The Biggest Wedding Vow Don'ts

Ceremony & Vows, Etiquette

Writing your own wedding vows lets you express your own beliefs and feelings. It's also the most significant way to personalize your ceremony. Though it's very much an "anything goes" moment — you can say song lyrics, movie quotes, poems, or even pull from personal jokes or love letters — there are some places you shouldn't go to in front of your family and friends. Here are tips for pledging your love, straight from the heart.

Don't be too playful
Remember the solemnity of the occasion; avoid overly cute or suggestive pledges ("The bride will never leave her pantyhose hanging in the bathroom.") Address child-rearing and financial issues privately. Very intimate thoughts and controversial political statements are inappropriate and likely to upset some guests.

Don't make your vows too long
Your spoken vows should be limited to one to three minutes. You don't need to deliver a sermon to the assembled guests on your views of marriage. Let some of your beliefs be expressed through readings, songs, and prayers read by family and friends.

Don't forget to bring an extra copy or two!
No matter how comfortable you feel with the words, nerves can wipe phrases from your memory — you'll want to be able to read the vows if you forget anything. The groom should carry two copies in a pocket.

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