So you are going to write your own wedding vows? Great, but then reality sets in and you realize that you may need just a few more tips for writing wedding vows than you thought. When it comes down to the nitty gritty, it is not so easy to translate your most life altering thoughts into a speech without a little bit of help with writing your vows. This is no easy task, and there’s no embarrassment if you need some support for writing your vows; don’t panic, you are not alone. Here are 20 Tips for Writing your Own Wedding Vows.
1. Check if It's Allowed
Before you go off and get your knickers into a knot, take into account that where you plan on getting married, may or may not allow you to say your own wedding vows. You may in fact be required to chant the traditional version, and therefore you won’t need the other 19 tips for writing wedding vows.
2. Don’t Leave It until the Last Minute
Easier said than done, especially when it is something that is not a particularly easy task, or it feels somewhat overwhelming. It can be the easiest thing in the world to leave it until the last minute. But don’t - you will regret it; you will panic and on your wedding day embarrassment and anxiety will be the name of the day. Not fair on you or your beloved.
3. Mix It up
If you need some inspiration for writing your wedding vows why not mix it up and take from nostalgic traditions, modern romance, and wrap it up in your faith or religion. Make sure that you put your own stamp on it at some point, and only use by the book vows if it means something special to you, not because it is expected.
4. Work out Where You Want to Go
Not sure what tone you want to achieve? The only thing that really matters is that you don’t make the vows too light hearted; otherwise you could run the risk of disrespecting your new spouse. Include humour, romance, and words from the heart, but make sure the object of your affections feels the true sincerity.
5. How is It All Going to Work?
Have you checked whether your spouse to be is also writing his or her own vows? Establish whether you will be writing your vows together and going over them before hand or if you will be writing them separately and surprising each other on the wedding day. If so you may want to get a friend or family member to check out the length and content of the vows to make sure that they are similar.
6. Talk about It
Sit down together at least a month before the event, to get inspiration from each other when it comes to looking for ideas for writing wedding vows. Talking to each other and remembering days gone by, happy memories, funny stories and the reasons you want to get married, will help you to express yourself on your wedding day and bring out everything you really wanted to say.
7. Make a List
One of the most sensible tips for writing wedding vows is to call on what you know. Write down everything about your fiancé, how you feel about them, what endears them to you, the reasons you love them, what special idiosyncrasies they have, how they are an inspiration to you and what parts of them you admire and respect the most. You will very quickly find that it will start to be come easy to pen those words to paper.
8. Borrow Bits and Pieces
Don’t be afraid to pinch snippets from books, movies, spiritual readings, poems, extracts from your favourite books or songs – even that soppy chick flick you watched together. Moving texts from well-known readings will be just as memorable.
9. Build the Vow
Like any good story or reading, it has to have a flow. Work around a frame or an outline so that your vows flow seamlessly into each section. First points to mention are the ones that describe how wonderful your fiancé is and how he or she has changed your life, or how you can’t live without them. A dramatic pause now and again will be very moving – then move into your quote, or reading before completing your promises to each other.
10. A Public Show of Words and Affection
Keep the private jokes, personal nuances and cryptic sexual innuendos to yourselves, and take into account that you are saying these vows in public in front of your closest family and friends and not to mention your parents and your fiancés parents. Don’t embarrass yourself or your future spouse in public. Important advice for writing wedding vows – this is a public ceremony; some things are best kept private.
11. Keep It Short and Sweet
Chances are that your guests will be sitting in a small church or outside on a lawn or on uncomfortable wooden benches or even worse – standing. Even though your wedding vows are the most integral part of your wedding, you don’t want to drag it out for 15 minutes. Keep the vows short, sincere and to the point, and don’t get them confused with the wedding speeches.
12. Rock out in Front of the Mirror
Reconnect with your inner teenage rock star and put yourself in front of a mirror and rehearse your vows. These are one of the most important tips for writing your own wedding vows. You are going to be saying these words live, so make sure everyone can hear you and that you are not going to stumble, run out of breath or forget your words.
13. The Power of Sincerity
Be careful of being over soppy or too flippant. Even if you are really battling to write the perfect wedding vows, go for sincerity and meaningful points. Pick one or two things that you are really drawn to about your partner, and say something that you would really love to hear and it will mean the world.
14. Run It by a Friend
Get some perspective and run it by a friend, a sister, a colleague or somebody in your bridal party just to be sure. If you have run into a bit of a writer’s block, get somebody to maybe suggest some changes and to give you feedback on your piece. Lots of people in your close circle will be willing to share advice on writing vows.
15. Avoid Clichés
You may actually surprise yourself and realise that you are very good at writing once you start, just avoid a few pitfalls like clichés when you eventually get there. Don’t be unoriginal or uninspired. Everyone will know you have pinched your rubbish line out of a soap opera – everyone has heard it a million times before.
16. Pimp Your Vows
A thesaurus or a synonym dictionary can help you find the words you are looking for. Do a quick search online and you can find a number of programs to help you find a better word that the one you came up with. Even inspired professionals use these tools when they get stuck – get all the help with your wedding vows you need.
17. Your Grandparents Wedding Vows
If you have the chance to get your hands on the vows that your grandparents or parents said to each other and you would like to honour their many years of marriage, this would be a special way to mark your life changing occasion and pay a tribute to some very special leaders who have shown you the way.
18. Rules about the Vows
You may need to sit down with your fiancé and discuss the boundaries that you both agree on when it comes to writing your vows – just so that both of you are on the same page. General rules for writing your own wedding vows and an agreement on what you would like to hear and not like to hear on the day will go a long way to making sure that you are not going to be disappointed.
19. Go Traditional
If you are an offbeat couple, why not surprise everyone, including yourselves and go for an upfront, straight down the line, I promise to honour and cherish you bit, out of the olden day vow book. Embrace your roots, and go for a Victorian vow phrase and make your Granny beam from ear to ear.
20. Copies of the Vows
Not specifically help with writing your vows but a way to make a memory of them - after the wedding or even on the wedding program, why not include your personally written wedding vows as part of your order of service. You could print them out and send the vows on thank you cards after the wedding, or even print them out and frame them, and hang them in your house as a reminder of the special vows you made to each other.
There are very few people that don’t need help with writing wedding vows so don’t be afraid to use all the resources you can get your hands on when preparing your own vows. Are you writing your own wedding vows? Will any of these tips help you?