Todd and I experienced the ultimate beach wedding on March 11, 2007. We found the perfect destination, the perfect music, the perfect flowers, the perfect dress, wrote the perfect vows and exchanged the perfect rings for us to create our dream wedding. We want to share our experience so you can create your own ultimate wedding.
Creating the ultimate dream wedding does not have to be difficult, but it does take knowing what you want and what is important to both the bride and the groom.
Todd and I spent a lot of time writing our complete wedding ceremony. We did not just write the vows. We wrote the complete ceremony from opening to introduction of the bride and groom and selected music to compliment each facet of the wedding from the prelude to the closing music.
The major elements of a wedding are universal with a greeting, exchange of wedding vows, exchanging of the rings, a reading or blessing, and the pronouncement of the couple. However each element can be customized from ceremony to ceremony.
You do not have to write the entire wedding ceremony to create your ultimate dream wedding, but we do suggest you review the major elements of the ceremony and customize as appropriate. For example, we used a reading from the book of Corinthians in our opening, and we edited a reading from Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward from 1958 as our first reading.
Your wedding vows are an expression of your love and devotion witnessed by family and friends and God. And in order to create your ultimate dream wedding, you need to ensure the vows are memorable and meaningful to you. We have a collection of sample wedding vows on OurUltimateWedding.com from traditional wedding vows, to various religious vows, to our very own custom vows to help you get started.
As an example, here are the vows my husband wrote for me.
Wedding Vows – Groom
I, (Groom), take you (Bride ) to be my
Best friend and My True Love
The One I Laugh With
The One I Live Life With
The One I Want To Grow Old With
You Give Me Hope, Strength, and Courage
You are My World
The Sun, the Stars, and the Sky
I promise to Love, Honor, and Cherish You
Through all of our years
And Through All that Life May Bring
We want to share our experience so you can create your own ultimate wedding. We created OurUltimateWedding.com to help brides and grooms create their own ultimate wedding for a lifetime.
About The Author: Todd and Amy Huston planned their ultimate beach wedding and created OurUltimateWedding.Com to share their experience with others. The website offers tips and services to plan the ultimate dream wedding.
The best man stands up, adjusts his tie with a quick tug, and nervously clinks his wine glass with his knife. All eyes turn to him, waiting in anticipation of hearing words of wisdom – and even a few jabs – for the newlyweds. Talk about pressure!
Whether you’ve been asked to be the best man, maid of honor, or simply say a few words at the ceremony, you’re responsible for lightening the mood with some laughter and tears. And for most people, giving speeches – wedding or otherwise – doesn’t come naturally; staring out at a sea of guests can be overwhelming, especially if you’re not a classically trained rhetorician.
The beauty of wedding speeches, however, is the inherent spontaneity and off-the-cuff remarks that can be made. Remembering the good, old days and looking forward to better days is what makes wedding speeches so touching.
Just don’t stress out! Writing a wedding speech is easier than you think!
Below are some quick, easy tips to help you while writing a wedding speech that not only moves the wedding party and guests but leaves a memorable impression.
Writing a Wedding Speech with Flair
First things first. Don’t waste any time putting together your speech ideas. Get out a fresh piece of paper, and jot down a few ideas that you know will help celebrate the marriage of the bride and groom in a positive way. Perhaps start with a funny anecdote or joke to elicit laughs from the audience and put you more at ease. Wedding speeches should always be light, funny, and conversational. Formal language has its place, but it’s not here. You should also ask the bride and groom – since they might be having others speak at their wedding – if they would like you to speak on a special theme or subject.
When compiling and writing your wedding speech, know your order in the wedding party. Though you should know well in advance the schedule or timeline of events at the ceremony itself, you may still find it helpful to coordinate with the bride, groom, and other members as well as establish a rapport.
Keep wedding speeches to innocuous topics, such as congratulations, compliments, stories, and happy wishes. Don’t ever say anything you think will be even the slightest bit offensive. At any given wedding, there are dozens of people from all walks of life, so it’s best to avoid incendiary subjects that some people may take issue with. This includes, of course, religion, sex, politics, past relationships of the bride and groom, crude language, and anything else that’s not family-friendly. When writing the speech, keep it upbeat and happy, avoid negative stories, and stay polite – this is key. If done right, you should also comment on the beautiful bride!
Some books that offer tips on wedding speeches may recommend that you set out to memorize your speech by heart – this decision can easily go awry. Sure, you may have your paper in front of you, but searching for the words once you have forgotten them slows you down and creates long, perhaps uncomfortable silences. You would also be reading your speech verbatim, which can often sound mechanical and forced. Rather, think about having cue cards with the basic ideas you want to cover in your speech – simply elaborate on each topic that you’ve previously rehearsed while writing your wedding speech.
Wedding speeches should be kept short – everyone wants to return to eating, drinking, and having a good time, so avoid dragging out your happy wishes for too long. A good rule of thumb when writing a wedding speech is to have a great opener, a joke, a brief anecdote, and a heartfelt closing, all of which should take about five minutes. In short, plan out your key points in advance. At the end, you should always thank everyone, including the bridal party, wedding planners/organizers, and out-of-town guests.
Writing Wedding Speeches that Wow
A little planning beforehand will help you formulate some basic thoughts that you want to incorporate while writing your wedding speech. However, the best part about wedding speeches is throwing in some memories that are truly special to you – remember them aloud as you would tell any intimate moment with a close group of friends. If you happen to forget your wedding speech, it’s okay! Just run with it and speak from the heart. Share your happiness.
Emotions run high. Above all, embrace this honor that the bride or groom has bestowed upon you and make them smile.
About the Author
Cherie Johnson is the founder and owner of Creative Wedding Favors, the premier site for unique anniversary, baby and bridal shower, graduation, quinceañera, and wedding favors. Her wedding ideas have also benefited readers of many websites, including Women Of, Wedding Lenox, and The Wedding Guide. Before establishing Creative Wedding Favors in 2006, she worked as a professional wedding photographer, capturing all the special moments of the nuptials and ceremony.
Whenever someone mentions writing your own vows, most people (especially guys) suddenly get clammy hands and a rapid pulse. Now, there’s nothing wrong with using the standard vows that your officiant provides or that you find in a book, but your wedding is one of the most personal forms of expression in which you will partake in your life, and writing your own vows would make it even more personal and memorable for both of you. Plus, writing your own vows isn’t nearly as difficult as it seems. You just have to get over the initial fear and follow these five simple steps.
1. You’re not Shakespeare … and that’s perfectly fine (in fact, it’s great)
Most people assume that if they can’t write something profound and poetic, that they’re better off using the words of someone who is. This is just plain poppycock (or baloney, whichever is more your style). This is your day, and anything that you can do to put your stamp on it makes it even more personable, fun and memorable. So what if you can’t rhyme well or if you can’t write in iambic pentameter … most people will daydream through that poetic stuff anyways. But they will remember something that sounds like you and is in your words, regardless of how poetic they sound.
2. “Take you” phrase
So that you don’t stare at a blank page or screen for an hour, begin by writing out a first line that says something to the effect that you take _________ to be your wife/husband. This is a simple line, but it gets the ball rolling and is essential in that you are vowing to have them as your wedded spouse.
3. Include these basic themes
There are a few fundamental themes when writing a vow. First of all, this is a “vow,” which means you are making a promise to your fiancee or fiance. So there are a few important things that you need to promise when you are committing yourselves to each other for life.
Caring/loving – A marriage is (or should be) a safe haven, so promising to love your spouse through all circumstances and always trying to be caring and understanding is a must to include.
Honesty and faithfulness – The foundation of every successful marriage is rooted in being honest and faithful to each other, and this is not only a promise you should make in your vow but one that should be the anchor of your relationship for eternity.
Giving/generosity – This is the person who you will walk through fire for, and you should include this in your vow to let them know that any goals they have, any challenges they may face, you will be there to help them in any and every way you can (because you would also want the same kind of support from them).
Change and constancy – This is the “thick and thin, sickness and health” theme. Your individual lives and the world around you will continue to change over time, but it’s your marriage that will ground you and is the constant in life that will keep your feet on the ground as life revolves and churns around you both.
Growth – This is an extension of the change theme, but it points to how each of you will grow in all sorts of directions. You will change jobs, make new friendships, possibly have children and raise them. There’s lots of personal growth here, and you may want to include in your vow something about looking forward to growing with each other and encouraging such growth in each other.
4. Mention the attributes of your spouse that you admire
You fell in love with your fiance/fiancee because of certain things about them that you adored or admired, and you should include these traits in your vow. And don’t worry if they sound insignificant or even a little risque, because they were and are important to you and they are the things about them that you either admire (their kindness, selflessness, integrity, openness, etc.) or that attract you to them (their penetrating eyes, long, flowing hair, etc.). Mentioning these makes your vow much more personal and heartfelt.
5. Tie in the ring
Finally, try and tie in how the ring is a symbol of your commitment and will stand for you as a constant reminder of your vows to your fiance/fiancee. This brings it back around to the rings, which is what you will exchange when the vow is finished.
There, that wasn’t so hard, was it? It still may take you an afternoon to flesh out a few drafts and get your vows to a place where you are comfortable reading it (and I would encourage you to read it aloud to see if there are any rough spots or tongue twisters you have created). And you should also practice it before your big day. You don’t have to memorize your vows (I wrote my own vows and read them from a sheet of paper), but you certainly shouldn’t stumble through them as if it’s the first time you’ve seen them in months. Now go to your computer and start writing.
About the Author – Jeff Kear is a writer and owner of My Wedding Workbook, the online wedding planner for engaged couples that’s easy-to-use, comprehensive and helps them manage all their wedding events (and its basic wedding software tools are free). He’s also the owner of My Wedding Workbook Pro, wedding planner software for professional wedding consultants.
You’re getting married and you want the world, or at least your closest friends and family, to know what’s in your heart. Choosing ceremony readings that represent the beauty and love of your relationship is a wonderful and relatively easy way to share these feelings and personalize your ceremony. Your readings should be beautiful, moving and interesting to your guests, reflect the words and feelings in your heart, yet still adhere to the formality and “feel” that you want for your ceremony.
There are so many wonderful sources to find suitable readings. You can find them in scripture; (I Corinthians 13:4-8 – “Love is patient. Love is kind . . . ,” Ephesians 5:21-32 – “Honor Christ by submitting to each other. . . . And the two shall become one.”, Song of Solomon 6:3 – “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine . . . ”; from selections of poetry (Alfred, Lord Tennyson – “In true marriage lies, Nor equal, or unequal,” anonymous Chinese poet, Han Dynasty – “O, celestial beings, Let our feelings for each other, continue without diminishing,” ); or excerpts from literature, William Shakespeare from As You Like It – “ . . . no sooner met but they looked, no sooner looked but they loved, no sooner loved but they sighed, no sooner sighed but they asked one another the reason, no sooner knew the reason but they sought the remedy . . . ”). However, since there are so many, it can get so overwhelming. Don’t let this send you down the simple route of merely looking at a list of possible selections (usually provided by your officiant or person who is helping with the ceremony), and picking a couple readings only because they’re on his/her list and therefore must be the appropriate choices. Visit your local library and look under topics such as poetry, literature, and wedding readings. Check your (and your fiancé’s) bookshelves, and music collection. Some of the most beautiful words of love are song lyrics.
Don’t be too quick to dismiss readings that have “been done.” If you find yourself hesitating over a particular selection because you’re afraid that your guests will groan, “Oh, no! Not this one again,” stop a moment and give it a thorough once over. Read the selection out loud, or have someone read it to you. The spoken word has a much greater impact than just seeing them on a piece of paper. You may need to back up a bit to include a preceding verse or sentence or two, or if you have someone who is creative with words, can write a suitable introduction. Including this intro can help make the “same old” come alive, becoming something that is new and fresh. In a beautiful introduction to Corinthians 13:4-8, an aunt of the bride described the differences between love and infatuation. An excerpt follows. “Infatuation is fleeting desire. True love is a friendship that has caught fire. Infatuation says we must get married right away, I can’t risk losing you. Love says be patient, don’t panic, plan your future with confidence. Infatuation might lead you to do things you will regret. Love never steers you in the wrong direction. God, in His amazing, infinite wisdom, said it perfectly in Corinthians.”
Of course, you’ll want to take special care in choosing the person(s) who will be your readers. Look for someone who is comfortable in front of a crowd, and can read in a good speaking voice. Even the most beautiful, emotion evoking words will lose their meaning if read in a droning, monotone voice.
Finally, to avoid any unpleasant surprises on your wedding day, make sure to obtain a list of rules and regulations from your ceremony site regarding what they do and do not permit for a wedding ceremony, and get your officiant’s okay before finalizing any choices. And remember, if worse comes to worse, and you aren’t allowed to use a reading that you just cannot imagine doing without – have someone read it at the reception. Words of Love aren’t just for the ceremony.
About the Author
Jean Neuhart is the owner of Weddings From The Heart. As a Professional Bridal Consultant, she helps busy brides and their fiances plan creative, personalized and stress-free weddings. Visit Jean at www.weddingsfromtheheart.net. You can email her at jean[at]weddingsfromtheheart[dot]net.