Post # 1
Help! Your two cents will be greatly appreciated! We want to incorporate our own vows into our nondenominational Christian ceremony along with the traditional ones. Here’s the dilemma: I’ve written out my first draft and it’s 5 paragraphs! (It’s kind of like an intro, followed by 4 points/vows and their explanation.) We take our vows really seriously so we regard this as a sacred part of becoming married, and I therefore don’t personally just want light fluffy one liners that only take 20 seconds to state (the substance is important to me) but 5 paragraphs is way too long is it not?! So…the question is…for vows: How long is too long? (FYI our ceremony beginning to end will be about 30 minutes. It’s not a lengthy catholic wedding or something like that which would make long vows even more – well- LONG. 😉 ) Thanks for your input!
Post # 2
- Wedding: October 2014 - Church
amyeb25: Here is my two cents … Your ceremony is for you and your FI. Your reception? That is for you and your guests. While it may be a little on the long side, whatever. Your vows are your own. Make the ceremony meaningful to you. Also, something that helps when editing, is to put whatever it is that you are working on away for at least a week and not think of it, then go back to it. Practice saying it after editing it and see how it feels. Good luck!
Post # 5
I think your personal vows should take about the same amount of time as the traditional ones. Unless they’re short paragraphs or you speak quickly, I’d cut it down. Maybe post what you have and we can help edit?
Post # 3
5 paragraphs sounds like far too much to me. Since you are doing traditional vows in addition to your personal ones, I would suggest two paragraphs at the most.
Post # 4
How long are the paragraphs? I went to a wedding last year where the bride and groom had typed A4 pages each for their vows, gotta be honest FI and I did think they were too long and said a lot of stuff that would have better belonged in the groom (and bride if they do ones) speeches. But ultimately it’s not like it would really really bother me as a guest (provided I had a chair to sit on :- ). I didn’t at this other wedding.)
Post # 6
amyeb25: My vows are 7 sentences long and his are 6 sentences long and then we’ll repeat them in Spanish so all our guests will understand them. I also cross referrenced everything with what the officiant will be saying so we’re not repeating what she just said. Some of the things we want to say she already had in her outline, so I just rewrote what she’ll say to remove them. I’m confused about the idea of having traditional vows and personal ones. How does one not repeat what was already stated? We are replacing traditional vows with personal ones. But that’s just us. Our ceremony should be about 15 minutes I think at most.
True, it is your wedding and you can do what you want, but 5 paragraphs is a bit much unless they’re very short paragraphs.
Post # 8
My DH and I spoke to each other prior to my pastor leading us through traditional vows. My DH spoke extemporanously, but I had at least two pages (maybe two and a half, I can’t recall for sure) of written comments (in 16 pt. New Times Roman font, so it wasn’t small print, but it was still long.)
Don’t worry about the length. This is your WEDDING. Say what you want to say. 🙂
Post # 7
amyeb25: I agree with an above poster that said your ceremony is for you! I wouldn’t worry if your vows are longer than “the norm” (whatever that actually is). It’s not like five paragraphs = a book, so go for it!!! I’m sure that your vows are very beautiful and that your future husband will appreciate every single word 🙂
Personally, I think my vows will moderately long! I have a lot to say to my beautiful bride. Plus my friends and family know that I talk a lot anyway, so they can hang around for a few extra minutes hahahaha!
Post # 11
we did personal vows in additional to the tradition jewish vows. my vows took me about 1 minute 20 seconds to read. DH’s were similar in length. our entire ceremony was 30 minutes.
Post # 9
I thought my personal vows were the perfect length. I love them and I don’t regret them… but they do feel REALLY long when I watch the video. they were about 1 minute in length. which sounds so short but it felt eternal. but i guess that doesn’t really matter in the end cuz i said everything i wanted to say! if you wanna see my vows for comparison, let me know.
Post # 10
We wrote our own vows. We wrote them together and each said the same thing. They were 6 sentences long. Each one took a little less than a minute. It takes a little longer on the day of the wedding because you’re all emotional.
Overall I’d say vows should aim to be two minutes or under. I’ve seen vows that lasted over 5 minutes each, and you start to fidget and often the point gets lost. I would keep explanations to a minimum. Your husband will get it – right? That’s really what’s important. So see if you can trim some of the explanations, so you’re really just saying the vow part. But, honestly, it’s not like anybody is going to get up and leave if they’re too long. Not the end of the world. Say what you want to say. But if you’re writing different vows – be sure you communicate what types of things you’re saying and length. I find it odd when one person’s vows are super short and kind of funny and the other person’s vows are super long and really sappy.
Post # 12
As a guide: One page (with paragraphs) of single line spaced, size 12, Times New Roman font is about 3-3:30 minutes long.
Try reading them out loud and record yourself in your phone, then play it back and see if you think they are too long. There is a big difference between reading something in your head and reading it out loud.
Post # 13
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
We aimed for 10 or fewer sentences each, and also did a few sentences of the traditional vows. I agree with JenGirl: that if it’s more than a minute or so, people will tune out. It’s just human nature… Do you really need to explain your vows? It seems like he will understand the rationale and everyone else will get it well enough.
Post # 14
I like them short and sweet. Anything past a minute or two each is just too long to listen to. That said, do what you want. Overall I don’t think guests will mind as long as they are comfortable, your vows are appropriate (I’ve heard some really awkward ones!), and it’s not like sitting through a sermon.
Post # 17
amyeb25: Mine (which, like yours, were not “vows” but, rather, things I wanted to say to my FH in front of our families and friends) had to take longer than three minutes. I think you’re fine. 🙂
ETA: I have no idea why my response to your update, below, posted ABOVE your comment. Some of us actually are talking about this issue on another thread right now.