A private vow ceremony is just that–a small ceremony between the two of you, in private. Lots of couples are doing this on a special date before their wedding, during their first look, or as a vow renewal after they’ve been married.
There are several reasons why couples choose to have a private vow ceremony. Perhaps COVID changed your wedding plans this year but you still want to honour the original date. Maybe you don’t want to share special vows at your wedding. Or you simply a romantic way to share a special outpouring of love for each other.
During a private vow ceremony, you and your partner read your vows to each other in private before the ceremony (this works especially well if you’re doing a first look or if you’re planning a special event to replace your postponed wedding), or you give each other a letter to read while you’re getting ready (if you’re not seeing each other before the ceremony). Then, you can say standard vows at your ceremony.
Either way, writing private vows and saying them directly to your love instead of reading your deepest feelings into a microphone in front of a few dozen or more people definitely has some advantages!
You can say anything.
It probably goes without saying that are some things you shouldn’t say in front of your parents, nieces and nephews, Aunt Elaine… the list is potentially pretty long! But relationships are made of big and small things you’ve shared just between the two of you, and you might want to refer to those elements of your relationship. Inside jokes, tender moments, secret for-their-ears-only stuff. You can keep these parts of your bond just for the two of you in your private vow ceremony.
Private vows feel very meaningful.
When you read the love of your life’s outpouring of emotion for you in a letter, or hear the words they’ve crafted only for your ears, in a moment meant to celebrate the very real and important start of your married life together… it doesn’t get much more meaningful than that.
You won’t have to pour your heart out in front of everyone.
Private vows are a good choice for people who are a little shy generally, don’t like public speaking, or just nervous about the wedding day. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing your deepest feelings with anyone other than your love, you don’t have to! You can say standard vows at the ceremony, and share your deeper emotions with each other. A private vow ceremony might give the introvert in your relationship a chance to share their true feelings, if they hesitate to say it in front of people.
A private vow ceremony is just for you.
Private vows are another point in time where you commit to each other, and at the end of the day, getting married and saying vows is in honour of your commitment to one another. The private vow ceremony celebrates the bond between the two people who share it.
If you choose to have your photographer there to capture the feelings you share as you read each other’s vows in a letter or say them to each other, I promise these will be some of your favourite photos of all time. Contact me here to learn more about having a private vow ceremony either as part of your wedding day, as a special ceremony before your wedding, or after you’ve settled into your new life together.
I’m a wedding photographer living in Nelson BC, available for British Columbia weddings and beyond.