the signing of the papers? That's a nice way to end the ceremony and then you walk down the aisle. I think it would be weird to sign the papers and just walk down the aisle right afterwards without any words. 2. Writing your own vows - We'd like to say or own little thing to each other during the ceremony. The officiant said we would do this before we say the official vows. I believe I've seen other couples do this. So we're not really saying our own vows, it's more of a little thing we say to each other about how much we mean to each other. Is this normal? Or do people usually write thier own vows and don't say the regular official vows? And how long should this message be to each other - so I can give my fiance guidance. I'm thinking a paragraph or so.  Thanks all!  
    Posted by KarenSzarko[/QUOTE]

    I believe after the kiss and yes it is normail

     
  • also from ontario. every wedding i have been there was the kiss then they signed the paper work and then introduced as mr and mrs before they walked out.

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