In my initial meeting with couples, there is often one person that is completely jazzed about writing their own vows… and the other not so much!
The idea of writing your own vows can be nerve wracking, so don’t feel alone! You love your partner, and can’t wait to spend forever together. . . but how do you put THAT into words?
But keep in mind, the hardest thing about writing your own vows for your wedding day is knowing where to start. Here are some simple ways to get started writing your own vows.
Tip #1 - TAKE NOTE AT RANDOM TIMES
Now is the time to start taking notes. Procrastination is no longer an option!
Write down all the things that come to mind about marriage and your partner. Then you can revisit these notes later and highlight the parts that you want to include in your vows.
Have a notebook handy, or even a "notes" app on your phone, because if you're like me things will pop into your head when you are driving or at work!
Tip #2 - REFLECT ON YOUR LOVE
Set aside some time to come back to your notes; then ask yourself these questions:
+ Reflect on your partner and how your love story started.
+ Think about how you felt when you first met, what made you fall in love?
+ Was there a moment that you knew you wanted to spend the rest of your lives together?
Then write it all out, now is the time to get your creative gears turning. This is still the phase where you are "brainstorming" don't worry about the structure, right now you are creating the story and content for your vows.
Tip #3 - FIND INSPIRATION
Do you have a favorite quote?
+ Here are a couple of my favorites as examples!
"If I know what love is, it is because of you." – Herman Hesse
"I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
Listen to a few love songs, you’ll be surprised at how you can be moved by music.
+ Check out this Spotify Playlist of "Love Songs"
The same goes for your favorite movies or TV series; think Corpse Bride, Brave Heart, Game of Thrones, Gray’s Anatomy (just a few of my favorites or vows I have incorporated into weddings!)
Tip #4 - MAKE SOME PROMISES
They're called "vows" for a reason, so the promises are a pretty important part.
I think Nora Shepard of Wedding Wire said it best in the article "How to Write Wedding Vows: A Procrastinator’s Guide"
Think big – “I promise to always cherish you,” or “I vow to always be honest about what I’m thinking.” Also, think small – “I promise to always make enough coffee for two in the morning,” or “I promise to comfort you when your favorite team loses.” The promises are also a great place in your wedding vows to showcase both your serious, sentimental side, coupled with your funny side. For every “big picture” promise, you can include a more specific one. Try to vary your language by using words such as, “vow,” “pledge,” or a simple “I will.”
Tip #5 - BRING IT ALL TOGETHER
Highlight your favorite parts (you know the REALLY good shit!) and then start editing it down. If you followed above you will likely already have it in a semi-structured format. If you are stuck on how to structure... pick 1 line that you feel comfortable kicking off your vows with, and then pick a final sentence. Sometimes doing that helps top give a direction and way to wrap it up.
Tip #6 - SHARE WITH SOMEONE TO GIVE YOU FEEDBACK
I make sure couples know that they can come to me for help with their vows, anytime! If your officiant doesn't offer this service, how about a trusted friend or family member. Keep in mind, you do NOT have to take their suggestions; in fact make sure to keep your tone and don't worry so much about spelling and grammar. You are more looking for someone to read through them and let you know if you have been repetitive and how it flows. You don't want to change your voice, it is one of the things your partner loves most about you!
Most of all, don't stress!
This process doesn't have to be difficult, there is plenty of help out there , just ask.
You've got this!
Finally, here are a few excerpts from vows my couples have shared, that are my favorites!
"You are my rock. You make me stronger and more confident, each and everyday. Whether we are on our next great adventure or at home watching Netflix, I wouldn't want anyone else by my side." - Tori
"Today, you have made me the happiest man in the world. My dreams are your dreams and I will build them around you. When I am with you everything else fades away. Your smile brings me happiness and you make me a better man." - Chris
"I promise to stay curious and open to adventure with you no matter how hungry, tired, or cranky I am. I promise to respect your limits on the number of dogs I can have at any one time. And I promise to love you for who you are and who you may become as we grow old together. " - Sarah
"Through thick or thin, I'll always be by your side. Lifting you up when you're down, and cheering you on through your every accomplishment. " - Antonio