Your wedding vows are probably some of the most important words you’ll ever write. After all, you’ll be standing in front of all your friends and family, expressing to your soulmate deep emotions and a promise of the life you intend to lead together. Even though it’s exciting, it’s a difficult task. Here are some things to keep in mind when writing your wedding vows.
This isn’t something to start the night before. Allow yourself several weeks to complete this process. Once you have something written down, put it aside for a few days and then come back to it. Do you still feel that it represents what you want to convey? You don’t want to have any regrets, so use this time to really think about what you want to say.
Light hearted or serious? Funny and witty or sensitive prose? Discuss with your sweetheart the tone you’d like for your vows. It will only seem awkward if one of you spends several minutes in a deep outpouring of emotion, while the other one says a joke and a quick promise. Some things to keep in mind when choosing a tone:
Search online or find a wedding vow book and read examples for inspiration. You can keep notes to jot down things you like about each one. It’s okay if you find one you really like to copy some or all of it, but keep in mind that the reason you decided to write your own vows is so they can be original and meaningful. Try to use these examples as a jumping off point.
Spend a few minutes thinking about your time together. What do you really love and appreciate about the other person? What are some good stories or funny situations you’ve found yourselves in? Once you have a sheet filled, go over it and pick out things you may want to include in your vows.
Even if you think it’s funny, your partner may not appreciate being reminded, in front of both your families, how he jumped into the lake to retrieve your sunglasses and ended up losing his swimming trunks. The same goes for anything too cryptic. Your sweetheart may understand what you mean, but your audience will be left confused, bored and possibly irritated that they’re being left out.
It may sound great to say that you’ll never leave clothes on the floor, but unless you feel you’ll actually be able to do this, just leave it out. When you’re in the thick of married life and realize you’ve broken the smaller promises you’ve made, you can start to question whether you’ll be able to keep the big ones too. Remember, don’t promise perfection. No one is perfect, and you’ll only be setting your marriage up for disappointment if you promise these kinds of vows.
This doesn’t mean that it has to be really quick, but your audience will get bored if you go on for 20 minutes about your love for their perfect blue eyes. It’s impossible to fit every emotion into your vows, so choose just a few things that are really important and focus on those.
You won’t want to stumble over your words in front of the audience, so practice your vows in front of a mirror. Also, reading vows out loud can help you decide if it sounds good and if the sentences flow smoothly. Sometimes, words sound great in your head, but once you read it out loud, you find spots where the grammar is iffy or the structure is incohesive.
Don’t put too much stress on yourself for making your vows perfect. You do want them to be something you’re pleased with, but aiming for perfection will only leave you disappointed. Remember, your partner is marrying you for a whole host of reasons and probably none of them include perfect vow writer, so relax. This should be a fun process that allows you to express your heart to your partner.