Would you hire a ghostwriter to write your wedding vows? How busy brides are now outsourcing the most personal part of their special day
By ANNABEL ELLIOTT
10 March 2014
For many married-couples-to-be writing their vows can be the most profoundly personal and emotionally charged part of the wedding planning process. It can also be the hardest task.
Noticing this opportunity to step in San Francisco-based writer duo, Alicia Ostarello and Angie Sommer, both 31, started Vow Muse in 2010, a company which writes vows, speeches and thank you notes for weddings, with prices starting at $250. We’re part of a very independent generation of people many of whom seek out the unique rather than traditional,’ the pair told MailOnline. ‘We are seeing couples tweak the wedding tradition in so many different and interesting ways; writing your own wedding vows is one of them,’ they added.
While some may question the merits of an entire ceremony written by a relative stranger to the couple many customers are all for it. Lauren Van Mullem, who used Vow Muse for her wedding, couldn’t have been happier with the service. ‘I’ll never forget our ceremony, or our vows,’ Mrs Van Mullem told TODAY.com, ‘We laughed, my bridesmaid cried so much I had to give her the tissue I’d stuffed down my bodice, and the feeling of love in that room was so powerful. I don’t think we could have gotten quite that effect with a traditional ceremony.’
Another client of Vow Muse, Lindsey Ascher, said that while she loved the vows the company had written for her, she wouldn’t be asking for help with her thank-you notes. ‘I would worry that a thank-you note service would just generate generic notes without any input from the bride and groom, and I don’t think that is proper,’ explained Mrs Ascher. ‘You want to give your guests a heartfelt “thank you” for the gift that they gave.’
Vow Muse is just one of the many like-minded companies to gain popularity in recent years. Websites including Perfectly Noted, Ghostwriter Central and Yours Thankfully all offer their services to couples who are struggling to find the right words for their big day.
Ms Rolfson started them out with a questionnaire on their relationship, helped them decide if they wanted a serious or a more humorous tone and worked with the couple to weave in certain quotes and sentiments that were special to them. “Everyone said our vows were great. They didn’t even know that we went through someone,” the bride said, adding that her husband told her: “It seemed like she knew what I wanted to say. I just couldn’t think of any reason why I would have someone else decide what I should say in that moment.”
Ms Rolfson said there has definitely been an increased demand for her services, starting at $100, in recent years but added that a lot of couples are unwilling to admit they have used the service, which can presumably make it difficult to gain important word-of-mouth referrals.
Opinions on the concept of wedding-ghostwriters are split. Lois Kellerman, author of Marriage From The Heart told The New York Times: “For vows to work properly they have to be carefully reviewed, discussed, pulled apart, put together again until an ‘aha’ moment arrives when the couple feels the rightness of what they’ll be saying together.”
One commenter agrees, posting: ” just couldn’t think of any reason why I would have someone else decide what I should say in that moment.” Another pointed out that for couples choosing to use the standard ‘For richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, for better for worse’ vows: “They are already written for you anyway.”
For many the business of vows remains a personal, sacred affair. But with the increase of new wedding-ghostwriter services springing up around the U.S. it’s clear that a growing number of brides and grooms are now happy to outsource their I Dos.
(c) Associated Newspapers 2014