How To Wow With Vows: 7 Steps To Writing Your Own Wedding Vows
Today’s weddings are all about personalization—finding the right details to reflect your unique relationship. And when it comes to the wedding ceremony itself, there’s no better way to personalize than by writing your own vows. But if the thought of sharing your innermost thoughts with your fiancé in front of all your family and friends sounds terrifying, take a deep breath. I’m going to walk you through how to write your own vows…and keep your sanity.
Step one: Get inspired.
Before you start writing, look at examples of other vows for inspiration. They can be from your own religion, or even from a favorite book or movie. When you find what resonates with you, ask yourself what it is about the words or tone that strikes a chord with you. Remember this when you start writing.
Step two: Think about tone.
Think about how you want to sound. Do you want to be funny? Romantic? Traditional? Whimsical? If you are planning to keep the vows a secret from your fiancé consider having a third-party read both sets of vows in advance to make sure they are not too similar.
Step three: Take a trip down memory lane.
Take some time to really think about your partner and reflect on your relationship. Remember how you met and fell in love. Think through the happy and not-so-happy memories and what makes your relationship work. Ask yourself what you love and respect most about your partner and how your life has changed over time. Use these memories to jumpstart the actual writing process.
Step four: Promises, promises, promises.
Vows are promises, so focusing on what you’re promising to do is key. But be careful of sounding too cliché or general. “I promise to be there for you in good times and bad times” may be too close to the lyrics from “That’s What Friends Are For.” But, “I promise to remember the happiness I feel at this very moment and take it with me throughout our life together” is a more specific way to express your love.
Step five: Let it flow.
Now that you’ve settled on your memories and promises, it’s time to put everything on paper. There are many ways to structure your vows, some more linear than others. One of my favorite ways is to start with a short story or anecdote that captures the essence of your relationship and tie back to the same story at the end of your vows. In between you can express your gratitude for your partner and state your actual vows.
Step six: Practice makes perfect.
Your vows should be one or two minutes in length (no more!) The best way to stick to the time limit and get comfortable with the delivery is by practicing aloud. Make sure that you’re not getting tripped up by any words. If you are, tweak the wording until it sounds more conversational. Also, make sure to practice standing up straight and making eye contact with your beloved.
Step seven: Have a back-up plan.
No matter how much you practice in advance, it’s hard to prepare for the emotions of the day. It’s quite possible that you will become too overcome to get the vows out. It’s not a bad idea to ask the officiant or a trusted family member or friend to serve as a back up reader just in case. Just make sure you share a copy of the vows in advance so they are prepared if they need to step in for you.
If this process is still too daunting for you, don’t hesitate to give me a call. I PROMISE we can work together to write beautiful vows that sound just like you wrote them yourself.