Alternative wedding vows: 6 creative ceremony ideas that don’t involve you writing your own vows
One of the many ways you can have a kickass personalised wedding ceremony is with bespoke wedding vows – but if the idea of getting your Shakespeare on gives you the fear, then don’t worry. With a celebrant wedding, you can personalise your ceremony in a myriad of ways that don't involve you trying your hand at creative writing. Here’s a few alternative wedding vows which don’t involve you having to lift a finger (or pen), as well as some personalisation alternatives to wedding vows entirely.
Alternative wedding vows
Love the idea of alternative wedding vows, but just don’t love the idea of trying your hand at creative writing? That’s where your wedding celebrant comes in – and as your friendly neighbourhood celebrant, here’s some of my favourite creative wedding vow ideas.
Personalised vows written by your wedding celebrant
This option for alternative wedding vows is particularly good if you like the idea of writing your own vows, but it falls down in practice for whatever reason. Instead, why not ask your celebrant to write your personalised vows for you? After all, you’ll have already shared your love story and your feelings with them. I love doing this for my couples, especially when I get to keep the two versions secret until they’re shared on the day!
Use your favourite song lyrics or quotes
Sometimes, the pressure of alternative wedding vows lies in not wanting to compete with the greatest romance writers of our time – so why not use their gorgeous goods instead?
Whether it’s Tennyson or Taylor Swift, Lord Byron or Audre Lord, I love incorporating lyrics and excerpts into ceremonies.
For example one of my wonderful couples Alana and Stacey adapted words from Philip Pullman’s Amber Spyglass:
“I will love you forever; whatever happens. Till I die and after I die,
and when I find my way out of the land of the dead, I’ll find you again…
And we’ll live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pine trees
and in clouds and in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams.”
(You can see a slightly longer version of this beautiful excerpt over on Love My Dress. It's also perfect as a non-religious wedding reading.)
Play music whilst you share your vows
Ok, I’ve got to confess: this idea for alternative wedding vows does involve some level of writing your own. But I’m popping it in anyway in case it’s embarrassment that’s stopping you from doing it – because what if I told you there was a way that you could tell your partner exactly how you feel, without any of your guests hearing?
Well, there is – and the answer is music. Have some music play while you quietly share your vows with each other, and your ceremony takes on a totally new, intimate quality. Not only do you get to say everything you want to say to each other, but it’s a magical experience for your guests too, as they get to witness the vows, with the tantalising mystery of not knowing what is actually being said.
Personalisation alternatives to wedding vows
Maybe you just don’t want personalised or alternative wedding vows because actually, you quite like the traditional vows, and they hold particular meaning to you. That’s totally ok too.
But seeing as you found your way here, I’m going to wager that you still like the idea of some personalisation in your ceremony… just a different element of it. I’ve got you!
Choose other secret elements
Often the contents of personalised alternative wedding vows are kept a secret from each other until the big day – but why should this only apply to vows? You can, of course, do this with other personal details too. For example, you could each choose a reading, but not tell each other beforehand. Appoint a special guest to read it, read it yourself or ask your celebrant to weave it into what they say – and, most importantly, look forward to what your beloved has picked for you too.
Pick a fun symbolic ritual
Celebrant wedding ceremonies are the perfect stage for a fun ritual – something visual that people haven't seen before or that you've always wanted to do. From the centuries-old tradition of handfasting, to overcoming your first challenge together (whatever that may be, e.g. sawing through an enormous log, or cutting out a huge heart from paper), there are so many poignant yet joyful gestures you could choose. Ask your celebrant for ideas for rituals that will create the kind of atmosphere you are hoping for – they’ll be only too glad to come up with some for you!
Personalise your ceremony through music
I mentioned music above, but it plays a huge part here too, even if it’s not being played in order to (beautifully) block out your personalised, alternative wedding vows. Just think: how many of your most memorable moments in life have involved music? Tell your celebrant the reasons behind your wedding soundtrack choices, and they can bring everything together with the words that are spoken too.
The number one way to personalise your ceremony
Whether you’re up for the idea of alternative wedding vows or you prefer the idea of having a bespoke ceremony in a different way, one thing’s for certain: the number one way to personalise your ceremony is to work with a wedding celebrant (obvs).
We love to bring all the juicy details of our couples' love stories to life through utterly bespoke ceremonies. In fact, our whole MO is to curate ceremonies that feel like you! So if you fancy a wedding ceremony where the world is your oyster and you its shining pearls, then get in touch my lovelies – Let's chat about what we can create together.
The kickass alternative wedding images in this post were taken by Hayley Gell, Sheffield wedding photographer and involved this team of suppliers:
The Moonlight Baker
Bethann Dean and Aaron Mills
Laura Mosely Craft Makeip