If you have decided to write your own wedding vows, you are not alone. Many modern couples who want to add a personal, meaningful touch to their wedding are choosing to write their own vows. For some people, writing vows comes easy, but for others, it is one of the most difficult of weddings tasks. Remember, your vows should reflect your feelings towards your spouse-to-be. What kind of message do you want to convey to them? Whether you decide to write a romantic poem or some humorous prose, make sure that your vows reflect who you are and exactly how you feel toward your partner.
Here are ten easy steps to write your own unique wedding vows:
1) Get On The Same Page - First check with your spouse-to-be if they also want to write their own vows. What may be beautiful for you could be stressful for them. You do not want to cause unnecessary stress on your wedding day. If your partner expresses concern, you may want to consider writing one vow you both will say. Alternatively, you can write your vows and have the officiant read them. But whatever you do, do not pressure your partner. If you decide to write your own vows, you then need to ask your wedding officiant if personalized vows are acceptable. In some religious ceremonies require you use certain vows or wording. Once you get the OK, you can begin to write!
2) Jot Down Answers – What is the greatest thing about the person you are going to marry? When did you know you were in love? When did you know they were “the one”? What does being married mean to you? What does love mean to you? What is your most favorite memory of your partner? Favorite memory of being together? What do you want to promise your partner?
3) Get Ideas – research wedding vows on the internet, read love poem and quotation sites, or read some favorite romantic poets. Print out copies of things which stand out to you.
4) Draft An Outline – that’s right, just like any other writing, it should have a beginning, middle and end. Look over the answers to your questions and the excerpts from your research. Perhaps you want to start your vows with a quote, or perhaps you want to start them with an answer to one of your questions. Also remember you can even answer the questions: who, what, when, where and why. Such as “(Name) I knew I loved you, when ____, we are here now because ___ and I promise to ___” Finish you vows with a vow, such as “I promise” or “I vow”.
5) Wait – Yes that’s right, once you have a basic outline or draft, put it in a safe place and wait. Whether it is a few days, or a few weeks – try to forget about what you wrote. During this time, if any ideas come to you, then jot them down and file them away too.
6) Re-Visit Your Vows – when the time feels right, take out your outline or draft and re-read it. If it sounds good, great! You may just need to touch it up so the grammar and punctuation are correct.
7) Re-Work and Revise - But maybe your draft is just a draft. Add to it, modify it, and change it around. Read it out loud. See if it flows right, feels right to you.
8) Read It To A Friend – Once you have your vows in place, read them out loud to a trusted friend or family member, preferably one who is a good writer and can make suggestions if needed. Be open minded to their feedback. Remember, you will have to say these vows in front of your friends and family, and this initial feedback will be valuable.
9) Review It With Your Officiant – you will want to let your officiant know what your vows are, the length of them, and how he/she should introduce them if needed.
10) Practice, Practice, Practice – Once you have your final version, keep reading it both internally in your head and out loud. Try to memorize it if you can. But even if you memorize it, you may get forget them on your big day. Make up note cards and hand them to your best man and bridesmaid to hold a copy, just in case.
And finally, if you are still not able to come up with vows, try this basic vow, and add a few personal touches. Simply remove the parenthesis and add your own descriptive wording.
“(Name) you are the most (ex- generous, loving, and kind) person I know. You are my (ex – best friend, one true love, woman/man I want to spend my life with). I fell in love with you when (name the event, place, or time). I am so fortunate that you (ex – chose to spend your life with me, chose me as your husband/wife, or that we will spend our lives together). Today, I take you (Name), to be my husband/wife and promise to you (to be faithful, loyal, honor you, laugh with you, etc) and I vow to (love you, respect you, laugh with you, cry with you, support you, etc) from this day forward.”
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Article Copyright 2007, Erica Tevis, Little Things Wedding Favors
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