What Are Private Vows, and Should You Have Them?

Here are the pros of reading each other your promises behind closed doors.
by Sophie Ross

You don’t have to make a heartfelt speech at the altar if that doesn’t sound like your jam. Instead, you and your partner can enjoy private vows—where you simply read your vows to each other (like you would at the altar) in privacy prior to the ceremony, or write each other letters with your vows in them that you can read separately while getting ready (this is ideal if you’re not having a first look).Then, you can say standard vows at your ceremony. Either way, penning private vows instead of reading them aloud into a microphone definitely has its perks. Check them out below, and get vow-writing tips here.

You won’t have to stand in front of your guests and pour your heart out.

If you’re shy and the thought  of spilling your guts in front of hundreds of people gives you hives, private vows are probably a good choice for you. Of course, your feelings for your spouse likely span the deepest corners of your soul, but if you don’t want to express those feelings in front of every single person in your lives, you definitely don’t have to.

You can say whatever you want.

When you know you’re reading your vows in front of all of your family members (yes, including Great Aunt Sally), you probably get a sense that you’ll have to, well, censor yourself. (For the record, it’s probably a good idea to leave certain things out.) But if you know your vows are for your partner’s eyes—or ears—only, you can talk about whatever you darn well please.

It will feel extremely intimate and personal.

Imagine the most romantic moment of your life and multiply that by 1,000. When you read or hear words meant just for you, by the love of your life, on one of the most important days you’ll ever have, you’ll probably need some waterproof mascara.

You’ll get great photos (if you want). 

Going off of that, if you choose to invite your photographer to capture the moment you read each other’s vows or say them privately, we can pretty much guarantee you’ll get some of your favorite photos from your entire wedding day.

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