3 Alternative Ways to Make Your Marriage Vows

Bride and groom sharing marriage vows in a field at sunset

For some people, the thought of sharing their innermost thoughts and personal promises with their partner in front of an audience is utterly terrifying. I’m sure many couples have chosen not to include personal vows in their marriage ceremony as a result. What a shame! I’m here to tell you that there are alternatives to making your marriage vows that mean you don’t miss out on experiencing this incredibly meaningful moment and you don’t have to take part in any public speaking or share those vows with anyone but your partner (and maybe your photographer).

1. Write A Letter

Write your vows to your partner as a letter, seal them in an envelope and give them to each other to open on the morning of your wedding day. This works well whether you’re together or apart. If you want to capture the moment for posterity, then wait until your photographer has arrived and set aside a few minutes to read your vow letters while they snap some photos. Be sure to have tissues nearby.

2. Couple Portrait Vows

Whether you have your couple portraits before or after your ceremony, this time where it’s just the two of you (and your photographer) is perfect for sharing your vows together, but in private. And if you really don’t want your photographer to hear, they can shoot from a litter further afar. Again, tissues nearby are a must.

Bride and groom share marriage vows in private under a tree at a beach


3. “I Do” Vows 

This option is for couples who are happy to share their vows with their guests, but are not so happy reading them themselves. Simply write your vows as usual and then I turn them into questions to use for the part of the ceremony called The Asking (aka the “I do” bit). I ask the question and you simply reply “I do”. Easy! This allows you to keep this special moment in your ceremony without you having to say much at all. 

As your celebrant, I will support you in any way you choose to make your vows – sharing my resources, tips and experience, helping you to write and review your vows and print them on cards for you to read from on the day. And if you do go with one of these options, be sure to let your photographer know beforehand so they can make time in the shoot schedule and help choose the perfect private spot.

Photo 1: Callan Robinson
Photo 2: Martine Payne