So you think you're a tough guy, huh?
Let's make one thing clear; no one is buying your macho image on your wedding day, in fact, to your guests, you look more like a cock.
And now, I am calling you on it.
Every wedding I have done has been as the result of the bloke proposing to his missus - sure, in many cases there was some amount of pressure coming from under the bedsheets - and some of these proposals have been extravagant, well-planned, and in most instances, full of care, understanding, and sensitivity.
So why the fuck am I still meeting couples where you, yes, you, manly man, after all of the emotion of the proposal, you cannot bring yourself to say a few lines as a show of respect, love, and loyalty to the woman you have just committed yourself to?
At the risk of generalising somewhat, I put it down to one thing; fear.
Not a fear of public speaking (although I do admit there are some extreme cases of this), but a fear of showing your softer side in front of all of those people (your wife-to-be, excepted of course) and horror of horrors, actually tearing up.
Get over yourselves. No one cares.
Leave your testicles at the door. You may as well, because about half an hour after your Bride walks up the aisle, she'll own them anyway!
And don't think this gets you out of the woods either, ladies. While very, very few and far between, I have encountered Brides with an aversion to reciting Vows.
But my rant is aimed to you fellas. Because I can. Because, generally, you actually don't do much in preparation for your wedding day.
Remember, you asked for this to happen. This is the woman (or man, of course!) you love. This (should) be the only time you will have to do it.
So why are you being a stubborn prick?
For the sake of half a minute.
If you are not prepared to take it seriously, why the fuck should I? I don't charge a fortune for my services, I do a hell of a lot of prepping and little gestures to make it special, but it isn't my wedding day.
Take ownership of it.
I offer advice on Vows. I am by no means an expert, but I have done more of these than you, so I do have some lead in. I appreciate that what you are thinking is hard enough to put onto paper, let alone speak, but at the very least, be seen as making an effort. Uncle Google is a great start (just remember to change the names of those Vows you've copied and pasted), add humour to your soppy moment, ask for help, in fact I have written Vows for over two-thirds of the weddings I have done.
And writing them is infinitely harder than reciting them.
I suspect over the years I have turned away good weddings for bad. I haven't actually done a "bad" wedding, per se, but I wonder if I might have enjoyed another couple's Big Day Out more because there was so much more input, more love, more effort, from the couple.
If you don't want Vows, fine. But you should seriously consider it, otherwise it is just some stranger (read; me) trying to convince your guests that you are committed to a life together, trying to convince your parents that you love each other, trying to share your life's story with your friends.
And I'm no longer prepared to do that for you.