PHOTO: HER WORLD BRIDES MARCH - MAY 2015
I attended a wedding once and when it came to the exchange of vows, the bride listed down a list of not-to-dos for her future husband. The guests thought it was a joke and started smiling, waiting for the punch-line - but there was none. The bride was actually serious!
Your vows and toasts to each other express your thoughts, emotions and joy, your love for each other and what you hope for your future as a married couple. They don't have to be an exciting read, but it's best if they were personally written.
There are tons of sites which offer couples guides and pointers on how to write their perfect wedding vow and speech (here's our guide to customising yours). And they would usually encourage a more personal angle to your vow. Here are some other useful points to note, or avoid, when you start it comes to writing, or delivering, your vows and speeches.
OFF SCRIPT WOES
Some couples tend to stick to the script word for word and they end up reading everything mechanically, without emotion. You should go off script at times, especially at an emotional moment when you wish to convey something deeply personal to your other half. And an occasional joke is fine to life the mood. But let's not go way off with a long tale of your entire relationship. Or a long litany of thanks to everyone, and I mean everyone, in your life.
A TALE TOO LONG
A well-edited script that conveys the most with the least words is always best. Especially during a noisy and rowdy dinner celebration, a long speech would just get lost amidst the din. And if you plan to have your speech in different languages (to address non-speaking older guests), all the more you should keep it short and snappy. Having to hear the same long speech in different languages is a bore.
RACINESS IS NO-GO
Jokes are fine - but keep them cute, charming and witty. Avoid tasteless, racy and tacky jokes. I have come across ceremonies where the groom treats everyone like his own drinking buddies, splicing his vow, or speeches, with bawdy jokes that went too far. So keep it safe, and sterile, and stick to wit and gentle humour if you must tell a joke.
KEEP IT SECRET
Don't expose the inner workings of your relationship to your guests. There are always elements in a relationship that are meant only for the couple themselves. If you are not sure, check with your other half. What you think is fine to share during your vows or speeches may be something your partner wishes to keep between both of you. So be considerate and mindful.
CHECK YOUR EMOTIONS
Sometimes during the vows or speeches, a couple is overwhelmed by emotion and tears start to fall. And it's an especially touching moment for family, friends and guests. But there was a wedding I attended where the couple started tearing during their vows... and they couldn't stop. Now that was awkward for everyone.
If you are the emotional kind, be prepared and train yourself to keep your tears at bay. A few tears and sniffles if fine - but sobbing or choking from tears of joy is not.