Writing Your Own Wedding Vows: What Should You Include?
Writing your own vows is a beautiful and personal way of acknowledging the love between you and your partner, as well as making promises to your future relationship. It can also be completely daunting, especially for those of us who aren’t overly comfortable with writing or public speaking.
Here are 10 considerations to help you get the words just right:
1. Check With The Officiant
If you are having a traditional church wedding then it’s important to check with the officiant what the rules are when it comes to reciting vows. Many will be fine with you writing your own, but there may be specific religious vows that need to be included or a certain structure required. For non-religious ceremonies, there are no rules and it’s pretty much up to you and your partner.
2. Discuss Style & Tone With Your Fiancé
Avoid clashing styles (for example, light and funny versus serious and sentimental) by discussing the vows with your fiancé. While the specific content of the vows can remain secret until the ceremony if you wish, it’s good to talk about the overall style and tone you both want so that there are no awkward moments on the day.
3. Learn From Those Before You
Read plenty of examples of vows for inspiration, including those from novels, films, religious and spiritual texts, or even iconic historical weddings. This will give you a sense of variety so you can see what feels right to you.
4. Consider Your Relationship
The first part of a typical set of vows is to affirm your love – What have you achieved together? Why are you getting married? Take a bird’s eye view of your relationship and consider what you most want to get across.
5. How Do They Inspire You?
What ways has your partner added to your life? This is your opportunity to tell them how they have inspired you and what you value most about your relationship. If you can’t find the words, describe a memory that means a lot to you or use a simple metaphor to communicate how you feel.
6. Close With A Promise
It’s good to close your vows with one or more, well, vows! Whether it’s a deep commitment to supporting each other through troubling times or a simple promise to love your partner to the best of your ability, wrap it up with a positive intention.
7. Remember You Will Be Speaking To Everyone
It’s good to keep in mind that you will be addressing not only your soon-to-be husband or wife, but also both of your families. Private jokes are cute, but they may isolate your guests – this is a chance to express your feelings to everybody.
8. Keep It Simple
One to two minutes maximum is enough for most vows. Even if you want to throw all the rules out the window, it will help to keep things simple – say only what you need to say and don’t worry about getting it absolutely perfect.
9. Write Drafts
Once you’ve written a rough first draft, put it away for a week and then return to it with fresh eyes. Pouring over words for long periods of time will only make you lose clarity and create stress, so write what comes to mind and then review it after you’ve taken a break.
10. Say Them Aloud
Reciting your vows out loud is the perfect way to get a feel for them. Do a few trial runs either alone, with a friend or even speak into a tape recorder. Most importantly, relax! Sometimes we only really know what to say when we aren’t trying so hard.
By Abby Williams, Excalibur Press
SUMMER 2018 EDITION AVAILABLE TO BUY ONLINE NOW