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Meaningful vows

What is a vow and how do you make it meaningful?

Josh and Sandra wanted to write their own vows. They realised that a vow is a solemn promise that you will do what you are saying you will do. Deciding to get married and make this commitment public was a big decision for both of them. They were deeply in love, they had been through a few trials already and they were keen to settle down and start a family. But they weren’t sure how they could write their vows.

Here’s a few thoughts on writing vows.

You can write your own vows if you want.

The legal requirement in New Zealand law is that:

“during the solemnisation of every marriage each party to it shall say to the other:
I AB take you CD to be my legal wife/husband or words to similar effect.”

What else you say is up to you.

Here’s a few suggestions on how you might think about what to say.

  • Think of the significant life events that could happen to you as a couple.
  • You will be living together each day and hopefully growing in love
  • You may have children already and you may want to have children in the future
  • You will be sharing your financial resources in some way to buy a house, enter into business, and do other things that you see are important.
  • You may want to educate yourselves further, develop your careers or achieve some other significant goals together.
  • There will also be a number of challenges that you face on life’s journey together.
  • If you have children, they will go through many different stages of growth and development.
  • They will bring joy and sorrow.
  • You yourselves will face life’s challenges of illness, success and failure.
  • You may become wealthy or you may struggle to have enough money for the things you want
  • You will be involved with each other’s families to a greater or lesser degree.
  • You will see your parents aging, changing and dying.
  • You will age, change and face death yourselves.
  • You will have friends around you, you may shift location, do exciting things, do mundane things.

When you write your vows:

  • Picture your partner in front of you.
  • Be aware of how much you love them and what they mean to you
  • What do you want to say to them?
  • What do you promise them?
  • Will those words stand the test of time?
  • Can you imagine saying them in 5, 10, 20 or even 40 years time?

You don’t have to say everything in your vows, but giving some thought to what you do say will help you focus on the real purpose of the day.

And if you don’t want to write your vows, you can find many options on the internet or the celebrant will have some options you can choose from.

You might get the celebrant to read out the vows and you say “I do”

Or you might want to learn and recite your vows or read them from a card yourself.

Lockwood Smith, the Speaker of the House of Representatives in New Zealand sang his vows to his wife!


Contact me:

John Faisandier
+64 4 385 4099
+64 27 246 0411

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