By Shawna Schofield
Many people want to write their own vows, but if you aren’t a particularly versed wordsmith, you may be afraid that what you write won’t hit the mark. To make the endeavor a little bit easier for you, here are some tips, and tricks to keep in mind when writing your own vows.
Tips and Examples
- What would make your partner laugh? If you are a light hearted person, or inclined to be the jokester in the pair, consider using your affinity for comedy when constructing your vows. This will make it sound more authentically ‘you’, as opposed to forcing yourself to try and construct something overly poetic. Channel your personality into what you write, and try not to worry too much about sticking to rigid guidelines.
This also works if you are more romantically inclined, or possess a more serious personality. Use what you’re naturally disposed to, in order to construct vows that are 100% from your heart. While you can look online for examples and inspiration, try to keep everything as original as possible.
- Come up with a creative delivery. You can tailor your vows to whatever you are practiced in. Are you a musician? Consider breaking out of tradition and constructing a lyrical rendition of your promises. Have comedic timing? Use that to give a funny, but endearing edge to your delivery. You want to be certain that your vows don’t just reflect you, but that you are comfortable in the delivery and that it suits your own personal style.
- Don’t force the process. If you sit down to write your vows only to find that the creativity isn’t coming to you, that’s okay! You may even have to wait until days before the wedding, which may sound like a bad idea, but in reality, many couples end up waiting until days before the wedding to finalize writing their vows. The closer you get the more your emotions are heightened, and you’ll be amazing at what that whirlwind of feelings can produce. So don’t sweat it if you aren’t producing results months in advance, step back and give yourself time to reflect on your feelings and the beauty of your relationship.
- Throw back to the first day, or the first time you met. Try to capture the spark you felt, and how you felt about them as your relationship progressed. When did you know they were the one? What about them made you fall in love? Your first meeting was the beginning of the story that led you both to the altar. It’s a good thing to reference, and can give you inspiration when you are writing.
“When we first met, I knew you were special. Day one you took my breath away, and today I willingly give you my whole heart.”
You can also make notes about your relationship, what you both enjoying doing together, how your feelings progressed, and why you want to marry them. Little things that mean so much to you, can be good points to touch on when composing your vows.
- Don’t worry about the audience.When writing your vows, write them for your partner, not the guests. While you can add pieces that inform the audience of your feelings, and let them in on how you both came together, ultimately you are making promises to your partner. Think of it as a heart to heart conversation, one where you share your innermost feelings with them and promise to always be together. Don’t let stage fright get the best of you either, focus on your partner and remember that this day is about the both of you, no one else.
- Be inspired by the location. If you are planning on holding your wedding in a special location, such as in another country, consider drawing inspiration from that location. This can be especially handy if you and your partner love traveling. Consider framing your vows around the new adventure you are both undertaking together in marriage.
“This is only the first step down a path that I can’t wait to walk with you, hand in hand, for years and years to come. You are, and will always be, my greatest adventure, and I hope to be yours.”
- Celebrate your differences and how they make you stronger.No one is exactly the same, and each couple has difference that compliment their partner. These differences can make for stronger bonds, and special memories. Touch on how your parter differs from you and how it strengthens your relationship, and even works towards making you a better person. This can make for some beautiful vows that are not only romantic, but have impact that will leave everyone in awe.
“You never fail in seeing the brighter side of things, and you remind me to always look for the light, even in the darkest of times. You, my dear, are the light that banished my darkness, and because of you my life has become brighter than I ever thought possible.”
- Remember the importance of your vows. When you say your vows, you aren’t just listing why you love your partner, you are making promises that are meant to last a lifetime. Think about the promises that mean the most, that you intend to keep for the rest of your life. You can then build from there, with as many or as few promises as you like.
“I cannot always protect you from falling, but I can promise to always be there to lift you back up. When you are struggling, I promise to help bear the weight. You will never be alone, for I will always be by your side. No matter what life has in store for us, I promise that my love for you for you will never wane; only grow stronger over time.”
- Imagine what the future holds in store. What do you imagine your lives will be like in 10, 20, or 50 years? Where will you both be, and how has your bond strengthened with this time? This can be a unique way of tying in “We were meant to be together”.
“You may wonder if our love will last as the years go by, but I promise you now that my heart will always be yours. When we’re living the dream, our hair greyed with age, you will still look as beautiful as the day I first met you. My heart will still skip a beat when you walk in the room, and the bond that we have will be stronger than ever. You are my present, my future, my beginning, and my end; there is no future worth facing if you aren’t by my side.”
- Include family if you have the option.If your spouse to be has children, consider dedicating a portion of your vows to making promises directly to them. Some children can have reservations over seeing their parent get married or re-married to someone new. Including them shows that you care, and that, though you’re not trying to replace a biological parent, you will be there for them should they need you.
- List the qualities you love the most about your partner. Think about what personality traits, or habits they have, that endeared them to you, made you admire them, and inevitable fall in love. Reflect on your partner, and the things they do that make you smile, then build up as many or a few as you feel is necessary to include.
“You are compassionate, always thinking of others before yourself. You are caring and kind, looking out for those who need help, and those less fortunate than us. You can come up with creative solutions to each and every problem life throws at us, and never skip a beat. You’re positivity never fails even when everything seems to be going wrong. You’re an inspiration to me, and every day I am in awe of your unyielding spirit.”
Things To Keep In Mind
Remember to write out the final copy of your vows in a legible fashion, or print out a clean copy for the ceremony. You want to assure that you can read everything clearly, and that there aren’t any typos, cross outs, or confusing paragraphs that could trip you up during your delivery.
Another thing to keep in mind is a time limit. While there is nothing that says vows have to be under a certain time frame, 2 minutes and under is usually a good limit to begin with. You want to make sure the guests don’t get bored, and you don’t want to sound to long winded. If you have a friend that would be willing to help you by either rehearsing, or proofreading your work that could help in trimming it down to the most important parts, so that you can focus on what is truly important.
Additionally, try and avoid any over used or cliche lines if you can. Things like ‘we were meant to be together’ or ‘you’re my one and only’, can come across as romantic, but they are also overused to the extent that they don’t feel terribly special anymore. Before using cliches, take some time to see if you can’t think of somewhere to put your own spin on these tired old lines.
Writing your own vows can seem like an intimidating process, but hopefully these tips will give you a good starting point that you can use as a jumping off point.