Officiant said we can't write our own vows :(

posted 2 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 2
1627 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Get a new officiant.  He may not be comfortable performing the service otherwise. Just let him know you all have your heart set in personal vows and you respect his wishes for a service. While you hope he can attend as a guest, you will find a different officiant.

Post # 3
42082 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

nurse14:  Did you ask him what his rationale was for his decision? I am not Anglican, so it may be policy of the church.

Talk with him. Tell him you were taken by surprise by his statement and wonder if he could help you understand.

Post # 4
1465 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

CurlyCue:  +1

Sometimes things don’t work out and you have to change plans/make other arrangements. You want to write your own vows and are not religious, your current officiant cannot give you what you want for whatever reason. Start looking for a new officiant (and invite your old officiant to be a guest at the wedding, since he’s a family friend and all – no hard feelings).

Post # 5
667 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June, 2014

The Anglican Church is very traditional. My guess would be that it is because he is a priest for that church that he won’t let you do your own vows. Perhaps if you absolutely want him to officiate you could do personal vows in addition to the traditional ones. Or you could make a toast to one another during your reception with the personal vows. 

Or if you go with another pastor, find either a justice of the peace or a non-denominational pastor. One that doesn’t have a required service. 

Post # 6
1236 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - San Francisco, CA

If it’s a policy that you can’t write them, your option is either to find a different denominational pastor OR! write them and say them at a different thing. A friend-of-a-friend did this. Her pastor wouldn’t let them do their own vows, so they wrote their own anyway and said them to each other at the rehearsal. It was an incredibly sweet moment. Maybe consider that if you really want to stick with your officiant?

Post # 7
668 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

We got our officiant through and they give you an online template that lets you personalize everything. If this is not a religious ceremony you should be allowed to write your own vows. I’d clarify what’s going to be said if you have an Anglican priest officiating and you aren’t religious. I highly doubt there’d be no mention of God. If he really can’t accommodate you then it might be worth going with a different officiant.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by  Songstress_7.
Post # 8
2889 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

i got married in a catholic church and we weren’t given the option of writing our own vows (but we didn’t ask either because it wasn’t something we were interested in). when my aunt got married (also in a catholic church) they were given the option of saying something at the end of their ceremony, so they used that opportunity to say the vows that they had written themselves. maybe you could do something like that? 

Post # 9
5160 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

nurse14:  Hmm.  My only frame of refrence is a Catholic ceremony.  In that case you cannot write your own vows…but you also can’t have a wedding outside of a church.  Best guess would be that it’s b/c he’s Anglican.

But you should just ask him.  Shoot him an email along the lines of, “When we met before you mentioned that we couldn’t write our own vows.  This is something that we really wanted to do and I was surprised to hear that it wasn’t a possibility.  Is this because you are an Anglicant minister?”

Post # 10
3088 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

Get another officiant. This wedding is about you and if writing your vows is something that is incredibly important to you, then you need to find someone who will comply with your vision. Seeing as this priest is your friend, maybe you can reason with him, explain how and why it’s so important to you? If he still refuses, ask him to step down. You could always ask another friend, possibly? I don’t have any experience with this, but I would not allow someone to marry us who refused to let us do something as personal and important as receiting our own vows.

Post # 11
3833 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

nurse14:   Then get a new officiant.   You are fully entitled to write your own vows.  This isn’t a church ceremony so I don’t see how you could not be allowed to write your own, or at least provide a framework and much of the wording.

Post # 12
1201 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: A very pretty church.

I’m getting married in a Church of England service, there is almost not wiggle room, I think I can choose not to “obey’ and choose the hymns (along with the priest).

This may be a difficult situation for your officient, because within their faith they may have a very set idea of what constitutes a ‘real’ marriage service, and that may not be compatable with original vows. They may not be able to perform the ceremony as you desire. Best to have a real discussion with your fiance about which is more important, having a family friend officiate or writing your own vows.

Post # 13
21 posts
  • Wedding: July 2014

My father is an Anglican priest.  I am getting married (he is performing the ceremony) in 5 weeks.  

The reason why nothing is allowed to be changed (no matter the location) is because marriage is considered a sacrament – and by performing the marriage, the priest is providing the marriage with a spiritual umbrella so to speak.  Because of this, very very little of the service can be changed.

You are better off finding someone else to officiate if you want to write your own vows OR I would have a moment in the speeches where you and your new husband promise things to each other.  

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by  Shirz.
Post # 14
2207 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

we were in your shoes! we had a pastor who was very traditional and when we discussed changing up the ceremony, he was not very lenient. so 3 months out from our wedding we found a new officiant! she is a family friend of my FI who is licensed to officiate weddings and has done over 20 weddings so she has some experience. ask around and see if you can find someone new. it was awkward telling the pastor that we had found someone else, but it will be worth it to have a ceremony that is actually meaningful to us.

Post # 15
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

nurse14:  I second (or third) hiring a new officiant.  Religious officiants are notorious fo rnot allowing personal vows because they might be *gasp* secular!  If having personal vows is important to you then you should tell your friend that it’s important to you and while you still wish they would attend your wedding as a guest, you are hiring another officiant whom will allow you to do personal vows.

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