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Wedding Vows - Let's break it down - Advice from a Charleston Wedding Officiant

Updated: Jan 29

Dear Charleston Brides and Grooms,


When couples think about their wedding day, they usually have a clear picture of certain things like the décor style, the flavor of the cake, their dream venue...


What is the first thing you think of when I mention a Wedding Ceremony... the Vows.


This can be a little daunting for couples. Where do you even begin?


During my tenure a Wedding Officiant in Charleston, I have developed a system that allows couples to personalize the vows section of the wedding ceremony, without it seeming too overwhelming.


The Hobson House, North Charleston, SC, Elopement Ceremony

Photo credit: Olga Chagarov Photography

Elopement Ceremony Venue: The Hobson House, North Charleston, SC


Here are the vow options I offer to couples...


1. The couple can write and recite their own vows. I provide examples to get you started. Refer to my blog post "Ceremony Advice from a Charleston Wedding Officiant - VOWS" for my advice on how to write your own vows.


2. The couple can each select one of the options I provide, and recite it during the ceremony. This takes the pressure off the couple to write their own vows, but still provides the opportunity to express how they feel during the ceremony.


3. The couple can select one of the options, and I, as their officiant, can recite it (with some language changes). The couple would then provide an affirmation statement.


If you don't love public speaking, your wedding ceremony is not the time to work on this skill. And I, as your wedding officiant, always recommend the option that you feel most comfortable with.


If you decide not to recite your own vows during the ceremony, I love when couples write letters to each other, and exchange them privately before the wedding ceremony. This allows the couple to express their thoughts, feelings and promises, without the pressure of an audience.



The Hobson House, North Charleston, SC, Elopement Ceremony

Photo credit: Olga Chagarov Photography

Elopement Ceremony Venue: The Hobson House, North Charleston, SC


If you are writing and reciting your own vow, my one piece of advice as a wedding officiant who has seen a lot of weddings... physically write your vows out, and have them handy during the ceremony. Do NOT attempt to recite them from memory.


Sincerely,

A Charleston Wedding Officiant

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