A rebel’s guide to writing wedding vows


– Country men and country women, city men and city women,
and many other people who could watch this podcast who aren’t in the country or the city, or men or women for that matter. Welcome. Welcome to this little
uh, episode where I, your host, Josh Withers, marriage
celebrant from Australia, talk about how rebels might get married. That is why I have a very
specific name for the show, because you’re listening to
(electric guitar strums twice) “The Rebel’s Guide to Getting Married.” (electric guitar strums twice) Today we’re talking about vows. Not the A-E-I-O-U because
that’s pretty much all you have to say about
them apart from the fact that they cost us extra
on some different games. But no we’re talking about marriage vows, the vows you might say
when you get married. Sometimes I’ll see, um,
I’ll go to wedding venues, I was literally at one yesterday, and they got a sign that
says, “I do’s this way,” and uh people think that
the “I do’s” are the vows. I, I’ve got a fundamental
issue with the words, “I do.” And uh, and that is because
when you say “I do,” you’re merely just hearing a question, and saying, “Yeah, I do.” Which is not the worst thing
you could do in your life. That’s fine. “Do you want a coffee?” “I do.” “Okay, cool, here’s a coffee.” But when there’s something really, really important happening in your life, for example you might be
getting married, per se, and at that point, when you get married, might you want to say
something really important and really valuable? Other than, “Yes.” Now “yes” is powerful. A “yes” and a “no” can change the world. The positive or the
negative affirmation uh, that, that really does
make the world go around. But on the day that you get married, my encouragement to you would be to say something that matters, to say something that
might not necessarily be an exact replication of where you’re at in a hundred years’ time, but in a hundred years’ time, you can look back at that moment and say, “Yes, that is how I felt with all my mind, all of my body, and all of my soul.” So today I’m not just
talking about vows per se, I’m talking about personal vows, because when it comes to vows that are um, that are put forth by a
celebrant, or an officiant, or a minister, or the
government, they’re fine. I don’t wanna do that at my ceremonies. In fact it’s very rare to
find a ceremony of mine as a marriage celebrant where people aren’t saying something that matters. And, and here’s why. Because vows don’t have
to be the big scary thing everyone thinks they have to be. They don’t have to be proper, they don’t have to be the same length, they don’t have to be
the same number of words, or they don’t have to match in cadence, they don’t have to kind of, they don’t have to be anything
apart from you just saying, “I do not hate you, “and this is indeed how
much I do not hate you, “and this in fact is why I want “to spend the rest of
my life annoying you.” Or insert your own descriptions there. Because if you say anything
else other than that it’s a waste of all of their time. You see later on in the
day there’s possibly gonna be an opportunity for
everyone to tell your stories of how we met, and this
is why we got married and, but also if people, they
don’t know how you met, then why are they at your wedding? Side note. But your vows aren’t an opportunity to kind of give your full life story. They’re not a place where you say all the correct and proper things, there’s correct and
proper things to be said in different jurisdictions
and different countries and we’ll say them but, but in your vows, if you just do, do use
words that are true to you, words that you know, words that
accurately tell your story, words that, that actually,
when you say them, you feel something, and
the person hearing them feels something as well. The words that you say would
be a gift to the other person. That your very marriage will
be breathed life by those vows. That you are married because
you said these things. And you know what? You might not be a poet, and
you might not be good at words, but heck you’ve got this far in life, you convinced someone to marry you, so maybe you could just
spend a few seconds saying, “Hey, this is, this is
what I believe today. “This is what I believe to be true. “This is why I think my
life is gonna be better, “because you’re in it.” So you might start by
complimenting them, saying, “You look really beautiful.” You might do a bit of a
“up ’till now,” you know, “We’ve been together for 1200 years, “and now we’re getting married
and that’s really great, “and I remember I first
fell in love with you “because of your green hair.” And you tell stories like
that, and that’s fine that’s like opening the story, that’s like setting the scene. But the real meat in the sandwich is where you’re gonna do the business. Why are you marrying them? And what does marriage
actually mean to you? Like I’m not saying, don’t read
from some bloody dictionary, “According to the Oxford
Dictionary marriage is,” no, don’t do that (laughs). In fact don’t do anything that
Google or a dictionary said. But say, “this is what I
believe my marriage to be, “this is why you’re stuck with me.” (laughs) And in that moment you’ll actually do something that matters. You’ll breathe life into the other person, into your marriage. You’ll open up their brain
and pour in some, some love. Because your words are truly some of the few things
you own on this planet. Your words and your time and
your Qantas points (laughs). That’s a joke, the last one’s a joke. But it’s just an opportunity for you to just really exchange some value. That you would let them
know that you’re present not just in that moment
(plane engine roars) thanks, Qantas (laughs). They heard my points joke and
thought they’d come on in. That you’re not just
present in this moment, but you’re present in this marriage, that their marrying you matters. And that as they walk
into tomorrow with you, that they have purpose, that they have beauty,
and they have simplicity, and they have awesomeness in their step because you two got married. They are your personal vows. Now I’m not a big fan of the
whole, “repeat after me,” because it’s kind of not that personal, so write them down on a card. If you’re one of my couples, I’ll generally print
them for you if I can. I’ve got cards I print onto, or you know what? Read them off your phone, it’s fine, like we’re in an age where that’s okay. Maybe don’t bring your 12.9 inch iPad, but uh, you know, read them off a phone or your Apple Watch if you want. But uh the important thing
is for you to say something. Don’t be facing the audience. Don’t be facing your
guests, it’s not about them, this is you. This is you talking to each other, saying, “Hey, I love you, and this
is what this means to me.” That, that whole stress
about public speaking isn’t a thing because
you’re not public speaking, you’re personal speaking, and
maybe everyone can hear you. And if you really are freaking out about saying something into a microphone then you know what? Saying it into a microphone is less important than saying it. And if you’re still
freaking about saying it then write it and let them read it, but just put some words
down that accurately convey the fact that you are really
really into this person. That’s how I believe you
should do personal vows. My name’s Josh Withers. This is “The Rebel’s
Guide to Getting Married.” If this has helped you, or if you think it
would help someone else, please tag someone, share
it, the link is really easy, it’s literally,
http://www.therebels.guide is the website where um, where all the podcasts,
YouTube, Facebook, IGTV, get into it, have an amazing day, have an awesome wedding, but
please for the love of God have an awesome marriage
(electric guitar strums).

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