Relationships

Do or Don’t: Writing Your Wedding Vows

Writing Your Wedding Vows

My wedding this summer in Rhode Island was full of wonderful moments I keep replaying in my head (wedding withdrawal is real, man), but something that really stands out is our vows…

Leading up to the big day, the ceremony was what made me most anxious. Not only would we be standing up there in front of over 100 guests, I was nervous about what would be said — or wouldn’t. We decided early on to have my husband’s 91-year-old grandfather marry us, since he and Mac have always had a special connection. But as we got more into planning, we realized this was a lot for a person his age, even such a sharp one. He wasn’t going to be that friend officiant who could re-tell our first date or sit down with us to learn all the weird things we love about each other (e.g., Mac is a human encyclopedia!).

So, a few weeks before the wedding, Mac and I decided that instead of reciting shorter vows, we would stand up and tell our own love story. We agreed upon a three-part format we would each follow — an intro about our relationship, four promises to one another, and our thoughts about the future. Taking things into our own hands made me feel more confident about our ceremony, but certainly didn’t calm my nerves. I worked on my part for weeks, and we were both still putting final touches (read: he wrote the whole thing) the morning of the wedding.

Mac went first, and as he spoke his heartfelt words, his eyes locked on mine, I had to laugh. Although we hadn’t talked about exactly what we would say, we had basically written the same thing, mentioning how much we love to travel but also cherish time at home on our couch — with a few shoutouts to our cat included.

We also both opened with a joke, to set a lighthearted mood before getting to the gushy stuff. I’ve been known to appreciate a man with a beard (I mean, we do live in Brooklyn), so I said: “Mac, when I first met you, I knew right away you had all the qualities I was looking for in a man… you had a beard.” Serendipitously, Mac also described when we first met, mentioning how beautiful he thought I was even though I was dressed as Karl Lagerfeld. (Halloween parties are a goldmine of potential romances.)

Our four promises to each other were more serious, though Mac did swear to not get upset when I shared my sandwich with our cat or left the five dresses I had vetoed before going out scattered across our apartment. The last section — when we spoke about our families melding and our future children — was earnest emotion. I buzzed with energy; my jitters had completely faded.

After our vows, our guests broke into an unexpected applause and I looked out into all the teary-eyed faces. It felt like everyone truly understood our love, and I finally got why people put themselves through this unnerving process. (Mac’s grandpa did wonderfully too, FYI.)

Here are a few more moments from our wedding…

I was unsure about doing a first look. I wanted the surprise of Mac seeing me for the first time walking down the aisle, but I also wanted to spend as much time with my guests post-ceremony as possible. In the end, I am so happy we decided to do a first look, for the calming factor alone. Getting hugs from Mac put me at ease and even allowed me to soak in the time with my bridesmaids and my family right before we walked down the aisle instead of just being a ball of nerves.

I’ve always loved the idea of floral bridesmaids dresses, but finding mismatched ones that complemented each other and were to everyone’s taste was much more challenging than I thought. But those hours searching “floral dress” on the internet were worth it; I loved how it turned out.

By the time I walked down the aisle (to George Harrison’s “If Not For You”), my dad was the nervous one, so I gave him a little encouraging squeeze.

Though it was the end of July and the day before had been blazing, I woke up the morning of the wedding to a cold wind. The chilly temps persisted all through hair and makeup. I tried not to let it get to me, even though I kept hearing that the chuppuh might fly away and the tent had to be reinforced. Then, miraculously, as the guests arrived, so did the sun. It was like day broke at four o’clock with blue skies, white clouds and the long grass gently blowing in the now much calmer wind.

One of my favorite moments was after walking back down the aisle (to Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel”) the entire wedding party did an impromptu huddle where we cheered about the amazing ceremony that just went down.

My five nieces were all flower girls and walked down the aisle together dropping rose petals. Throughout the wedding process I kept half-joking that the most important photo was my Kate Moss moment with all my little ladies dressed in white surrounding me. Check!

We got married at a farmhouse with chickens who like to roam among the guests and steal scraps of food from the caterer’s tent. With so many nieces and friends with children, we wanted to have a family-friendly wedding. Everywhere I looked during our cocktail hour, I spotted a kid running around with a chicken in hand. Later they all took over the dance floor (the kids, not the chickens).

I loved being announced to the crowd when everyone was sitting down after the cocktail hour. We blasted Prince’s “1999” and everyone cheered when the DJ introduced “the bride and groom, Megan and Mac.” (Not Mr. and Mrs. Glovinsky, because after much consideration I decided to keep my last name.)

One of the things that surprised us most about preparing for our wedding, was how much fun it was to take ballroom dance lessons together for our first dance (to “Beyond the Sea”). We were going to just take one, but ended up doing four (we had a lot more to learn than we’d thought). It felt so great to do something new and physical together, and, I think we nailed it!

How would you do your vows? Would/did you write them? If you’re married, what other little moments did you love about your wedding?

P.S. One hard part of weddings and 15 wedding dos and don’ts. And who will (or did) officiate your wedding?

(Photos by Go Addo. Dress by Kelima K. Hair and makeup by Lizzy Weinberg.)

  1. Congrats Megan! As a wedding photographer, I’ve seen lots of wedding vows in action, I love it when it become more personal and relevant to the couple! Lovely happy photos too!

  2. I just love the fun vibe, and unique elements of this wedding – the floral bridesmaids dresses, the flower girls in white, your beautiful, ethereal dress, and the chickens!

  3. Shannon says...

    We just had our wedding a couple weeks ago, and in the months leading up to it, I had written, rewritten and practiced my vows. I wrote them on beautiful handmade paper, which was exactly the right size, in perfect but casual script, and folded them just-so… and then the wedding day came and I had somehow misplaced them! After a bit of frantic searching through ALL of the luggage (a few times), I had a weirdly calm moment where I just decided “oh well” and grabbed a flight itinerary I’d printed, flipped it over and spent about 10 minutes writing new vows.

    I actually did end up finding my original vows a couple days later (of course), and actually feel like my haphazard ones were so much better! They were more emotional and authentic than my originals, probably related to the grandeur of the day, but also because I *really* didn’t want anyone to know I’d lost my vows, so I was doing it in secret as quickly as possible. Haha! I told my husband and friends in the following days, and they just laughed.

  4. alena says...

    GET FLOATING FRAMES AND FRAME THE PAPERS THAT YOUR VOWS ARE WRITTEN ON.

  5. Mainly I just wanted to say congratulations! Your wedding dress and whole day looks absolutely gorgeous. I have no plans anytime soon to get married but this has given me such food for thought! In the UK, where I live, pretty much everyone does traditional wedding vows – in fact in the 15 weddings I’ve attended I can’t remember anyone doing anything different! I guess because it is not really the done thing it seemed a bit flamboyant to me but I love how you described it as “promising 4 things”. Now I am looking at my boyfriend of 6 years watching the tele as I read blogs (classic Saturday night) and thinking of all the little big things and big little things I could promise him and how much more personal that makes it. Promise to bring him tea in bed each morning as long as I am not hungover!

  6. Talia says...

    Beautiful wedding! I am getting married next summer and also love the look of floral bridesmaids dresses. Can I ask where you ended up finding yours? Thanks!

  7. My husband and I wrote vows for our wedding. I went back and read through mine before the big day and I realized they were awful. I saw that I wrote that I would love him “with all the colors of my worlds” and I winced when I re-read that. I realized my words were focussing on describing myself in a stupid, pompous way that had no place in the vows. So I re-wrote them in a way that I felt was more about him than me. But when we were up there getting married overlooking the ocean in our circle of flowers on the grass in front of the sand, and our officiant read the words out for me to repeat…he was reading the wrong vows!!!! I still don’t know how he got the original vows (I’m sure it was my mistake). But I was suddenly up there vowing with stunned embarrassment to love my hubby with “All the colors of my worlds”. I don’t mind now. I think it is kind of sweet and romantic in a way. But I remember thinking after the officiant said those words for me to repeat, oh my God these are the wrong effing vows. I thought for a second about saying, “These are the wrong ones.” But to this day I am glad I went with the flow and let a little of my color into the rest of our lives together…even if it was pink cheeks :)

  8. Jaimie says...

    We wrote our own vows the NIGHT BEFORE THE WEDDING! We got married in Italy and everything was a little under-planned, so by the time we were about to go to bed on wedding-eve, we looked at each other and were like, “OOPS VOWS.” Then we lay in bed next to each other writing them, like little secret notes. It’s actually one of my favorite memories from the celebration, and somehow they turned out completely perfect, much better than if we had agonized over each word for weeks. He wrote a funny little rhyme-y poem that reflected him flawlessly and made me laugh and cry :)

  9. Rachel says...

    My husband and I were married in a religious ceremony, so we didn’t write our own vows. Instead, the ceremony is repeated exactly word-for-word. It was very cool in the moment, to think that I was being married in the same ceremony (and saying the same words) as my parents, my siblings, my grandparents, etc. And now, when we attend a wedding for friends that are the same religion, we get to hear our wedding ceremony again (and think back to our wedding day).

  10. We wrote our own vows this past July, but were both so nervous that we’d be too emotional to deliver well in front of our 250 guests at my family’s farm in Iowa. We decided to deliver them to one another privately first on the Thursday before the wedding, right before we rushed to meet his family arriving from California.

    It was truly the one moment we had to ourselves the whole wonderful, crazy weekend – parked in the sun-soaked field next to our reception tent, in the front seat of his rental truck, each of us with our laptops and beer in hand, laughing and crying as we read one another our vows. So us. Thanks for reminding me of this wonderful memory I want to cherish for forever.

  11. Lucy says...

    I am so glad I read this post! We are getting married in July, and I have been umming and ahhing over how we will be announced at the reception as I am not changing my last name either. What you said will do perfectly!
    I love how people are still surprised I am not changing my name. My mum didn’t change her name so it was never really a consideration. Also my dad died when I was little, and I really like the idea of his carrying on his name.

  12. Laurel says...

    The part about your vows made me tear up. Really beautiful wedding Megan, congratulations!

  13. Heather says...

    can i ask where u got married? I live in ri and the spot looks beautiful!

    • Megan Cahn says...

      Sure! We got married at the Farmhouse by the Sea in South Kingstown :)

  14. First of All, congratulations to both. I completely cherish your vows. Those are simple yet impactful. You make a beautiful couple. Stay blessed.

  15. I love the mismatched floral dresses and the funky chickens even before the dancing :-)
    Congratulations on having what looks like the wedding of your dreams.
    I’ve never been married but I pray it will happen for me someday soon too and I would love to write my own vows. As a writer, I think I have a draft of what I would want to say but vows should be based on the person that I am committing to, so it shouldn’t just be my thoughts, but my thoughts about the unique relationship that we share.

  16. Ashley says...

    Hi CupofJo!
    I’ve been following you for years, and this wedding post mixed with my own personal question made me realize that there’s something I’d love to know from this community.
    I’ve been with my boyfriend for a little over a year. We’ve had to work hard to make this work, but I just assumed hard work as normal for relationships. I love him, I love our life together, I love when we’re happy. He supports me in my pursuits, he loves my family like his own, and we have similar tastes in most things. I am 26 and he is 30, and I know he wants to marry me, and I’m not sure he is the man I want to marry. I feel so, so confused.

    The question I’d love to know the answer to from your female community is: Did you experience the “I absolutely know” before marrying your spouse? Is it possible that more critical and less romantic minds took an uncertain leap and it worked out well? Can happy marriages start out with uncertainty?
    On one hand, I think my instincts are trying to steer me away from this relationship. On the other hand, I worry that that kind of certainty people talk about isn’t in the cards for someone like me.

    Thank you!

    • As someone who has dithered around in relationships that I wasn’t sure about only to break up after spending a lot of time just “dating”, my advice is make the decision now other than later – whether to stay or leave, just decide and then don’t look back.

    • june2 says...

      “When in doubt…”
      That said, you could also take a very well considered, *calculated* risk based on a couple things. If he adores you in that you clearly know he’d do anything for you even though you don’t feel as certain, then it might be worth a try if you really want to be married. If, however, you feel more for him than he does for you, do not DO NOT do it. Even though he may become the exception, it is too great a risk and therefore unwise. Not just emotionally unwise but because the material realities of life will complicate things long-term.

      If the first instance applies and you go for it keep in mind an amazing tip someone shared about how she and her husband of 16 years lived their marriage: they only agreed to marriage for 3 years at a time. At the end of each 3 year period, they have a formal meeting to determine how that period had gone for them each and to ask each other if they would like to attempt another 3 years. She said it keeps them both honest with each other and with themselves and has allowed them to be much more present in the marriage and with each other. I LOVED IT!

    • Laurel says...

      Definitely possible to grow into it, but I knew right away. Everyone is different though and there is no set formula!

    • Jaimie says...

      I felt completely sure before we were married, and struggled with doubt in the months that followed. In my case, that doubt was something else in disguise (my fear that I’d give up my dreams, my younger self’s fierce grip on the idea of complete independence). Once I looked those doubts in the eyeballs and saw them for what they were, I was able to separate them from my absolute love for my partner. Maybe try exploring the deepest edges of your lack of certainty, and see if it’s not something else that needs healing or attention. That said, you have to honor your intuition and your heart!

    • Em says...

      I agree with the other comments, especially how it’s so individualized and there is no formula. I’d add that if you’re the type to really consider things, you take a while deciding and you’re pretty meticulous thinking things through before acting, then your fears and jitters sound normal and in line with who you are. If, however, you normally have a very strong gut and know the answer to things pretty regularly, then maybe you have to follow your gut instinct on this one too. I highly recommend if you do take a break, to not do it dramatically or definitely. Leave some breathing room and an easy relaxed air about the situation so if you do miss each other terribly, you can get back together without too much stress. One of the smartest things someone else told me is that when you’re leaving a relationship, you don’t have to shut the door with a bang. Unless you’re the type that likes the door shut :)

  17. Beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing and congrats! I dont plan on ever getting married so ive never contemplated it. I think writing your own sounds lovely though – why not make it completely your way?

  18. lauren says...

    Loved reading about your special day! It looks and sounds like it was amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  19. Annabelle says...

    My partner and I got married this July as well! We had the privilege of living in a state where we could legally skip the officiant. It added a whole ton of nerves because we had to say everything ourselves but it was worth it tenfold.

    My only wedding advice: take a step back and ask yourself what your wedding means to you. It can be so easy to feel overwhelmed and follow suit with everything you know. Toss the rule book. You do you.

  20. Jessica S. says...

    When we got married in May, we decided to both do tradition vows, then have dear friends sing a hymn while we read private vows to each other. Both of us are disinclined to speak in front of large crowds, but we still wanted to share our promises with each other during the ceremony. This solution allows us the best of both worlds, and gave our friends and family both vows to hear and something to occupy their minds while we shared our own moment during the ceremony.

  21. Sarah Jane says...

    We wrote our own! (Also married this past July.)

    The first part of our vows was up to each of us (and a secret), and the final five lines matched. They are a compilation of lines from vows we liked.

    “X, I join my life with yours.
    Wherever you go, I will go.
    Whatever you you face, I will face.
    I will will cherish and respect you through all the changes of our lives,
    Forever being grateful that we found each other.”

    On our honeymoon, we tried to recite our full vows to each other from memory most days. Now, it’s just those final five lines that we say to each other from time to time. Or when things are tough for one or the other of us, I will think, “Whatever you face, I will face.” I love each line for a different reason, but that one is my favorite reminder that we’re a team for life.

  22. Lisa says...

    We also wrote our vows, and I was SO nervous about it the weeks before. I’m a writer, but my husband works in theatre, so I felt like whatever I did wouldn’t compare to his natural performing self :) I remember the day of the wedding, trying to practice my vows in the mirror and not being able to get past the first sentence without sobs. I hate being the center of attention, and I was so sure I wouldn’t be able to get through them. BUT! Somehow, the moment came, and I felt so calm and completely sure of myself. Like everything I was saying was just the deepest truth I had in me. People laughed, people cried, and I totally kept it together. And like someone else said, we didn’t look at each other’s vows beforehand, and basically wrote the exact same thing to each other. I’m so so glad that we did it–despite how nervous I was before!

  23. Lauren says...

    Gotta say, I’m glad you didn’t end up nixing bouquets. :)

    • Megan Cahn says...

      Me too! We did DIY flowers and there were extra so we went for it :)

  24. Liz says...

    I love all the songs you picked, Megan! Its my afternoon playlist now.

    We wrote our vows, keeping it short. They were a mix of mushy, deep and funny (my husband likes to ‘credit card swipe’ my ass which he vowed to always do- ha! I had to explain what that meant later to our parents who just shook their heads laughing). It was very much us, and I am so glad we wrote our own.

    Our 5 year wedding anniversary was this past summer and he found the notebook he wrote his in and had them professionally matted & framed. Now his vows hang in our bedroom and its a treasure to read them daily.

  25. Kristina says...

    My husband and I wrote our own vows. It was a great way for us to reflect on our relationship and also inject our personalities during the ceremony. One promise I made was to always give my husband the last bite of my food off my plate. It seemed to have made an impression because guests from our wedding still ask if I have lived up to that. I might have cursed myself because even 5 years later I physically cannot eat that last bite of food.

  26. Congratulations! What a beautiful wedding! 5 nieces as flower girls? How special!

    My husband and I also got into our dance, ending up doing private lessons two times a week for 6 weeks! He wanted us to do a great job, so he had us practice in the basement every day for an hour. It was well worth the effort because we didn’t make a single mistake and our friends and family loved it. Money well spent!

  27. Kate says...

    What a beautiful day – congrats to you!

    George Harrison’s version of “If Not For You” was our first dance song at our wedding 13 years ago! Not many people know it – you obviously have great taste in music :)

  28. Dana Courtney says...

    Writing our own vows was one of the most important elements of our wedding to us. The ceremony was so special. We walked down to acoustic guitar and a man and woman singing “once” and it got progressively louder as my dad and I entered. We cried as we said our vows but I had never felt more proud or loved.

    The only way I can describe the ceremony was that I felt so full. I remember taking a deep breath in during the walk down the aisle and I could barely let it out. I felt like my heart would burst watching all of these people I adored smiling and celebrating and genuinely feeling so happy for us.

    Our vows was by far one of the sweetest and most cherished moments from our big day.

  29. Rachel says...

    A slightly annoying question, but your hair and makeup look so amazing. It looks still very much you, but “done up”! I’m getting married in two months and wondering… should I try to do it myself or get it done by someone? What did you do?

    • Megan Cahn says...

      Not annoying! Thank you! My friend Lizzy Weinberg is my hairstylist in NYC and also knows her way around a makeup brush, so I had her do both my hair and makeup. It was so great having someone I am close with do it since they are with you for so much of the day. I’d definitely recommend having a professional if you can!

  30. Bria says...

    Yes we did! it was my favorite part of the wedding, and a lot of the guests, too! So many people commented on how much they loved them, and more than a few said they were inspired to write their own. For me, it was actually easy once I got going. At first I could only think of a few things I wanted to say but not HOW I wanted to say them, but(cheesy, I know) I sat down and read all of our love letters over the years, and with that inspiration and emotion, wrote most of my vows in one pass!

  31. Liz C says...

    What a beautiful wedding!! I really enjoyed reading about your special, and fabulous day!

  32. Nigerian Girl says...

    I have no plans to get married or write any vows. I just want to say that I absolutely love everything about your wedding. You are beautiful and so is your dress. I wish you and Mac a lifetime of happiness.

  33. Shannon says...

    what a beautiful pair and looks like so much fun.

  34. Hannah D. says...

    We didn’t write our own vows – I found it too hard to condense four years of love into a two minute speech and he was relieved, I think. We also both loved the traditional vows, and the history behind so many thousands of couples who have been joined by them. I still wanted personal vows between us so we wrote our own on cards and sent them to each other the morning of the wedding. It was one of my favorite parts of the day getting to read them!

  35. Aoife says...

    Congratulations to you both!!! It sounds so beautiful ?.

    We wrote our vows separately and then read them to one another a few days before the wedding. My husband (bless him) was really nervous about his and insisted we share our vows beforehand. They were incredibly personal and heartfelt and this meant so much to both of us.

    We also said the following binding vow that I have loved since I was little:
    “Today begins my walk with you.
    Where you go, I go,
    Where you stay, I stay,
    When you sleep, I will sleep.
    When you rise, I will rise.
    I will pass my days within the sound of your voice and my nights within the reach of your hand,
    And none shall come between us.”
    – William Nicholson
    We both felt that this binding vow was exactly how we’ve approached our partnership – choosing to be together and giving that commitment everything we’ve got.

    Hooray for you both! xx
    Ps And yes, the comedown IS real!!!

    • Suzy says...

      I’ve been spending the past few months looking for a wedding reading, and nothing has felt right yet. I was talking about how much I loved the Wind on Fire books when I was younger the other day, but completely forgot about this quote! Thank you for reminding me- it has become the front runner :)

  36. We did write our own vows. I couldn’t tell you what we said in them (though we have them written down somewhere), but what I can tell you is Amos went first and I cried and could barely make it through saying my own vows. Also, we both spent most of the morning prior to the wedding muttering them under our breath, each worried we’d forget them!

    Your wedding looks so lovely- I love all the little flowergirls and the bridesmaids dress (OMG and you and your husband look so cool. Love it!) As for our own, well, I found myself nodding along with many of the moments you shared. I too was so glad we did a first look and it really helped calm things. I also remember the first dance. One of the first activities we did together was tak dancing lessons, actually, and there really is something about learning something new together. We were really excited to show off a little for our dance as many of our dance class friends were there. It wasn’t choreographed or anything, just me following along with whatever he did (though with two years of classes, that was a wide range. We two-stepped and did the Single Lindy in that particular dance).

    The other moment that really sticks out to me know is my grandmother coming to see me before the wedding. She died later that year, so it felt so special that she was able to see that part of my life start. What a special memory you all will have that his grandfather was able to play such a special role in your wedding!

  37. Beth says...

    When my husband and I were planning our wedding for Memorial Day this year, one of the only things we couldn’t agree on was vows. I didn’t want to write our own vows, but my husband was very adamant about it and in the end we did. But, it ended up being our favorite part! While my vows were from the heart but very direct and to the point, my husband (the writer of the two!) managed to sneak in a Steven King quote, a mention of our ‘jerk’ cats and the potential of getting a dog (a common topic between us), and still managed to say the most heartfelt words that didn’t leave a dry eye in the crowd.

    In the end, I’m so glad we took that moment to be vulnerable with each other and with everyone we love. It made the ceremony so much more special.

  38. What a lovely post! My husband and I wrote our vows the night before we got married. The whole wedding planning process was a whirlwind–beautiful and difficult. I had a breakup with a friend; we lost an uncle and a grandmother and a friend; my father became seriously ill a month before the wedding and was ultimately unable to attend. Carving out the time–even at the last minute–to think about what exactly we wanted to promise to each other was a really powerful experience. And we went into our wedding the next day clear-eyed, totally convinced that we’d face both good times and sorrowful times together. I wrote about our experience at A Practical Wedding a few years ago. Here it is just in case anyone wants to take a look: https://apracticalwedding.com/more-than-its-parts/

  39. Rebecca says...

    My husband and I met at a Halloween party too! I was a cowgirl and he was dressed as a nerd, holding his actual engineering textbook (we were in college). Your wedding looks beautiful! I love your dress and the bridesmaids too!

  40. sofia says...

    YES! Also loved loved loved taking dancing lessons with my husband. So fun, great way to de-stress pre wedding.

    I’m also very PRO writing your own vows. We read ours to each other about a week before the wedding, just the two of us before we went to sleep. It felt really personal and nice to do that before the big day.

  41. Leannie says...

    Congratulations!! What beautiful photos :)
    I got married 3 weeks ago, and we wrote our own vows to read privately to one another right after the first look (witnessed only by our photographer and videographer — I can’t wait to see the final product, and ask “is that how my voice really sounds??”), and recited traditional non-religious vows at the ceremony. I really wanted to make our vows special, but also hate public speaking, so this was the best of both worlds. Our officiant did an incredible job, but she forgot to ask everyone to be seated after my parents and I walked down the aisle, so everyone was awkwardly standing for 15 minutes. The photographer was apparently waving and mouthing at people to SIT DOWN. I didn’t notice any of it because I was looking at my husband the whole time; pretty much everyone told me later what happened! <3

  42. Kait says...

    I know that location! I went to a wedding there last year and it was amazing! We all stayed in the farmhouse, too! It was a blast and so beautiful!

  43. Jill says...

    Lynda, He’s taken!

  44. Annie says...

    Megan, I LOVE your Kate Moss moment. You look beautiful…and now I want that picture too but will have no flower girls…hmm…..
    Also, just wondering, where did you take ballroom lessons?
    xx

  45. Katie. H says...

    What a lovely wedding, Megan! I, too, had a total Kate Moss moment with my EIGHT flower girls (all relatives). Definitely the best pictures.

  46. Kiley says...

    What a beautiful wedding, thank you for sharing! I very much wanted to write our own wedding vows, but my fiancé gets nervous in front of crowds and begged to do something standard. We ended up working with our officiant to make a customized ceremony where he can repeat the words, so we’re both pretty happy about it :)

  47. Mollie says...

    We didn’t write our own vows. One reason, as weird as it may sound, is I couldn’t get Emily Gilmore (yes, of GG) out of my head, when she said this about lasagna:

    EMILY: Agreed. Now, as far as the vows go…

    LORELAI: [Coughs] I’m sorry. The vows?

    EMILY: Wedding vows.

    LORELAI: Ah what are you talking about?

    EMILY: They can be traditional, or you can write your own, which seems to be the style now day, although if you ask me it’s rather garish. Cecily Pendelem’s daughter actually promised to cook her husband lasagna once a month. Who wants to hear the word “lasagna” at a wedding?

    • Amy P says...

      Hahahahahaha :D

    • Rachel says...

      LOL! this is perfect. And… a good point.

  48. BB says...

    Would you mind sharing where you did dance lessons? We need some (desperately) and have no idea where to go…

  49. m says...

    Megan, you look stunning! And so happy- congratulations!

  50. Jenn says...

    Congratulations on your beautiful wedding and marriage! I just had to comment that my 2.5 year-old is named Mac! Does your husband like going through life with that name? I hope so! I think it’s the coolest…

    • Megan Cahn says...

      Thanks! I think it’s the coolest too :)

  51. Lizzy says...

    We didn’t write our own vows… our best friend/officiant told stories about each of us and read some poems we thought represented us. We aren’t super lovey-dovey in public, so we just kept it light. That’s just how we wanted it! Plus, I think we were most excited about our song choices- “this must be the place” for when I walked down the aisle and “for once in my life” after the ceremony. We’re gonna celebrate our first anniversary this weekend!! :)

  52. Jules says...

    My husband is a great writer, so I’d like to have heard what he would have said. When we were first dating, he wrote me two poems that I still cherish to this day!

    However, I’m really big into history and genealogy, so I think there’s something really special about saying the same vows that my parents, grandparents, and ancestors all said at their weddings.

  53. Allison Leedie says...

    Lovely! We wrote our own vows and I am so happy we did. The ceremony ended up being my favorite part of the whole thing, which I wasn’t expecting. I got a lot of help from https://apracticalwedding.com/

    Can I ask where your bridesmaids’ dresses are from? I’m looking for something similar to wear as a wedding guest soon. Thanks!

  54. Jess says...

    I have to say no to the writing of your own vows. I am not a strict traditionalist, but the past few weddings I’ve been to have had such hokey, cringe-worthy vows. I think people want to be funny and “true to themselves” but talking about your dirty clothes on the floor or how it “was totally not love at first sight” strikes me as really inappropriate. Vows are promises, and this is one of the most important days of your life. Treat it with some respect. Same with the “buddy” that is marrying you–it’s not a comedy hour. It’s a serious commitment, and the ceremony should not something that you get out of the way to get to the reception.

  55. tina says...

    What a stunning couple you make! Wow! Everything looked gorgeous! Congratulations!!

  56. Bethany Carlson says...

    Meghan, is the venue at Farmhouse by the Sea in Kingston, RI?!! My fiance & I looked at it but the owner was facing noise complaints and the possibility of not being allowed to operate for summer 2018, so we decided on Avery Point in New London, CT. I really loved the setting though!

    • Megan Cahn says...

      It was! I feel like we got married there a year too late! When we committed to the place in the summer of 2016 none of that was happening. The curfews and such were all sprung on us at the last minute. It was a lovely venue and I loved that it slept 18 of my friends, but I think you made the right choice!

  57. Gillian says...

    Oh I love this!! It looks like such a beautiful and perfect day.

    We had a friend marry us, which allowed us to have a lot of freedom with the ceremony. We both wanted it to be 1) short 2) heartfelt so we took it into our own hands and wrote our entire ceremony, including our vows, which we borrowed from traditional roots. It was so comfortable, everyone let out a collective laugh when I was saying my vows with the amount of conviction and excitement that I did, and before that when my 1 year old nephew ran screaming his way down the aisle with my mother/his grandmother chasing him, a glass of champagne in her hand.

    My husband ended up being deployed 2 weeks after our wedding and the amount of love that we were showered with over that weekend got us both through a long window of us being apart- and honestly, 2 years later, it still is something I think about almost every day.

    And don’t worry- I had 4 flower girls and one ring bearer, and that Kate Moss/Will and Kate photo was crucial for me, too ;)

  58. Absolutely stunning, Megan! I love how you really made your wedding your own :) We got married in the Russian Orthodox church I grew up in, so there aren’t any vows that you say to one another, but we had plenty of other parts of our wedding that were personal to us, including our two Scottish groomsmen in kilts and thistle in our bouquets to honor the fact that we met and fell in love in Scotland.

    I also chose not to change my name and I loved being introduced as “Catherine and Matthew” at our wedding as opposed to Mr. and Mrs. Funaiole. We are now affectionately known to our friends as the Foleyoles and that’s perfect for us! :p

  59. Elizabeth says...

    Is the bride for whom COJ readers could chime in on a wedding dress selection? If so, maybe run that column again so we can see the choices, and if not, could you tell us what dress was chosen?

    I love wedding dresses!

  60. Jodi says...

    So gorgeous, Megan! Your dress is just beautiful. Congrats to you both!

    I just got married a few weeks back and also have the post wedding blues. REAL bad! For our ceremony, we had a dear family friend officiate and she wrote the entire thing herself however we did write our own vows. My husband and I were nervous and felt it was a lot of pressure to write the vows in their entirety, so after a lot of research and thinking and chatting, we decided on a structure. We opened with the same 2-3 sentences, followed by two unique “I promise…” lines, two unique “I will…” lines, then ended with the same 2-3 sentences. It provided the structure we needed yet allowed us to have freedom to personalize the vows for those four lines in the middle. It was perfect. I’ll never forget my husband reading his vows to me during our ceremony, mouth quivering with emotion, and looking into each others’ eyes as we exchanged those meaningful words with one another.

  61. Amanda says...

    What a gorgeous wedding! It’s fun to hear that you were introduced by your first names – I did the same thing, but had never seen it done! ((Also… totally relate to the bridesmaid dress search fatigue. I looked at so many purple dresses it almost stopped being my favorite color ;) ))

    • Shannon says...

      My husband and I got married in an outdoor amphitheater at a summer camp in Ohio. During the ceremony, our officiant (one of our friends got ordained online) asked us to turn and face the crowd of people that had gathered to give support to our union. It was so beautiful getting to make eye contact with all of our friends and family before we said our vows. We faced the crowd for a full literal minute. I, of course, SOBBED–blotchy faced, shaking shoulders, the works. It felt like such a nice way to slow down the moments.

  62. Meg L says...

    My husband and I wrote our vows. Writing them was easy, but in the weeks leading up I practiced reading them aloud and cried each time. My anxiety was at an all time high as my turn to read them during the ceremony approached. As I read, I choked up and could barely speak. A few sentences in I said, “when I practiced I cried much later” and as I looked out everyone was crying and laughing. Its an unforgettable moment that I always think back to. There are lots of little things I would change about our venue, decorations, but writing our vows I would never change.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      “when I practiced I cried much later” = oh my gosh, meg! i am tearing up just from your comment. what a beautiful, beautiful moment.

    • Megan Cahn says...

      I feel the exact same way!

  63. Tyler says...

    I was so nervous for my ceremony too! We didn’t want a religious ceremony, and we were already legally married, so we asked our family friend who introduced us to “marry” us. He was hesitant and nervous, but it was so sweet, because he’d known us both individually and had introduced us. He told the whole story from his point of view, and then had us recite some standard vows we’d pulled off the internet, ha! It was great. But afterwards he was so embarrassed and apologetic and I had no idea why! Turns out he’d forgotten to ask everyone to sit before the ceremony started, so all the guests stood the whole way through the ceremony.. I was so nervous I hadn’t even noticed! We had a good laugh… luckily it was a short ceremony!

    • Research Warrior says...

      I’ve been to 2 ceremonies where that happened! For one, someone brave in the front row just took charge and eventually sat at what seemed like an opportune moment, prompting everyone else to follow. It worked, albeit awkwardly. The second time, at a different wedding, we just stood the entire time, and aside from exchanging antsy, confused glances with other guests once, it was completely fine, even sort of special to be standing together.

      I think this might be a surprisingly common oversight, but an easy one to laugh about.

    • Tyler says...

      How funny! I’ll let him know he’s not the only one :)

  64. Beth says...

    No way! I freaked out going down the aisle by myself in front of all of those people. I was barely able to say I-do so anyone could hear it. I’m just too much of an introvert to do anything in front of a group of people. I wish I could have done it- sounds beautiful.

  65. Estee says...

    This was so perfect. I am getting married next weekend and have been writing my vows. This really helped to calm my nerves. My fiancé and I laugh way too hard at dog memes so that will be referenced in the vows.

    p.s. your wedding was beautiful!

  66. Laura says...

    Awww…you look so beautiful and I’m glad everything went the way you wanted. I love weddings with kids–they are such a joy-enhancer! Also, yay to ballroom lessons. We had a whole choreographed number we worked on and though we forgot most of it and had to wing it on the day of, it was such a fun process (and I like to think our guests appreciated our effort?).

  67. Angela says...

    My husband wrote our vows! I am really terrible at that kind of thing and he is excellent at it. Each vow, husband and wife, has the same kind of tempo of a traditional vow, but with our own special wording. I did approve what he wrote for me ahead of time.

    For our first wedding anniversary, he asked me to handwrite my vow and he wrote out his. He Photoshopped them on our favorite photograph from the wedding and printed it on canvas. It is the central artwork in our bedroom, and we read our vows aloud to one another each year on our anniversary. It is always a special time to remind ourselves of the commitment we made to one another.

    • Ingrid says...

      How lovely!

  68. Cindy says...

    Beautiful, Megan.

  69. Emily says...

    just gorgeous! thank you so much for sharing all of these beautiful photos and thoughts with us.

    we said traditional vows as a part of the Methodist liturgy (my husband actually thought there was too much talking even WITH the vows and was like “can’t we just say ‘i do’?”). because we got married outside, but i am religious, i liked having a church-y/traditional component to the ceremony.

    i also loved having children (9 of ’em!) in our wedding. they were such a silly, sweet, oddly calming presence during the day. i will forever remember the precious things they said to me while getting ready and throughout the reception ( “what happened to your hair?” “can you marry me instead?” “is that a new knife?”)

  70. Nicole Brant says...

    That little blond flower girl’s (far left) facial expression is hilarious!

  71. Haley says...

    This was our wedding–a simple registry office ceremony, and then we cooked a big BBQ in our back garden! http://www.lovemydress.net/blog/2017/01/short-yoana-baraschi-bhldn-dress-intimate-back-garden-wedding.html

    We didn’t write our own vows because that seemed really personal–so we had bog standard registry office vows, but then at the end of the night we exchanged letters that we’d written for each other. It was so lovely (my husband proved himself to be a bit of a Shakespeare!), and I keep his letter to me in my bedside table so I can read it whenever I want.

    My favourite part of our day was the fact that we walked down the aisle together. I had issues with being “given away” (I’m not close with my dad and he didn’t come, but also, I’m not a piece of property to be passed between two men, thanks very much), so we walked down the aisle arm in arm. It was so important to us to be able to start our marriage as we intend it to go on: always together, as partners, on completely equal footing.

  72. rachel says...

    My husband and I talk about this all the time, even 5 years later! A piece of advice we were given by our mentor (who officiated our wedding) was that if we wanted to write our “vows” we should make sure to vow the same things to each other – and thereby start our marriage with the tenants we both wanted to hold ourselves and our partner to. We sat down together in a restaurant one night and had long talks over a lot of wine, and wrote the words we said to each other on our wedding day. We now have them printed and hung in our house – they’re our words, the ones we agreed on and promised, and we cherish them. It’s the thing about our wedding I’m most proud of, and the foundation of the family we created.

  73. Anne says...

    The song is actually called, “Beyond the Sea”! I know this because it was my own wedding song less than a month ago!! My new husband is in the Navy and secretly I thought the lyrics were a littttle too on-the-nose, but he had his heart set on it (and it really is a beautiful song).

    • Megan Cahn says...

      You are so right, thanks for the catch! My husband picked the song too, he’s a big boat guy :)

    • My husband sang “Beyond the Sea” to our little unborn baby every night for months. Emerson still calms pretty much immediately any time he starts singing it (he’s 15 months old now. My baby, not my husband :)

  74. Erin says...

    We didn’t write our own vows because I felt that there was something so terribly romantic about using vows couples have said to each other for so many generations before us.

    • shelley says...

      I felt the same way!

  75. Hillary A DeJong says...

    We wrote our own vows and I’m so glad we did. We otherwise had a very traditional Catholic wedding so having a little more personality by writing our vows was appealing to us.

    One of our cherished moments from our wedding day was going to the place where we met (a diner, of all places!) and having our photos taken there. The diner was a special place to us not only because we met there, but many of our friends and family worked there at some point as well. It’s a key part of our story.

  76. Kelly says...

    Karl Lagerfeld. Best Halloween costume ever!

  77. Olivia says...

    Our Greek Orthodox wedding ceremony doesn’t include vows. I absolutely loved that we took part in the same ceremony that couples for generations have been participating in – but of course, our priest (who’s known us since we became a couple as teenagers) had sweet, personalized things to say about us at the beginning and end of the ceremony, which was so special. Now, every wedding we go to at our church takes me down memory lane, and I get goosebumps and can hardly stop smiling the whole time remembering our own happy day.

  78. Cynthia says...

    Beautiful wedding! My husband and I did not write our own vows but went with the traditional vows. We left out the part about “if any one has just cause why this couple should not be joined in holy matrimony, speak now or forever hold your piece”, because I was afraid my nutty uncle would speak out and who knows what would have happened. A lot of drama surrounded our wedding.

  79. Congratulations! It sounds like a beautiful wedding, and you are a stunning bride. I love how delicate the top of your dress is!m, and the floral bridesmaids!
    In our wedding we had ten kids involved….there were just so many cute kids belonging to our friends and mentors! I remember when we told our pastor, he leaned back in his chair with a grin on his face and said, ‘yeah, something’s gonna go wrong.’ It cracked us all up! But they did an adorable job.

    • Megan Cahn says...

      Thanks so much Cait!

  80. Elli says...

    This may sound strange, but I liked NOT writing our own vows. Although I wanted our wedding to be special/unique to us, there were plenty of other areas where we accomplished that. I wanted the ceremony itself to have a certain level of gravity to it and reflect just how serious the commitment of marriage is. In my mind, reading traditional, scripted vows kept the ceremony from being too light-hearted. The fun, crazy, silly part came immediately after. :)

    However, as a guest at a wedding, I do enjoy when couples personalize their vows. I think whatever each couple wants to do is perfectly great!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i agree! we didn’t write our own vows because alex gets nervous with public speaking, and i loved having a traditional element to the ceremony. but then the toasts went wild, haha! xoxoxo

    • MK says...

      I agree and we didn’t do that either. That felt like a ton of pressure to put on ourselves.
      I ended up writing my entire wedding ceremony anyways, and my father delivered it, and friends said afterward they thought it reflected us perfectly!

  81. Shawn says...

    I grew up in Rhode Island, so I am in love with the location of your beautiful wedding. Is this Narragansett or Little Compton?

    • Sara says...

      I am currently engaged and live in RI, so I second this question!

    • Megan Cahn says...

      It’s South Kingstown :)

  82. Emily says...

    You look so, so beautiful!! and so happy!! I also love the floral bridesmaids dresses, oh my goodness! where are those from (i will buy one for everyday wear, hahaha). i’m jewish so when i get married i expect to do a fairly traditional jewish ceremony. i’ve always loved the jewish wedding traditions and the fact that so many in my family and my boyfriend’s family have done it before me makes it even more special. but i could see including some parts in english for the non-jewish friends! thank you for sharing your lovely day xo

    • Sarah Beth says...

      We had a very traditional jewish ceremony, in our temple. I loved saying the same words that so many had said before us! But it still felt like us– our rabbi gave a wonderful little … sermon? not sure what it’s called, about the two of us. And for our chuppah we decided against the traditional tallit, and instead used a beautiful hand embroidered cutwork tablecloth my husband’s grandmother, who died about 6 months earlier, had made. And the rabbi and our program explained many of the traditions, so the handful of non-jews in attendance were able to enjoy the traditions as well. And who doesn’t love the breaking of the glass!

  83. Emma says...

    Wow, so so beautiful!! Do you mind if I ask who designed your dress? It is so dreamy!!!

    • Megan Cahn says...

      Thank you! Of course! She’s an independent designer in New York called Kelima K. https://she-will-be-loved.com/

  84. Liz says...

    Congrats! You look so lovely, Megan. Which farm did you marry at? I lived in RI for three years and miss it very much. This brought tears to my eyes – all the best for lots of love and adventure to come!

    • Megan Cahn says...

      Thank you! Rhode Island is the best. We got married at Farmhouse by the Sea in South Kingstown. xo

  85. I love the idea of telling your love story during the ceremony! So sweet.

  86. Christina Copp says...

    My husband and I wrote ours as well (more me than him) though we sort of had it organised ahead of time, I left him some blanks so he could personalise it himself – he had some anxiety in writing the whole thing.

    This was our second wedding – our first was eloping in London together, but this wedding was one year to the day of our first (what a great anniversary!) in Australia in a lovely outdoor garden (with fairy lights!) in front of his and my (Canadian) family. We saved the ring exchange for the second wedding so our families and friends wouldn’t feel left out. It went off so well!

  87. Ellen W. says...

    My mom’s big piece of advice for my wedding was to focus as much energy planning the ceremony as the party because, in her words, 30 years into her marriage to my dad she still thinks about their vows. I’m so glad I listened to her. Our reception was awesome and I’m proud of our entire wedding, but the moment when my husband and I told each other why we love each other and what we promise still feels like a dream, when magically 175 people disappeared and we were alone and connected and ready for anything!

  88. Andrea says...

    We’re married 11 years and the vows we said as part of the Catholic liturgy have been hard and joyful and resonant through the years: “I take you, Ed, to be my husband. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.” We both memorized them and I have his copy that he had in his wallet to memorize framed.

    This, honestly, has set a template for our married life. I often ask myself if I am being true to him, if I am honoring and loving him in my actions. Those vows have been handed on and honed in my tradition over the years. I like that the Catholic ceremony is lean and essential when it comes to the vows. I really cringe when I go to weddings and people make joke-y/precious vows, not seeming to see the weight and seriousness that living out a marriage entails.

    • Andrea says...

      “I take you, Ed, to be my husband. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.”

    • Elli says...

      Yes! I completely agree with this. I think every couple is entitled to do whatever makes sense for them, but I personally wanted the ceremony to reflect the seriousness of marriage a bit more.

  89. Ainsley says...

    Megan, I love your wedding dress so much! It is absolutely stunning.

    We got married last summer, and my husband and I wrote most of our ceremony together. We followed the structure our officiant suggested, but we spent hours on the couch together making sure each part felt like “us.” The old Cup of Jo post about wedding readings was incredibly helpful (I swear I read every comment, and some of the readings made us cry), as did the sound advice in “A Practical Wedding Guide.” We also wrote one set of vow for us both to recite, which we pulled in part from a list of feminist vows in the Catalyst wedding magazine.

    For us, writing our ceremony and vows together made the process a lot less stressful – no last minute scribbling of vows, and no pressure to write something as surprising or witty or funny as we thought the other person might be writing. After the wedding, we couldn’t believe how many of our guests noticed and commented on how much they loved our ceremony – even though the microphone went out minutes into the ceremony, and we had to practically shout!

  90. Sarah says...

    I just got married on Saturday, and it was somewhat similar to Megan’s -outdoors, on a farm. We had the most gorgeous day for it, it felt more like summer than fall in New England. We wrote our own vows, too, and I actually wrote the whole rest of the ceremony. I found two poems I adored (Wedding Poem by Neil Gaiman, and an excerpt from The Vow, by Clare Shaw), that our siblings stood up and read. There was some mixup or technical complication with the microphone, so there wasn’t a standing mic for them to read into. Instead, his brother and my sister each huddled up next to my husband so his lapel mic would pic up their voices. Everybody laughed. I got so many compliments on the whole day – people kept saying how “us” it was – and my favorite thing to hear was that people cried during the ceremony. It was so intensely personal, and it meant so much to me to stand up in front of the people who love us most and helped us become the right people for each other, and officially become a new family.

    • T says...

      It was so intensely personal, and it meant so much to me to stand up in front of the people who love us most and helped us become the right people for each other, and officially become a new family.

      Love this!

  91. Ellie says...

    We wrote them ourselves! We knew it was something important to us and since writing little notes and heartfelt cards is a big part of our relationship, it seemed that writing our own vows reflected that in a big way. My favorite (or as my Canadian husband would say, favourite) part of his vows was when he compared me to a pineapple (I love pineapples…as decor more than as food) “short, sweet, sometimes prickly, but always wearing a crown”. (Omg I just teared up again at my desk hahaha).

    Our ceremony was officiated my brother and sister in law who are both rabbis. We followed a traditional Conservative Jewish ceremony which felt so connected to the greater community, but it was so nice to choose a couple readings we liked and add the personal touch of our own vows :)

    • Ellie says...

      I also forgot to add that we followed the same loose structure (below) and agreed on a rough word count of 250 words.
      Affirm your love
      Praise your partner
      Offer promises
      Close with a final vow

      I found this really helpful especially because it kept me focused on what vows should really be and made it so that our vows were balanced and similar in structure and length.

  92. Shay says...

    We wrote our own vows and it was definitely one of my favorite parts of our wedding. It definitely made our wedding feel more personal and less a ritual we were just doing to get to the party. We both were teary but neither of us ugly cried – ha! We actually wrote our whole ceremony because my husband’s brother married us. I liked how personal the entire ceremony was to us. Side note – I still have the scraps of paper we both wrote our vows on!!

  93. Michelle says...

    We took traditional vows, (looks like we’re in the minority!) but it was definitely the right choice for us.

    Neither of us are really religious in any outward way but we wanted the ceremony to have a sense of gravity and humility, and to acknowledge the marriage as something bigger than us that we were going to create together. We had lots of readings and poems from friends and family that celebrate love and commitment (both religious and literary) but we didn’t have anyone talk about anything too personal. We dedicated the ceremony to the marriage (something new which didn’t exsist until the “I do” at the end), and kept the fun and personal stuff for the reception. We live in pretty informal times, and it felt more romantic and special to us to be so earnest at the ceremony.
    I can definitely see how lots of people prefer less formal and more personalized ceremony though. I’m in my 30s and have been attending lots of weddings lately, most of the ceremonies involve laughter, at least one silly vow and lots of talking so they are pretty fun to attend. It is a surprise and secret thrill when I arrive and find it’s a more traditional ceremony, because while I enjoy all weddings (seriously, I love them) I have only ever gotten emotional at the traditional ones. I’m sure for lots of people it would be the exact opposite!

  94. Gwen says...

    My husband and I just got married a week ago. We had a courthouse wedding, but we invited all our friends and family, thinking not many would be able to make it to a week day, work hours wedding, but the tiny courthouse ended up being packed with 50 people!

    We had already not planned on writing our own vows because neither of us are big public displays of emotion people, but when we figured out everyone was coming, that really sealed the deal. We did decide, however, that my then-fiance, who had been hanging out in a hotel room all day while I was hanging out at our house, would come to our house, and we would have our private (not even photographed) “first look” there, after which just he and I–all dressed up in our wedding attire and alone in our newly-renovated house with our dog–read vows that we had written each other to each other alone. He read his first, and then I read mine and cried all the way through them. We then took a “fancy” uber together to the courthouse where we perhaps slightly-less-nervously met our friends and family!

    Only some of my friends even know we did this, so it truly was a special and private moment. I’ve already made him read the vows to me once since the wedding because I loved them so much. =)

  95. tricia says...

    My husband and I did something similar to you, Megan, and to some of the other commenters – we wrote our own vows but agreed on a format ahead of time, so one person’s wouldn’t be crazy long while the other’s was a couple of words. We got married in a library (I’m an archivist and he’s an English teacher) and rode the literary theme by writing poems to each other. I’m usually so quick to tears I worried I would be bawling, but it turned out to be my husband that could barely get through his vows because he was crying so much!

  96. Abbie says...

    What a perfect day!!! So happy to see you married in Rhode Island too, my siblings and I all had our individual weddings there despite not being from the state. Just such a beautiful summer escape :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      how lovely, abbie! my friends matt and megan got married in vermont, even though they’re not from there. they just fell in love with the state. so sweet when that happens!

  97. Em says...

    Meghan, what a beautiful wedding! I love how you told your love story! We wrote our entire ceremony and vows. It was a lot of work, but we felt like it really represented who we are. One of my favorite things was that we wrote a friends and family vow (they all had to say “we do”) to honor all of the people who are important to us!

    • Megan Cahn says...

      Love that! Thank you!

  98. Kyla says...

    Gorgeous wedding, and I absolutely love how you presented your vows. Writing our own vows was the most important part of wedding planning for me. Because we are not religious, I wanted the ceremony to be a reflection of us and why we wanted to spend our lives together. My vows were a little on the long side, and my joyful sobs made it take even longer. I even paused towards the end to assure everyone that I was ALMOST done. I think I hit a nerve with the guests though; there were lots of happy tears, including a woman at the hotel pool who overheard the whole thing!
    Congrats Megan!

  99. I’m an event planner in Brooklyn. Have so many thoughts on this and wedding traditions in general. We’re really working with couples who are breaking the mold on a lot of outdated wedding stuff. We recently planned the “anti-wedding” HA! Wanted to get married but sort of hated the idea of a traditional wedding. They had a rock concert attached to it. It’s been fun to see how people are really making their “love parties” (what we call them) their own.

  100. Cooper says...

    What a beautiful, thoughtful wedding! We got married by the elderly pastor of my husband’s family’s church, and it was a pretty terrible ceremony. I remember looking at his script during the wedding and seeing that he’d literally just crossed out the names of the last couple he’d married and written our names above them! (Not to mention all the cringe-worthy “wives submit to husbands” elements in the message that were completely against our beliefs). In hindsight, I wish I had been more mindful about the ceremony instead of obsessing over the details of the reception! The cotton-candy centerpieces were amazing though ;)

  101. We wrote our own vows! Our wedding was a small ceremony of 30 in Paris, and I wanted us to write our own since our wedding was already so intimate. I was so taken aback when I heard my husbands first because they were so beautiful, it brought me to tears! I had a hard time sharing mine, I was a little embarrassed, he had totally killed his! We ended up sneaking out of our wedding early around 1am, never saying goodbye and had drinks on the balcony of our wedding suite in our robes (so happy to take my gown off!) and watched the Effiel Tower sparkle – it was a perfect ending to a truly perfect day.

    Xoxo

  102. Kathleen says...

    One of my most vivid memories from my wedding is sitting down with my grandma (who has since passed away) after dinner in the cool air and just talking to her for a while about life. I felt like I was only able to have superficial conversations and hellos with many people who came but I was able to really connect with my grandma for a while and that means so much to me now.

  103. MA says...

    Congratulations! What a lovely essay on your day! I felt like I was there with you. And it sure looked like a fantastic party.

    My husband and I wrote our own vows too, and I can’t remember what either of us said exactly, but do remember how I felt with we said them to each other. Gives me chills to this day.

  104. Sarah says...

    This is so sweet! We still haven’t really decided what we’re going to do for our ceremony but it’s so helpful to see what others have done. I’ve also been debating the whole dancing lessons thing. Where did you two end up taking lessons?

  105. Elizabeth says...

    My now-husband and I wrote our vows (simple, 5 sentences, that we each said one by one) sitting in a crusty old diner in our neighborhood in NYC where we go to get cheap brunch sometimes. There were two old dudes arguing about Trump in Greek one booth over, the waitress was super brusque, and we kept getting interrupted by the guy topping off our coffee cups. It was so funny and felt very down-to-earth, and it helped ground me in a lovely way – “I think what you said about going on adventures is super — yeah more coffee please, thanks — I love the idea of adventuring with you” :)

  106. Jennifer says...

    Meghan, your wedding looks so beautiful. Where did you/your girlfriends end up finding all the bridesmaid dresses? They are beautiful!

    • Megan Cahn says...

      Thank you so much! The one on the right is from Charlotte Russ: http://bit.ly/2whZwu5
      The yellow one in the middle is from Christy Dawn and the pink is from Anthropologie, but both are sold out. The purple is from a shop in L.A.

  107. Tricia M says...

    This reminds me SO much of my daughter’s wedding two years ago. They didn’t say vows as such but recited together the EE Cummings poem”You hold my heart”. Not easy to recite but they did it faultlessly, holding hands and looking into each other’s eyes. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place and that included the photographer. Wishing you both much happiness together.

  108. Susan says...

    I think it depends on your faith tradition.

  109. CK says...

    I’m getting married in 10 days and we’ve decided to write/read our own vows, but honestly I am so so nervous that I’m just going to be sobbing the whole time and unable to say them. One of my best friend’s is officiating and promises to have some jokes prepared in case I get stuck, but ugh, the fear of ugly crying the whole ceremony is so real.

    • Amy says...

      Cry! My wife cried so hard that she barely got a word out and it was lovely. People thought it was sweet. To the casual observer, she seems like a stoic, calm, cool-headed person, but we knew she would struggle. We read our vows out loud to each other several times throughout the week before our wedding so that we wouldn’t cry so hard. But when the time came, she cried. Ugly cried. And it was adorable and wonderful and sweet and people were so happy for us. Really, overwhelming emotion is the reason people attend weddings. The crowd will eat it up. Don’t worry about it at all.

  110. Sarah says...

    Years and years before I met my now husband I read a quote from (I thiiiink…) Sarah Michelle Gellar saying that they’d chosen to stick with traditional vows because she loved the idea that those words had been marrying couples for thousands of years. That idea stuck with me as such an incredible thought! For our wedding my husband and I looked over numerous traditional vows and combined the lines that were most important to us. Our officiant said they were “very comprehensive.” :)

  111. katie says...

    Your wedding looked so fun!

    I married a couple weeks ago and we wrote our own vows. They were short and simple, as was our ceremony.

    Oddly enough, when my sister toasted us, her message was similar to my vows. We didn’t really like each other growing up, but it’s amazing how as adults, we’re good friends and we know each other so well.

  112. Lauren Walters says...

    There was only ONE disappointment in this article: the fact that your Karl Lagerfeld link was not to a pic of your costume. I’m dying to see! Your wedding looks so beautiful and special, Megan- thanks for sharing.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahahahaha

    • lydia says...

      hilarious!! i see why he fell for you! it’s a real sexy halloween costume ;) reminds me of my favorite scene from the movie mean girls. hahahaha!

  113. Kelly says...

    My husband and I wanted our wedding to be as personal as possible, so we wrote our own vows. About midway through the delivery of his vows, I burst our laughing… because we had essentially written the exact same vows! Of course, when I started mine and everything from the language, content and structure was almost identical to his, our friends and family started laughing too :) It was a nice, accidental way to lighten up an otherwise serious moment.

  114. JB says...

    You look STUNNING and the photo with you and your five nieces looks straight out of a bridal magazine.

    My husband and I wrote our own vows, but we were both really nervous, so the morning before the Day Of, we cuddled under our duvet and read them to each other. That way, we got all the sobbing and kissing and jitters out of the way and it was crazily romantic. During the ceremony, we were able to get through them without bawling (although our guests did, including my stoic dad who wiped his tears away with his tie during the whole thing) and we had our private moment to look back on forever. I highly recommend it!

  115. Lisa says...

    Congratulations! It looks like such a wonderful wedding, and I love the way you did the vows.
    We didn’t have any – traditional Jewish weddings don’t have them (all the legal stuff is covered in the ketubah).
    My favourite moments were – coming out onto the dance floor and just feeling SO incredibly happy, which carried on all night. When my husband put the ring on my finger and we were officially married, and the food. The food was amazing and I want to get married again, just to eat it all. Oh yes – and all the stuff that we didn’t plan, but the DJ decided for us, like the song that we came out to, and the song that the massive cake was brought out to (it was insane – a French croquembouche thing, with fireworks and macaroons)

  116. Lily says...

    You look truly beautiful and happy Megan. Congratulations!

    • Megan Cahn says...

      Thanks so much!

  117. Eliza Hall says...

    It all sounds so beautiful. Every picture you’ve shown is so wonderful; i love the one of you two dancing – clearly enjoying each other and not taking it too seriously! I have had a wonderful marriage but I had a less than ideal wedding. I wish I had the kind of wedding you did, but I hope you have the kind of marriage I do :) Good luck!

  118. Michelle says...

    Congrats! Thank you for sharing your beautiful wedding day with us. I’m all about having the kiddos at the wedding. I bet the kids will remember it forever.

  119. Erica says...

    What a beautiful wedding! We did our vows very similarly to you and we got a lot of compliments. I love the three part format, and incorporating your own story helps guests connect to you even more.

  120. Jil says...

    Beautiful wedding! Can I ask where you got your earrings? I’m on the hunt for something similar for my wedding :)

    • Megan Cahn says...

      Thank you! Lexi lent them to me for my something borrowed. They were a gift from her dad on her wedding day :)

  121. Leanne says...

    We wrote our own vows. I’m a writer and tend to fill entire cards for any occasion and my husband was nervous his vows wouldn’t live up to mine, so we agreed on a template with three parts: “I love you because… because I love you…” and then a final common ending. His big thing was that our wedding day shouldn’t be a time when we say something that we’d never said to each other before, which is fair. We had a little poster illustrated of us with our vows written on it and that’s what our guests signed in lieu of a formal guest book. It’s a symbol that these people witnessed our vows and will hold us accountable to the promises we made to each other (Brad’s included always trying his best to use the proper your and you’re). The vows brought giggles and tender moments and they were a definite highlight. We have our little poster hanging on our dining wall where our now family hangs out (we have a 2- and a 4-year-old), and it’s great to have a constant reminder of that day and our love for each other, especially when times get hard.

  122. Islay says...

    Beautiful wedding!! I thought you’d nixed the bouquets for your bridesmaids!!

  123. My husband and I wrote our own vows. I vowed to always agree to a noodle dish when we go out for Chinese food, and he vowed to always bust a move when a certain Usher song comes on. We hold each other to these and definitely have had moments of regret…

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is so cute!!

  124. Kate says...

    I loved writing our vows (we wrote them together and both recited the same words). One of my favorite vows and one that several people commented on was actually a line we stole from the cheesy show, “Drop Dead Diva.” The line is, “I promise to hold you tight, but never hold you back.” Gotta love those Hollywood writers.

  125. Congratulations on a beautiful event. I loved hearing about how you put a personal spin on the ceremony (and the kids carrying chickens ;) ).

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i love how everyone is smiling in all the pics! it looked like such a happy day.

  126. lynda says...

    Mac is the most handsome man I have ever laid eyes on! SO happy for you both! Beautiful wedding! Loved reading about it!

  127. Laura says...

    Just beautiful, Megan! I love the pictures, especially the one with you and Mac, and your friends/family and the house in the background. And ace choice on the dress. I can see why you have post wedding blues!