It seemed like a good idea at the time. The two of you would write your own wedding vows, telling your own story, perfectly summing up your relationship thus far, and personalizing the promises you’ll make to each other. But when you sat down with that blank page…nothing. How could mere words sum up your overwhelming love? How could you perfectly phrase how much you appreciate his support? Why can you talk for an hour about a single Taylor Swift lyric but writing vows give you a total mental block?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you. We’ll take you step-by-step through what can be the daunting process of writing your own vows, from how long they should last to what you can leave out to what should definitely be included.
But first, some quick don’ts and a do about what you’re trying to accomplish:
What your vows don’t need to do:
- Chronicle every minute of your relationship
- Make everyone cry (they might, but they certainly don’t have to)
- Express every feeling you’ve ever felt
- Go into TMI-land
- Lay out every promise you’ll make to each other over the next 60 years
What your vows need to do:
Be an honest representation of your love and relationship thus far and express commitment to your shared future.
That’s it! All your vows have to be is an authentic reflection of the two of you. They don’t have to win any awards or create a new literary genre. Now that we know what you’re trying to accomplish with your personalized vows, here are 8 tips for when you’re ready to sit down with that blank page again.
1. Find examples
Google “wedding vows” and you’ll get more than 62 million results—surely one of them will speak to you. We’re not saying to steal Sam and Kasey’s vows word for word, but maybe a sentiment or phrasing will light a spark for you, which will then ignite the flames of your perfect-for-you vows. Or at the very least, you’ll know what you don’t want to say.
2. Start writing
It doesn’t have to be what you end up using. It doesn’t have to be great. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be coherent. It just has to be words on a page. You don’t want to force anything, but then again, you don’t want to be stuck with this herculean task the night before you say “I Do.” Flashes of brilliance come to the prepared, so put in the work of jotting some thoughts down, and something great will emerge.
3. Mind your past
Before embarking on all the wonderful promises you’ll make, go back to what got you to the altar. Was there a moment when you knew they were The One? Are they the only person who can pick you up when you’re down/make your morning coffee just right/crack your poker face? Think specifically about what you love most about them and share that. Speak to them as only you can, and everyone will appreciate it.
4. Look to your future
This is just the beginning of your lives together, and while you can’t predict how the next several decades will go, you can talk about what you’d like them to look like. Maybe you want international adventures, children, or a gaggle of pugs. Share a bit about what you hope is to come, and how you’ll love them throughout the journey.
5. Make a joke if it feels natural
The great thing about personalized vows is that they’re, well, personal. If you’re not a sappy couple, you don’t have to pretend to be. Joke about her crappy cooking or his technological ineptitude. Bring up the hilarious way you met. If you’re comfortable cracking jokes, by all means, crack ‘em.
6. But don’t embarrass them
This is your wedding ceremony, not a Comedy Central roast.
7. Make your promises
Yes, you want to cover the whole for richer or poorer, in sickness and health commitment thing, but feel free to also promise to laugh at every joke they make, no matter how stupid; to take only one bite, even when what they ordered is better; to never watch the next episode without them; and to leave cilantro off of their taco every Tuesday, for as long as you both shall live.
Rehearsing your vows, whether in front of a friend or the mirror, accomplishes a few things. First, the more familiar you are with what you’re going to say, the better it will come out on your wedding day. Second, these are very personal words, and they could very well stir up a lot of emotions. While it’s totally fine if you shed some tears at the altar, you want to finish your sentence without ugly crying, and repeating the vows beforehand will get you ugly cry-free on the big day. And last, saying the vows out loud will give you an idea of how long they’ll take. You want to make sure they’re a good length—no more than a couple minutes, but probably longer than 20 seconds.
Be the first one to comment!