Should we write our own vows?

The short answer: Yes.

The long answer: With every wedding video I shoot I am looking our for ways to include the couple’s personality. It’s easy to capture this visually because there are often little nods to couple’s style or interest scattered through out the wedding but what is said can sometimes be a bit samey.

If the ceremony includes only the legal stuff and the speeches are nothing but thank yous and congratulations I wont have a lot to work with in the edit. This is the worst case scenario. Chances are the speeches will have some great soundbites and the ceremony will have a lovely poem or reading that can be used but still I want to make sure I have enough sentimental audio. As a safety precaution I often take some time while everyone is getting ready to record either a letter reading or a mini interview that will help give some soundbites for the edit.

Questions for this mini interview include:

1) Tell me your story?

2) Express how having everyone under one room makes you feel? (Great for footage of guest mingling)

3) What are some of your partner’s best qualities (Great for shots of them getting ready)

4) Why did you choose this venue? What inspired the aesthetics? ( Great for scene setting shots)

5) Tell me about your future? (Rarely used but it is more suitable for the end of the video)

Here is an example where the interview was an essential part of setting the video’s tone:

Then comes the ceremony. Whether you are having a civil or church ceremony there are certain legal things that must be said that aren’t the most romantic. They don’t share your story or retell a happy memory. Writing your own vows is a way to inject more personality into the audio/voiceover of your video. It makes the video more emotional and tells more of a story than the bog-standard legalities.

Let’s compare what a video is like with and without personalised vows.


Without: Still lovely, but with an emphasis on the speeches over the ceremony.

If you decide against writing your own vows it doesn’t mean your video wont be lovely. It just means there is more of an emphasis on the speeches in the edit. However if the traditional three (father of the bride, groom, best man) aren’t totally comfortable giving a speech or they want to keep it quite short there wont be a lot to work with. I dont like overly engineering anything but if you suspect the speeches will be a bit dry and fast maybe break with tradition and ask one of your more dynamic friends to give a speech in addition to the traditional ones. Instructing your speech givers to be extra complementary or give sentimental advice could be enough to ensure the speeches add even more gravitas to your video.

If you take all this into consideration your videographer will have so many nice audio clips to choose from and they can construct a nice cohesive edit. It’s always better to have too much rather than not enough.

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