There's lots of advice out there about how to make your ceremony more personal. There's blog posts about everything from writing your vows to creating an entire ceremony from scratch - and how important it is to do this. They tell you to start early, as nothing is worse than writing your vows the night before. They tell you it's more important than any of your other DIY tasks, although almost certainly harder. Your vows should sound like you and be meaningful to your partner whilst not making your guests feel uncomfortable. There is clearly a fine balance to be had. You can write them together, or not hear each others until you get to the altar. Or you could do it our way - repeat after the vicar.
I'm sure some people love hearing the vows their partner has written for them, and put true love and courage into writing their own. But I honestly can't think of anything worse. What I feel about Gadget is hard enough to put into words in the privacy of our own home after a few glasses of wine. There is no way I want to stand in front of all our family and friends and describe it. I also don't want to make promises - we're not soppy people, so I couldn't promise anything romantic. I have no intention of drawing attention to my flaws on my big day by promising to try and better them. Which would leave us with only one option - jokes. Doesn't really seem the time for jokes though does it?
Luckily for me, Gadget agrees (he would actually hate it even more than I would). As we're getting married in church, we can choose to say the traditional words and no one will question it. I can't wait to say those famous phrases - "for better, for worse, in sickness and in health" and so on. Those words have worked for couples for decades, and I see no reason to cast them aside now.
Apart from one line. The joker/child in me laughs every time I hear "with my body I honour you." I may have to ask the vicar if we can remove that line. I know, I know, I should be better than that. But it's a long standing issue with that line, which has always struck me as being slightly odd (in addition to the more obvious issue).
We will be choosing our hymns, and our readings (one of these is already chosen). I'm not sure Gadget cares much about the hymns, so I might be choosing them with my Dad. Which will be an easy task, as the list of suggestions he sent me contained all my favourite choices. I don't know whether our guests' rendition of "Guide me o thou great redeemer" will match up to my Dad's childhood memories of hearing it at Cardiff Arms Park though!*
One more thing - I won't be promising to obey. My mother didn't, the future Queen of England didn't, and neither will I. I guess Gadget can, though, if he likes?!
* For those of you reading this stateside, Cardiff Arms Park used to be the home of Welsh Rugby (it's now been replaced by Millennium Stadium). That particular hymn is known to Welsh rugby fans (my dad and I included) as "Bread of heaven," and is often sung at games. Usually loudly and out of tune, but not always - the welsh are known for their singing as well as their rugby!