Whether or not you choose to write your own vows is a very personal decision. Not everyone has the capacity to express their most inner-most feelings and so it does help to have guidelines that you can follow :
Step 1 : Get Inspiration
Do this by reading any many traditional vows as you can. They don’t have to be from your own religion, they don’t have to be religious at all. Speak to your friends who are already married and if they wrote their own vows, ask them for copies just to help you get some inspiration. Should you find some traditional vows that you like, you can also incorporate them into your own vows and this is a simple way to create a starting point for you.
Step 2 : Agree with your Fiancé on Format and Tone
It is important that you both agree beforehand how you want your vows to come across. Are you a serious couple that would suit serious and very emotional vows, or are you a fun-loving coupe who would prefer to express your feelings and vows in a fun-loving way. Most couples would probably do a little of each. Consider whether or not you would like to share your vows with each other before the big day, or keep them a secret.
Step 3 : Make notes About your Relationship
Spend some time thinking about your fiancé and why it is that you fell in love. How did you first meet, what brought you together and what happened that you decided that this would be your forever person. Here are some questions to get you going :
- What did you think of your fiancé when you first met?
- When did you realise that you were in love?
- What is it about them that inspires you?
- What is it about them that you love?
- Why did you decide to get married?
- Through what have you supported each other?
- Is there anything unique that makes your relationship special?
- Do you envision any challenges for the future and how do you think you will accomplish these together?
- What is it about your life that has improved since you met your fiancé?
- What do you miss most about them when you’re apart?
- What qualities do you admire most about your fiancé?
- Why is it that you feel so safe and so special when you’re together?
Step 4 : Draw up your Promises
A vow is not a vow without a promise! This is definitely the most important part of your vows. Make sure that you include promises that are broad in scope but not that broad that they can be misinterpreted. Say something like “I promise to always support you.” “I promise to tell you I love you every day.”
Step 5 : Write Everything Down
Start by just putting your feelings down on paper – pour everything that you have into your initial piece whether or not at this point, it has any structure. From here you can start to prioritise what you want to say and how you want to say it. Your vows could begin with the story of how you began, followed by an affirmation of your love and end off with your vows. There’s no hard and fast rule – write what feels most natural to you, remember you have to memorise these vows so, and speaking directly from the heart will definitely help you remember everything you want to say.
Step 6 : Shorten your Vows to 1 to 2 Minutes
Don’t make your vows too long even though there may be so much that you want to say. There so much that you can say in one or two minutes and that’s all that you need. Why not keep the more intimate message of your love personal and deliver it to your fiancé on the morning of your wedding?
Step 7 : Practise Out Loud
Begin by reading your vows out loud to yourself and as you do so, decide what parts of your vows you want to emphasise through the use of your voice. Your vows should flow easily from your lips. Make them sound more like a conversation and that you’re speaking directly to the person that you love rather than just some random words that you’ve memorised! Practise and practise until you know them by heart and then practise some more so that you don’t forget!
Step 8 : Make Sure you Have a Clean copy for Yourself
When you’ve finally decided that you’ve perfected your vows and you have read and reread, practised and memorised them, print out a copy for yourself and keep it with you. Remember that on your wedding day, you’re going to feel so much pressure that there’s a chance that you forget and having a copy with you, will enable to quickly read through just before you walk down the aisle and refresh your memory.
Last Step – Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!