Who said wedding vows can’t be funny?

What should the tone of the vows be?

I have absolutely nothing against people who deliver traditional wedding vows. Or who write their own, solemn ones. I do respect them. Vows are highly significant. They are normally carefully chosen and delivered in the presence of a crowd of people who really matter to the couple.

As a civil celebrant, I’ve heard (and helped with) quite a few in my time.

But injecting a bit of humour and personality into those vows can work and may be absolutely appropriate. Not least, if the couple have got a rich sense of humour.

 

How do you do it?

I’m afraid there’s no template to follow. Nor is there a right or a wrong scenario. What you can do is to write a series of promises that contain a little humour.

One way to do this is to throw a funny line in among some serious or unfunny promises.

You can also deliver your line humorously. Maybe there can be a reference to a failing of your loved one that will be recognised by your partner and, possibly, a good number of guests! You may want to mention something about your (or your loved one’s) character.

That doesn’t mean to say that it should be all about humour and there’s no point making trivial promises. It’s not meant to be a stand-up routine. You shouldn’t force the humour. Don’t be aggressive or disrespectful.

Mention a thing if it is true (and genuinely funny). If your partner is arachnophobic, a vow such as “I promise to save you from any spider that crosses our threshold” will resonate among your guests!

A few thoughts

It goes without saying that you and your partner must both be willing and happy to write your own vows!

Before putting pen to paper, think about what makes your relationship tick.

Then write a few lines, leave your work for a day or two, come back to it and redraft, if needs be. You may need to do this a few times. When you are happy with it, practise reading it aloud. (If you’re really nervous, your celebrant will read it for you, but it’s normally better to do it yourself.)

Starting model

Personalising your vows is all about originality. If you need a starting point, here is a kind of template. By all means, use it but ADAPT IT for your own circumstances.

Use your partner’s first name first, and then say the following:

  1. I promise to [eg, always be at your side] – maybe 3 things
  2. I promise to be [your rock] – maybe 3 things
  3. I promise [to take your advice occasionally] –2/3 funny things
  4. I promise not to [check e-mails while we’re eating together] –2/3 funny things
  5. I promise to [love you unreservedly] – 1 or 2 serious things

Have fun with it!