Wedding vows are very essential and are not only an outstanding part of the wedding day; they are also a public declaration of love.
Writing your own wedding vows gives freedom to express how you feel about your spouse-to-be, and you also make the decision as to what to say instead of having to say the “traditional wedding vows”. It gives you room to express yourself.
Below are 10 ways to write your wedding vows:
1. Make the decision together : It is important to decide together if you both want to write your own vows. There is nothing wrong with saying the traditional vows, but if you choose to write your own vows, both of you have to be very prepared, understand and be committed to this concept.
2. Clear it with your officiant : This is very essential. If you and your spouse-to-be want to write your vows for your big day then you have to clear it with your officiant. Catholic, Episcopalian, and Jewish congregations, for example, may require you say all or part of the traditional vows. Often this won’t prevent also saying vows that you wrote, but you will want to know what the rules are up front. Some officiants may ask to review your vows, so be prepared to have them early if this is the case.
3. Consider picking a structure : Choosing a structure is not a bad idea, this will help you and your partner to have organized vows. Most times it is better to choose the start phrase and the end phrase. The start phrase which can be “I promise”, “You are my”, “I take you”, “On this day “. The end phase which can be “I love you”, “For all the days of my life”, “This is my sacred vow to you”, “As I join my life to yours”. It will give a good place to start, and still let them express themselves.
4. Work out the details : Do you want the surprise element while saying your vows? Will you show them to each other beforehand, or will you keep them a secret until the ceremony?
5. Read and Reflect : It is always advisable to start by reading traditional vows from your own religion, you can also review from other traditions. See what tickles your fancy. You can even incorporate these into what you write, or use them as a starting point. Secondly, plagiarism is allowed! Borrow freely from poetry, books, or even movies. Jot down words and phrases that capture your feelings. If you’re someone who keeps a journal, go back and steal from your past self too. Truth is, there is nothing wrong in stealing some wisdom from people that have gone before us. Take some time, both separately and together, to think about what you love about each other and what makes your relationship special. Write down the most memorable moments you have shared together, good or bad. Think about the promises you want to make to your partner, and the ones you don’t.
” With the deepest joy, I promise to cherish you,
To support and honour you,
To frustrate and challenge you,
And to share with you the wonderful moments in life.
And, someday, if the stars align,
I may even let you win an argument.
When I say ‘I do,’ I don’t mean the dishes.”
6.Write Early : Write more than you need and how you feel. Don’t leave writing your vows until the day before the wedding! Give them the time and thought they deserve, and save yourself the stress of trying to be super thoughtful. Work on your vows in a more relaxed, not rushed, frame of mind. A few loose deadlines: try to get a first draft together about one month before the wedding, and have your final version completed at least two days before the wedding. When you’re starting out, write down everything you can think of. Getting it all on paper will allow you to see all your thoughts at once. Eventually, the most important things will surface.
7. Narrow It Down : Pick the most important promises and organize them well. If you have more to say, save the more personal thoughts and give your spouse a letter on the morning of the ceremony (Believe me, this is really romantic and it makes your spouse remember why he/she feel in love with you in the first place). Also aim to have your vows last for about one minute or less per person.
8. Be yourself : The most important thing is that your vows sound like they’re from your heart. Charming and dramatic? Amusing but touching? It’s up to you. It’s best to decide on your overall tone before you put pen to paper, but make sure to go back over your words and refine towards the tone you want to achieve.
9. Practice : Practice always makes perfect. . This will also help to build your confidence and also minimize stuttering.
10. Remember the vows are basically just for you and your partner : This does not mean they should be so personal that they can’t be followed by anyone, so don’t make them overly obscure, or embarrassing. Always think about your words from your audience point of view too, that means putting a soft limit on inside jokes, vague nicknames, or code words. Your vows are a public declaration of your love but that doesn’t mean they can’t be comic. But remember making the audience laugh is not your goal, your goal is to pass the right message of love, so use humour in moderation. At the end of the day, even if the ideas of the vows were stolen, on this day they are your words, so make them sound like you. Not someone else.