Personalised wedding vows definitely bring a unique touch to the wedding ceremony. Unfortunately, this task can cause unease for the bride and groom. It should be simple, but the thought of expressing your love in front of witnesses can be overwhelming. With a little forethought, the vow writing can go smoothly. Keep in mind, there is really no single perfect way to write wedding vows. They must come from the heart. You don’t want your vows to sound like something you borrowed from a soap opera. This is where your unique personality comes in. Express yourself.
Planning. As with any writing process, planning is essential. Discuss writing your vows with both your religious officiate and your future spouse. Does your partner want to write personalized vows? Do you want to write the vows together? Do you want to use one vow that each of you repeat or have separate vows? Will you read them before the wedding? Or, will it be a surprise? These are things you will want to consider during the planning process.
Structure. You don’t want the vows to go on so long that guests tune out and start daydreaming. Try to keep the vows about 60-90 seconds (without speaking too quickly). Though you may not be writing the vows together, you can still try to have a certain formula. Perhaps, a few key words or expressions that you both use. For example, I promise to… or my favorite thing about you is… The vows will complement each other, but still have a unique flair. Will you use lighthearted, humorous, or sentimental language? What is your communication style as a couple?
Inspiration. We aren’t all born writers. Some of us need a little nudge in the right direction. Read vows, love poems, love songs and romantic quotes. Study the traditional vows because you may want to borrow bits and pieces of them. You don’t necessarily have to use their words, but they can provide inspiration. You might want to open your vows with a quotation or a small poem that expresses how you feel about your partner.
The main idea. What feelings and thoughts do you want to capture? Describe what you love about this person. What are your favorite memories? What did you think when you met him/her? When did you realize that you were in love? How does your partner inspire you? What are your goals as a couple? How will you work together to achieve them? What type of marriage do you want?
Ultimately, these vows are a personal expression of your love. As you write, try to capture the essence of your relationship. Once you have finished the vows, review them, and edit them. Keep them clear and concise. Practice them out loud. Try to memorize them, but also bring note cards. Wedding ceremonies can be quite stressful and the note cards will come in handy. Most of all, enjoy your day!