One of the most important parts of a wedding is (arguably) the actual wedding. The ceremony, the rings, the walking down the aisle, and the vows – That’s the moment that truly is the most significant, no matter how much time you spend thinking about your epic photo booth or gushing over your gorgeous dress.  And just like finding the perfect venue, finding the perfect officiant is key in making this moment meaningful and memorable.  Last weekend, we had the pleasure of working with Life-Cycle Celebrant & Officiant, Bonnie Cortez, of Chosen with Bonnieand today, we’re lucky enough to have her sharing a few tricks of her trade on our blog!   Read on below for tips on how to write your wedding vows…

We’ve come a long way from “to have and to hold,” but where does that leave couples today? Should couples buck tradition and go rogue and if so, what would that look like?

Couples today have vow ideas as varied as their love stories. Some couples are horrified that they will actually be in front of friends and loved ones, laid bare and vulnerable like newly shorn sheep. Other couples love the spotlight. They want to orchestrate their wedding like a broadway show, declaring their love with Shakespearean articulation and then drop the mic. Bam! Some couples prefer not to say their vows publicly, preferring to share with each other in private. Others have added quotes from movies or books, like Chosen with Bonnie’​s Lord of The Rings ­loving couple whose bride, Annie Passanisi Ruggles, purred, “One ring to rule them all.” Some vows include promises to continue to support each other as Cub fans. Regardless of where couples fall, authenticity is the key to success for couples today. Following is a guide on how to navigate vows, whether you write them yourself or you enlist the help of a trained professional.

Stop Time

Wedding Days fly by. Before you say your vows, dig a be­jeweled heel into the sand. Consciously be in the moment. Look at your partner. Take a breath. Remember this moment. Your vows become your actions in your partnership together. Your actions become your memories, those you’ll hold dear after decades together when you look back on who you were that day you decided to find home in each other.

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In their Hands

The hands you hold in yours as you take your vows belong to someone who will be with you through thick and thin. Consider what those hands will do over a lifetime together ­ change diapers, stain a deck, caress your cheek, rub your back at the end of a hard day ­ and put those actions into words in your vows. Those vows will stay with you in years to come when you see your mate completing an ordinary task with love.

What Drew You Together

Think about the qualities that you admire in your partner. What caused you to know that this was the person with whom you wanted to take this crazy ride? What qualities drew them to you? Vow to continue to stay true to those qualities as long as they are by your side and invite your partner to vow to do the same.

Imagine Your Future

Are you planning to have a family? Will you be travelling or building a business together? Think about the qualities you’ll cherish in your partner and those you’ll need to commit to as a partner.

Vow to be there for each other throughout life’s challenges and specify what some of those challenges may be.

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Vows Gain Complexity Over Time

We tend to think of vows like an elevated wish, something we promise once and then remember faintly as the chaos of married life takes hold. What if vows are more of a living thing ­ something that gains value over time as we come to know the reality of what we once promised? The old vow, “in sickness and in health,” really takes hold when you’re the one she’s counting on to make a pharmacy run in the middle of the night. When you imagine the vows you will say to your partner, envision what you might value in years to come. Write your vows accordingly.

If all else Fails, Hire a Professional

Writing vows can be daunting. You may choose to leave that task to a professional Life­Cycle Celebrant who is skilled in the art of gathering the jewels of your love story and stringing them into the perfect piece. Vows that are touching and memorable, vows that resonate with you and your partner, are as dear as the tear that will slide down your cheek when you hear your love say them for the first time. Truly authentic vows hang in the air for a moment, stopping time long enough for your family members to remember the vows they once took, allowing them to cherish the moment that you invited them to bear witness to the vows you and your love will take with each other.

Photo Credits: T&S Hughes Photography, Cristina G Photography, Evan Hunt Photo