Writing Your Own Vows

Your wedding vows are the most personal part of the ceremony.  They reflect your relationship and what your union represents.  So, if traditional vows are not your style, here is a guide to help you and your hubby-to-be find a personal way to promise forever.

What is it about him?

What made you fall in love in the first place?  Take a trip to the beginning.  Was there an initial attraction, or did it take him time to warm your heart?   Start there!  Share what drew you together, and then discuss how your love has grown deeper.  Maybe it was his strapping good looks or his competitive spirit on the basketball court. Or, maybe it was his ability to solve an impossible physics problem within a short five minutes.  What gave you those butterfly feelings that took you back to middle school?  Write them down and open your vows with those special memories.

How do you view marriage?

When you are married, it is important to continue doing the things you love together. Tell him how you want to continue sharing life, how you will guide him through hard times, be his shoulder to cry on, find joy with him, etc.  Figure out what you value in marriage and find a place to share these things in your vows.

It is often helpful to seek guidance from an admiral couple about what has made their union such a success. Take note of what you would like to mirror in your relationship and let your spouse know these things are important to you too.

Make your promises

Now that you have shared your values and the things you love about him, it’s time to make him some promises!  How are you going to keep the spark alive?  Promise him that you will try every day to integrate your ideals of a strong marriage into your relationship.  Even promise him that you will continue those one-on-one basketball games when life gets too hectic!  Some promises will be deep and others will be light-hearted, yet all are meaningful.

Although your vows should be honest and deep, keep them brief!  You won’t regret sharing this intimate moment with your spouse and the support of friends and family.

How to Handle Uninvited Guests

You have spent months planning your wedding and weeks organizing your seating chart, but unexpectedly, you are face to face with a WEDDING CRASHER.  This is not the moment to cause a scene or stir conflict.  What do you do?

You may wonder, who would show up without and invitation?  Surprise, it happens.  Here are some examples of extra bodies you didn’t anticipate.

The Plus One:

When a guest brings a date, but wasn’t given the option.

On average 85% of your guest list will attend, and you planned for this.  You carefully worded your invitations and made it obvious to your single friends not to bring along their new fling.  Still, you find yourself rearranging for an uninvited date.  This could happen one of two ways:

  1. Your buddy added a “Plus One” to the RSVP, but you simply cannot accommodate. Just be honest. Have a face to face conversation or make a personal phone call and explain why you need to limit your guest list.  Let them know there are space, food, or budget restrictions…whatever your reason may be.
  2. “Surprise! I brought a friend, isn’t he cute?!” In this situation, it is better to allow the ‘cute friend’ to stay rather than cause a scene or turn him away.  Maybe it’s not such a bad idea to plan ahead and have a reserve chair just in case.  If it is impossible to let the couple sit side by side, it’s okay – they will manage.
Kids:

Yes, they are adorable. But, this was an adult only party!

Your invitations shouldn’t exactly read, “No kids” but in the most delicate way make it apparent who IS invited. For example, “Two seats have been reserved for Mr. and Mrs. Smith at the Wedding Ceremony and Reception for…” Or, a brief note at the bottom of the invitation that reads, “Adult reception to follow the ceremony.”

If you have a few little guys actually on your list, separate an activity filled area just for them and place the unexpected kids at their table too.  Also, let your wedding coordinator handle this task, it is probably not the first time they have seen it happen!

Complete Strangers:

Um, we haven’t met. Are you a friend of the bride or the groom?

Is there a stranger lurking around your bar or trying to sneak a taste of your wedding cake? This scenario is more common when you have a wedding at a hotel or an open public venue.  Here are the best ways to prevent these crashers:

  • Use plenty of signage so there is no confusion when people are entering a private reception area.
  • Have people on guard to help keep your wedding private. Let your wedding planner or the venue manager handle this matter professionally and discreetly.

Most importantly, if you do have a surprise visitor, let someone else oversee this burden.  The bride should always appear graceful and welcoming, not confrontational.  This day should only be happy for you!