Reading your own marriage vows can be an impactful and important part of your wedding ceremony. But writing them can be a tedious and stressful experience!
Crafting honest, endearing, and meaningful wedding vows is not a task to be taken lightly. Go into the situation with your best foot forward. Learn the time-honored techniques and traditions for creating words that come from the heart.
Before beginning, you have to figure out your approach. How long do you want your vows to be? Will they contain a religious or spiritual component? Do you prefer simple words or complex thoughts? Should everyone share in the moment, or would you like to include something only your future spouse will understand?
What do you want to say?
Maybe the two of you share some favorite movie quotes or song lyrics. Perhaps there's a poem that speaks to you. Whatever the case, draw your inspiration from anywhere. Referencing something popular, funny, or sentimental that most people can understand is a surefire way to capture and hold everyone's attention.
Wedding vow templates and examples are readily available online. If your strong suit isn't creative writing or expression, these tools are free to use and will give you the results you need. Simply find something that fits what you want to say, and tweak it to fit your unique situation.
Writing wedding vows is a process. Don't think you can put it off till the night before. Start early for the best possible outcome.
Create a few drafts. Pace yourself so you have time to think about your words. Give yourself plenty of space between edits so you can look at things with fresh eyes.
Human emotions are a large part of any wedding ceremony, but not everyone wants their vows to bring themselves or their partner to tears. If you'd rather keep your makeup intact, opt for humor or passion, or anything else you want to convey. Go with words that will stir certain feelings, and don't be afraid to hide your own.
Using extreme words like "always" and "never" isn't being truthful. All marriages have their ups and downs, so committing to this absolute language is impossible.
Also, don't feel you need to include a massive amount of detail in your script. Keep your ideas organized so they're easy to follow. A scattered presentation will be difficult to understand.
Practice makes perfect. Rehearse what you're going to say. Ask a friend to listen. Speaking out loud, especially if someone is around to help, allows you to catch mistakes and awkward phrasing. Plus, it will point out areas where you need to pause or incorporate specific dynamics. This will give you a more fluid and professional outcome on your wedding day.
Reciting vows is an act of public speaking. There are a zillion other things going on in your brain during your wedding, so don't count on being able to recall the exact words you want to say. While you may think it'll be fine, it's much easier speaking alone or with a friend than in front of a crowd during the actual event.
Blanking out during your vow exchange is something you don't want to experience. Make sure you have a clean, easy-to-read copy of your words on hand so you can read them without incident.
Look at your wedding vows as a gift to each other. You wouldn't want to tell someone what they're getting ahead of time, as this will spoil the surprise. The same is true regarding your vows.
Keep them a secret from your future spouse. This will make the presentation and reaction more emotional and beautiful. Words are indeed powerful.
When it's all said and done, your marriage is due one thing: love. Many people who write their own vows focus so much attention on everything else that they skip right past this integral part. Don't ever forget to add an "I love you" to your heartfelt words. After all, this is what your wedding day — and future marriage — is all about.