Avatar for Louise Baltruschat Hollis

By Louise Baltruschat Hollis

Vows Wedding Ceremony Writing Personalised Humanist UK Ideas http://alexa-loy.com/

Images by Alexa Loy


G and I decided to hold our wedding ceremony in the woods. I looked into various woodland outdoor legal ceremonies locally but budget wise it just wasn’t going to work. So we decided to do the legal ceremony in the morning and a woodland ceremony in the afternoon. This is something I’d always refused to think about. But in the end it just made sense. We’d think of the registry office as a legal contract and focus on making our ceremony really personal. Cue the hand written personal vows we wrote and said to one another.

It really is a daunting feeling when you sit down and need to think of those promises and words you want to mean so much. That blank page stares at you while you can’t seem to shake more traditional vows from your mind. So what did we do? Turn to trusty google of course.

WeΒ  searched out basic ideas and the order of the ceremony itself. We had no officiant so we simply read them from a special notebook I have. Whether you have an officiant or not, I wanted to assist in this tricky but oh so important task today. Here goes.


The Intro


Here you will want to welcome your guests and the couple too of course. You could script this for your officiant or they may like to come up with a surprise introduction for you.

You could talk about the setting, the couple’s back story, the wedding party and the plans for the day ahead.


Readings & Music


You can opt in or out of having readings or music. I do think it’s lovely to include meaningful music and words if that resonates with you. You could hand the responsibility over to a friend or loved one too. You can see some wedding reading ideas and wedding songs I put together which may inspire you.


Vows Wedding Ceremony Writing Personalised Humanist UK Ideas http://alexa-loy.com/

The Vows


Here’s where you say your promises to one another. You could ask for prompts from your officiant, learn them off by heart of write them down. Here were ours:


After 10 true, whole and loving years, I chose you, my best friend to be my (husband/wife).

I promise come rain or shine to always find the rainbow, to laugh until I cry and to enjoy the simple moments with you.

As we grow old together lets have adventures and raise our children to be happy souls.

May my heart be your home.


It was important to us that our words were true to us and our relationship. Being our 10 year anniversary we wanted to give importance to the date, we love the outdoors hence the mention of the weather and of course our children are central to our lives. G felt that the traditional vows and promises were a given on his side and that we had already made those promises during our 10 years together. This made sense to me too and so after many drafts we settled on these.


Vows Wedding Ceremony Writing Personalised Humanist UK Ideas http://alexa-loy.com/


Exchange of Rings


(Name), with this ring I give you my heart.

Never ending, always beginning.

I give you all I am today and all I am to become.

May this ring show you strength, joy and love, Knowing I am always there with you.


We took vows and promises we had seen online and customised them to mean something to us. We wanted to focus on the meaning of ourΒ rings and what we wanted to feel when we felt and saw our rings on our fingers. We have changed and grown so much over 10 years that it felt right to mention that we promised our future selves to one another too.


Vows Wedding Ceremony Writing Personalised Humanist UK Ideas http://alexa-loy.com/

Symbolic Act


You could think about including a ritual to symbolise your union. These are so many established ideas or you could come up with your own. Popular choices include a hand fasting, lighting a candle, pouring sand together, ring warming by guests, jumping the broom, drinking from one cup and a dove release. The choices are endless and it can be a lovely way to include guests in your ceremony.


The Declaration


It’s time to announce your marriage and your new status or name. Ask your officiant to address you as you wish and seal with a kiss, hug, air punch, throwing the bouquet or big fat grins. It’s time to celebrate. Arm your guests with confetti and as you walk back down your aisle prepare to be festooned.


Vows Wedding Ceremony Writing Personalised Humanist UK Ideas http://alexa-loy.com/

Now it’s time to celebrate. Wohoo.


I feel that the key to the perfect ceremony is making it personal to you both. Work with your celebrant, registrar or church to ensure your promises are relevant and meaningful. We had the freedom to say or include whatever we wanted but there are laws in place to adhere to in legal ceremonies which is important to consider too. We only included the vows and ring exchange in our ceremony so you can really personalise or include those moments important to you.

The act of writing our ceremony together actually meant more in a way to me than when we said the vows. We sat down for a couple of hours and it was lovely working out where our relationship is going and what we mean to one another. In fact I have been thinking of having our vows framed to remind us of that special day.

I’d love it if you wrote your own vows if you could leave them in the comment box below to help inspire other couples looking to write theirs too xo Lou

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  • Avatar for Lorna Lovecraft

    Lorna Lovecraft

    What an interesting post. It is so romantic when people choose to write their own vows.

  • Avatar for Amy


    Hi lovely article. Just wanted you to know that I write original wedding vows – in verse or in prose! http://poemstogo.tv
    Totally based on the couple’s own love story.

  • Avatar for Greta


    Hi Lou, I love your blog and the posts about your own wedding are so lovely, genuine, nice and great that I just had to leave a comment here.
    I am just planning our wedding for 2018. It is a long time to go but I love a good project. We found a nice venue in Cheshire and instead of a normal catering we’re going to have some food stalls. The weather is my biggest concern so far but I guess I just have to relax and wait :).
    Have a nice weekend!

  • Avatar for Sam


    Great post and very useful. Writing you own vows makes it so unique and personal, means so much more when you write them yourself. Sam x

  • Avatar for Judy Mansfield

    Judy Mansfield

    This is wonderful to read!

    When I plan a ceremony with a couple, we start from the vows; I always explain its the heart, not only of the ceremony, of the wedding day, but also of the rest of their lives.

  • Avatar for Lou


    Ahh thank you all SO much for your kind words πŸ™‚

    Greta – congratulations!! How exciting, I hope the planning goes really smoothly xo

  • Avatar for Leah - Rosemary and Twine

    Leah - Rosemary and Twine

    My husband and I wrote our vows using a mixture of the ones given to us, it worked well for us and suited the combination of traditional and contemporary we had in our ceremony πŸ™‚ loved reading your ones!

  • Avatar for Pure Photo N.I

    Pure Photo N.I

    Love it when our couples write there own vows makes the ceremony so much more personal and emotional.

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