Photography via Katherine Ridgely
There are a lot of things that go into planning a wedding, but the most important thing is your vows. This is the actual meat of the day; it’s that special time when you’ll promise yourself to your spouse and your spouse will promise himself/herself to you. Yes, it’s also the time I almost always cry. Don’t judge me.
Many couples opt for writing their own vows. It’s often much more romantic and heartfelt, is a chance for them to show their personalities, and is also perfect for making people cry (yes, me). I love this trend, but I’ve noticed that a lot of couples struggle to write their own vows. I don’t want this to be stressful for you so I’ve compiled a list of tips to help you write the perfect vows for your soulmate.
I know, I know, I put the hardest step first, but it’s the most important. You might be a word genius who can spit out beautiful sonnets in 5 minutes. But just in case you’re a normal human, you should start thinking about and working on your vows as soon as possible. These are important so take your time!
Set rules or parameters
You and your fiance don’t want to have wildly different lengths or styles of vows (unless, of course, you do, then that’s fine too). It’s a good idea to set some loose rules or parameters for your vows. For example, maybe you want them to last for 30 seconds or so, you can have them include promises, stories, or quotes, or you could require them to follow iambic pentameter (for you word geniuses). It doesn’t really matter what rules you decide on as long as you set some (or don’t set them).
Write drafts, edit the drafts, and write more drafts
Practice writing these. Again, unless you’re a freak word genius, you’re not going to get this right on the first try, and that’s okay. The more you write these the better they’ll get. Write a draft and walk away for a bit. Come back to the draft a few days later and scratch the parts you don’t like and keep the best parts. Repeat this process a few times and you’ll be good to go.
Practice them out loud (and time them)
If you did decide on a time-limit, make sure you practice them before the big day and time yourself while you do so. You can shave off parts if you’re going over time, or add to it if you’re short.
Practicing out loud can help you catch any spots that sound funny. Sometimes vows will read better than they sound when spoken, so this is a good way to catch that.
Ask a trusted friend or family member to review the vows you’ve written
Choose someone close to you both who can help you if you’re stuck, but who won’t go blabbing the beautiful details to others.
Don’t be afraid to read them during the ceremony
If you think you’ll be nervous, you can read off a paper copy during the ceremony. You don’t have to memorize them and deliver them without flaw. They’ll be special because they’re from you to your soulmate, so relax as much as you can and read them if you want to.
Make them entirely “you”.
Don’t try to write poetry if you both hate poetry. Don’t use formal language if that’s not how you normally speak and write. Just be authentically you, and speak to your authentic fiance. This personality will make your vows all the more special to you and to your guests.
Don’t stress out about writing your own vows. It’s a really special way to make your fiance feel loved, to craft your ceremony to fit your personality and beliefs, and to make your audience cry happy tears. Take your time, start early, practice, ask for advice, and be yourself. Your wedding day is a whirlwind, but your vows will be cemented in your mind for years to come.
Do you have any tips for writing your own vows? Did you opt for your own vows or did you go the traditional route? Leave your advice and stories in the comments. Let’s chat!