A SIMPLE WAY TO WRITE YOUR WEDDING VOWS
So you have decided to write your own wedding vows. By this stage you have considered the alternatives of traditional vows and tweaked vows and you have decided to write totally new vows, unique to you and your partner.
A few things to check out before you start writing your own wedding vows
- Do you both really want to do this?
- Is your officiant (Minister, Registrar, Celebrant etc) happy with this and are there any limitations that they will set?
- Have you and your partner have looked at other vows and agreed on the vibe you are looking for and roughly how long your vows will be?
- Have you agreed whether or not you want to share them with each other before the big day
- If you have a theme for the day do you want to reflect that in your vows?
Some questions about your relationship to help you get started
Start with a blank page or screen in front of you and write down the answer to the questions below. Take your time and allow yourself to experience the emotions that thinking about these things brings. That may be a smile, a laugh, or a tear to your eye.
- What did you think when you first saw your partner?
- Was it love at first sight or was there another time when you realised you loved them?
- What do you really respect about your partner?
- In what ways do they make you feel special?
- What do you miss most about your partner if they aren’t around?
- What makes you work well together as a couple?
- In what ways is your life better since you got together?
- When and why did you decide to get married?
- What have been the most important achievements in your life together so far?
- What would you still like to achieve together?
- What difficult things have you gone through together?
- What challenges do you think you will face in the future?
- What qualities and values do you share?
Putting your wedding vows together
Now start to write your vows by answering in a few sentences each of the following questions:
- What do you love about your partner and how do they make you feel?
- What things do you recognise about your differences and how you would want to work together?
- What promises do you want to make to them so that your married life is the best that it can be?
- What are the hopes and dreams that you have for your life together?
At this stage you pretty much have the basis for your vows. Hooray!! You may find that they are romantic or amusing or a mixture of both. Be sure that it reflects how you are together.
What to do once you have written your wedding vows
Once you have them written read them through and consider that your family and friends will hear you say your vows. Is there anything you want to take out or change?
Read it out loud and time it. If it is longer than two minutes you may want to see if there is anything you want to take out as that is quite a long time to be speaking on the day. But they are your vows – you decide.
Look at the format. Do you want to say the vows directly to your partner or to have your officiant read them and you to either make a reply or repeat after them? I usually recommend that couples read them to each other so that there isn’t a break. You can memorise them if you are good at that but it is still good to have a copy in your hand as a back up. (When rings are exchanged I usually recommend that the format for the ring vows is separate and is more one of repeating after the Celebrant as you have the rings to put on as well!)
Share your vows with your officiant so that they have a copy and can weave the moment into the ceremony. (If you are not sharing them with each other they can also advise if the length and vibe are very different to see if that matters to you.)
Make sure that your wedding vows are written out in a font that you can read! I usually print the vows out for my couples on card in a decent sized font and these become keepsakes of the day.
And enjoy! Writing your own vows in one way of ensuring that you have a unique, personal, meaningful wedding ceremony.
Here are a couple of examples of personal vows to get you thinking. An earlier blog post has some examples of vows which you might find helpful here.