All the brides and grooms I plan weddings with send me their ceremony plans in advance. The minister needs time to review them and ask any questions ahead of the big day. So it never fails to crack me up when I open up my email and find one of the following:
"Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam... And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva... So tweasure your wuv."
Not being a diehard Princess Bride fan, I didn't recognize the lines for what they were the first time I read them. And what's amazing is that no fewer than 10 couples have incorporated these lines into their own wedding ceremonies in the eight years I've been planning weddings! Most couples don't explain what they are in the context of the ceremony, and I've heard more than a few wedding guests puzzling over them after the ceremony is finished.
I usually use the Dr. Seuss wedding vows for wedding rehearsals because I don't believe in using the real vows until the actual ceremony. I cried through my rehearsal because it was the real thing and it's an intense experience. I prefer to keep rehearsals short and light, but every so often, one of my couples will incorporate these vows into their own wedding ceremonies...
"I will love you on the sea.
I will love you in a tree.
I will love you here and there.
I will love you anywhere.
I will love you every day.
I will love you come what may.
I will love you more than pie.
I will love you til I die."
I've seen more than one bride and groom struggle over vowing to love you more than pie, but at least the guests recognize Dr. Seuss, and get the whole point of the silly exercise. They see it for the romantic, light-hearted gesture that it is — instead of wondering if the minister has a horrible speech impediment like in The Princess Bride!
There are lots of other famous movie lines that we hear in wedding ceremonies and vows, — some recognizable, some not — but those phrases mean something to the bride and groom, whether their guests know the origin or not.
"I may not be a smart man, but I know what love is." —Forrest Gump
"I love you. You... You complete me." —Jerry Maguire
"Destiny is something we've invented because we can't stand the fact that everything that happens is accidental." —Sleepless in Seattle
If some special line from a movie you both love would be just the right phrase for your wedding, go ahead and use it. There's no rule that you have to credit the original source, unless you choose to do so just so your guests understand why you chose to use it.
With that said, choose the words you use for your wedding ceremony wisely. This is a happy occasion, but it's not supposed to be a comedy show.
Sandy Malone is the owner of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events, a full-service traditional and destination wedding planning company and Do-It-Yourself wedding planning consulting service for DIY brides and grooms based in the Washington, DC area. Sandy is the star of TLC's reality show "Wedding Island," about her destination wedding planning company, Weddings in Vieques. Sandy's book "How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional," will be released on March 1st, but is available online for pre-orders now where books are sold.