Standing in front of your future spouse, friends and family to say your wedding vows can be a nerve-wracking experience. Are you going to follow the traditional route or write your own words about the person you are about to marry? Wedding experts Raymond Tse and Karen Wang offer some tips on saying the words that surround 'I do'. With about 150 wedding ceremonies under celebrant and lawyer Tse's marital belt ( www.raymondtse-lawyer.com ), he says wedding vows mean different things to different people, so they should say their vows in their own words. 'Some will make it as simple as possible and some will make it long and detailed,' says Tse, who performed his first wedding in 2006. 'But it's not just the words that are important, it's the presentation as well.' He recommends couples to first visualise the setting and then rehearse the vows a few days before the wedding. While knowing the words by heart may be difficult at such a monumental moment, Tse advises couples to try. 'I would encourage them to memorise it because if they read it from a piece of paper, or script, it will be too formal and they will not be able to show their facial expressions,' he says. 'If they can't, I can whisper the vows to them and they can follow me.' Another suggestion, Tse says, is for couples to hold hands during the ceremony, which makes holding cue cards tricky. He also says it's important to practise the pacing of the vows. 'If it's too quick then it seems too casual, but if it's too slow then it's boring.' According to Tse, about 70 per cent of couples write their own vows, but they are required by Hong Kong law to add in the following statement: 'I call upon all persons here present to witness that I [name] do take you as the bride/groom as my lawful wedded wife/husband.' And Tse stresses for couples to practise saying the letter 'l' in 'lawful', so it doesn't become 'awful'. Wang, director of Tiara ( www.tiara.hk ), agrees personalised wedding vows are an important aspect of tying the knot. 'It talks about the meaning of the relationship and what they have been through together, and how they got here to today,' says Wang, a certified wedding planner. She believes customised wedding vows are not common in Hong Kong, with some 20 per cent of couples choosing their own words. She explains: 'I think this has to do with the [Chinese] culture, they don't know they can add more to the standardised vows.'