Writing Your Personal Vows
So it’s time to write your vows, but you have no idea where to begin! Don’t worry you’re not alone, the most frequent questions I receive from couples are: “How do I write my own vows?”, “What do I say in my vows?”, “Where do I begin?” If you have decided to write your own vows, I have some tips to help guide you.
First, remember that there is no wrong way to write your vows. As long as it is from your heart and you are truly expressing your admiration and devotion to your partner, you can't go wrong.
TIME TO BRAINSTORM!
Your first step is simply brainstorming. Take some time to reflect on your fiancé. Think about how you felt when you first met, what made you fall in love and when you knew you wanted to get married. Write it all out, let your thoughts flow, ideas, phrases, feelings. It doesn’t matter if it sounds good or bad, “too cheesy” or “not original enough”! Try not to judge but just write it all down. You can sort it out later, this is just for brainstorming.
GET THOSE THOUGHTS IN ORDER!
Now that you have some ideas, you can develop your thoughts into an outline. You can start by writing a similar structure of traditional vows such as:
- What you love about each other (I love your smile. I love that you always stay positive and see the good in everyone.)
- What you are thankful for (Thank you for believing in me and having the courage to to be with me. Thank you for loving me through every moment. Thank you for making my dreams come true.)
- What you promise (I promise to always support your dreams and goals. I promise to be a true and loyal friend to you. I promise to love you fiercely and infinitely. I promise to nurture your dreams and help you reach them.)
You can share your reasons why you want to marry them, perhaps offer the qualities you enjoy about them, a happy memory, your hopes for your future together. Lastly, you then share your promises to your partner, and perhaps add some light hearted inside jokes or personal mottos if that seems appropriate.
If this seems a little to traditional don’t be afraid to be yourself! Remember what we said about there being no strict rules for writing your personal wedding vows? So knowing that you don’t have to stick to this traditional structure you are absolutely free in what and how you choose to express your feelings for each other! Perhaps instead you incorporate other elements into your vows which best express your feelings, such as:
- a poem or reading that is meaningful to you
- refer to something from your love story (quoting a letter/email you wrote each other a long time ago, quoting the lyrics of YOUR song/the song when you first kissed, quotes of your favorite movie)
- writing your vows as a poem / singing your vows
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT!
Practice out loud and try to keep your vows no longer than 2 to 3 minutes (that’s a lot longer than you think!). It’s never bad to read your vows out loud a few times before your ceremony. You will probably be a little nervous and emotional on your wedding day.
Whether you celebrate your wedding with many guests or keep it small and intimate you will have an audience! And even if you know all of your guests, reading something in front of others usually increases your excitement and nervousness! Practicing before helps make you feel more confident and ready during the moment of your vow exchange.
Don't feel pressured to memorize your vows, sometimes that takes the emotions out of your statements because you are too concerned trying to remember what you want to say.
Print extra copies and leave with your maid of honour / best man, and make sure the officiant has copies as well!
DON’T BE SCARED OF YOUR FEELINGS!
Yes, maybe you’ll be tearing up while reading your personal wedding vows. Maybe you’ll even start crying or laughing! But that’s fine! You can be emotional on your wedding day; nobody is going to judge you for that. Remember many of your guests will be looking for tissues as well! Nobody expects you to stay cool when you read your personal wedding vows to each other. Really, your wedding day is the best day to show and share emotions!
One last thing, save your notes from your vow writing. They will be a sweet keepsake that will probably include more details and memories that may have not made it into the vows but will be nice to reread down the road.