How will you say "I do?" - Traditional Vows vs. Creating Your Own Ceremony

Since the 1600s weddings in western cultures have begun with the words "Dearly Beloved" and included passionate phrases like 'til death do us part.' These days it seems like couples want their  wedding day to reflect who they are and be tailored to their personalities in every way. This includes the wedding vows. If you are still on the fence about whether you want to write your own, search the web, or go with tradition - consider the pros and cons of each approach.

Creating Your Own Ceremony
This is the most romantic approach to wedding vows.
The pros: These vows will be 100% unique. Even if you piece together phrases from pre-written ceremonies no other couple will have spoken the words before in exactly the same way. You can make them as simple and sweet or as passionate and lengthy as you deem necessary. 
The cons: Writing your own vows can be stressful. It is too easy to write too much or too little. You wouldn't want the groom to give a full page speech for the bride to respond with two sentences. Another negative side is the fact that some more rigid religions will not accept your vows.
Advice: Couples should sit down together and come up with some basic guidelines. Things to consider are; how long you want the ceremony to last and what you want to include. Be sure to memorize your vows before the wedding. It is a good idea to also include a little notecard that can be discretely tucked away into a pocket or bouquet for reference. If your religion does not allow you to write your own vows, you can always exchange them at your rehearsal dinner or reception.
Traditional Vows
There is something very special about speaking the same words that have created marriages for thousands of years.
The pros: Reciting your vows after the reverend is easy. The words carry the weight and meaning of tradition and while they are often simple. They are probably the words you spoke when playing wedding as a child so that element of fairy tale is definitely there. They are also perfect for vintage theme weddings that want to play on nostalgia.
The cons: Some couples find traditional vows to be a little bland. They may not suite your individual style, culture, or situation. Your bride may not want to say "to love, honor, and obey" for example.
Advice: If you love the meaning tradition carries and you want a low stress approach, go for it! Your guests may know the script, but they will also see how the words take on a new meaning when spoken by such a great couple! There is also comfort in the familiar.
It is completely acceptable to write some of your vows, use some portions from a pre-written ceremony, and tie in your favorite elements of a traditional wedding. Your vows are an important part of your wedding ceremony. While the promises are real and serious, that doesn't mean you can't have a little fun with it too!

Good Luck!

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