Our guide to writing the perfect wedding vows
January 13, 2017
For a lot of people when they are planning to get married they will stick to the traditional format of wedding vows. However, some couples decide that the traditional ones just don't express what they are really feeling, so they take on the mission of writing their own. Couples opting to write their own vows are becoming more and more popular, so if you too are thinking about it check out these top tips to ensure you are happy with the overall result.
1. Make the decision to write wedding vows formally
You might have wanted to write your own vows ever since you were younger but your partner may not have. This is where communication in your couple is vital! Decide together whether you want to write them yourselves or stick to the traditional speech. There is nothing wrong at all with saying traditional vows but if you have decided to DIY this, both of you have to equally commit to the concept.
2. Clear it with your officiant
This is a very important step that is quite often forgotten. There may be some faiths and religions that will require you to say all or part of the traditional vows. Often this won't rule out also saying the vows you've written, but you might want to check what the rules are. Some officiants might also ask to have a look through your vows before the actual ceremony, so be prepared and have them written early on in the process as this might be the case.
3. Work out all the details
Are you going to write your vows together or will you do it separately? Will you decide to show them to each other before the ceremony or wait for it to be a surprise? Also, just to make sure that they get done on time set a due date to have them written by. (I’m sure we all know that one person who wrote their vows the night before.)
4. Come up with a structure
This is an important point if you have decided not to see each others vows until the wedding day. It’s not a bad idea to make sure you are both on the same page with things and will be vowing similar things. You don't want to be promising to care for someone until death do you part with a meaningful poem, while they are promising to always record Friday night's Gogglebox for you or offering you shelter under their wedding umbrella-ella-ella like in the Rihanna song, to add a light-hearted addition to their vows. Having a set structure will also help you keep to your overall word count and keep to a time limit.
5. Do your research and start to write early
Sometimes the best place to start is by looking at other peoples self-written vows to give you some ideas. Looking through books and quotes, and even at movies for some inspiration is sometimes all you need to get those creative juices flowing. Remember that you are not writing a university essay or publishing a book so using someones ideas word for word is allowed and you won't face any criticism, in fact, it is even encouraged! The truth is that most vows are plagiarised since we are all hoping to steal some wisdom from people that have gone before us!
Once you have written something you are happy with the next step is to practise, you don't have to know it word for word, but for example, practise looking up when reading so you can actually look at your partner when you say your vows. Also, you want to be able to be confident in speaking out clearly as you don’t want to stumble on words. You might find practicing into the mirror or even to a small group of friends beforehand is useful!
7. At the end of the day they are your words
Your overall vows don't even have to sound or read like vows; you can do whatever you feel is right, whether it be an essay, a sonnet, a song, or even rap them its what's going to mean the most to you and your partner! Vows should overall sound like you, especially when you are making promises to someone you are wanting to spend the rest of your life with! Enjoy the experience and try not to worry too much about stumbling over your words.