Wedding Vows: 10 things to consider when writing your own
Writing personal wedding vows is steadily becoming the new normal. Remember, vows are that part of the wedding day when the couple has chance to tell each other what their contribution to the ‘happily ever after’ story will be. Making them personal is always romantic, heartfelt and timeless. It allows personality and individualism to shine through.
As you write your vows, however, be keen to;
1. Include realistic promises; Traditional vows are known for phrases like “…for richer, for poorer”, “…in sickness and in health.” Similarly personal vows should include real and heartfelt promises. The reality is marriages like anything else in life have both good and bad cycles. Promises to each other should therefore reflect this. Care should be taken when including words like ‘always’ and ‘never’ in your vows because they point to perfection which isn’t very realistic. Instead phrases like “I seek to “and “I promise to...” would be a better choice.
2. Say “I love you”: If any phrase sums up the outpouring of the heart to your spouse, it is those three words. How more heartfelt can vows get if you don’t confess love? Obvious as this may sound for a couple that has chosen to make their love permanent, saying these three words seals the deal, reiterating them before your family and friends further adds weight to the moment.
3. Add personal stories and experiences; It gets interesting when your family and friends find out some of the moments you shared. Share fun facts and odd quirks as well as some of your personal moments with your witnesses.
Be careful not to share too much that could jeopardize your privacy.
4. Embrace sentimentality. Worry not about impressing the crowd. In this heartfelt moment, stick to what your heart desires to say and say it. Vows are not supposed to be some applause-seeking or over the top lines, they should simply feel real and true. Concentrate on your spouse, communicate who the person is to you and what you love about them.
5. Involve and acknowledge other people present. Include your guests within the vows, acknowledge, for example, the person who brought you together if they are in the room. Remember, the guests present on your wedding day, will be the same people you will need throughout the marriage. Involve them with phrases like, ‘even your mom knows how much I love you, I promise to continue…’ Recognizing them invites them to be a part of your marriage but also acknowledges the role played so far.
6. Prepare for the moment: Though personal vows are right from the heart, it is easy to get them wrong on the wedding day. To avoid saying the wrong things when the nerves kick in on the wedding day, prepare early enough what you want to say. Rehearse a few times before the final day to keep your nerves in check and remind yourself of key phrases. Use this opportunity to write down the note you will carry on the wedding day.
7. Get inspiration from novels, books, songs, and all romantic literature. You will be surprised as to how helpful these are in drafting your vows. If you have a favorite poem or a song you both love, a line or two from that song will charm your spouse. Avoid very complex ancient literature, instead consider using simpler literature like kid’s poetry. You will be quite surprised what you will find. Simple lines but deep emotion.
8. Recite not read the vows; Avoid treating your vows like a newspaper article or a bible reading session. Practice reading aloud before the day; own your vows; get into the element. Identify sections that need pauses and intonations and use them to add emotion as you allow the words sink in without interrupting your flow.
9. Go after laughter; Your ability to make your spouse laugh or smile with your vows cannot be underestimated as a source of joy for the rest of the day. A wedding should be a happy event. Avoid as much as you can sad, sympathetic and negative emotional connotations. Stick to laughter and joy.
10. Ask for help; You could consider a trusted friend, an expert writer or even your wedding planner to guide you through this process. Let them act as an audience before the wedding day because the vows are to be kept secret from your spouse till they receive them as your wedding gift on the actual day.
There you have it, if you’re getting prepared to tie the knot, and considering writing your personal vows. It is your day, go for it, do it whichever way you prefer but keep it real.