7 Tips That’ll Get You Through Writing Your Own Wedding Vows
1. Take time to think. Before you start writing, think long and hard about your relationship, and the time that you’ve spent together. Think also about the people around you whose relationships you’re inspired by. Whether they be parents, close friends, or family – consider the aspects of their relationships that you value, and incorporate those ideas and values into your vows.
2. Put pen to paper. Once you’ve gathered your thoughts, simply sit down and get going. You may find yourself with just a couple of great lines or a general outline that’ll get you started. Just write what comes naturally, then go back to the beginning and start piecing it all together.
3. Come up with a promise. These are vows for a reason – they’re not just flowery thoughts about how you feel about your partner. These are promises that you will say in front of your friends and family. They should be attainable, and you should mean them. Consider the traditional vows of “in sickness and in health,” and others like them. Promise your love what you will do for them, and how you will be there for them, forever.
4. Skip the cliches and limit the inside jokes. Before you compare your love to a rolling river, remember that metaphors are beautiful, but they can also invoke eye-rolls (especially if they’re a bit taboo). You’re a one-of-a-kind couple, so make sure your vows reflect that. And while you’re at it, be careful with inside jokes that won’t translate to your guests. Your promises and professions of love should be clear to everyone who is listening.
5. Consider a time limit. There’s probably not enough time in the world for you to explain just how much you love your spouse-to-be (and that’s a beautiful thing!). But, for your ceremony, keep your vows straightforward and ideally under two minutes. You don’t want your witnesses zoning out at the good parts.
6. Decide if you’ll share beforehand. While this may seem akin to a groom seeing his bride in her dress before the wedding, sharing wedding vows before delivering them can be a good thing. It’ll give you a chance to see if you’ve addressed the same topics and if your vows are a similar length. It may also make it a little easier to get through your vows on the big day without getting too choked up.
7. Practice out loud. While you might feel silly, reciting your project out loud helped you in 7th grade, and it will help you now. Get comfortable with the words that you are about to deliver, whether you’re reading them to yourself or your partner. Be sure that you mean them, and be sure that you understand them. This is an important speech and one that you’ll want to clearly deliver. Practice makes perfect, and the time that you put in will last a lifetime!
- -Kimberly Watson