Write Your Own Wedding Vows (It’s Not as Terrifying as You Think!)

This season’s weddings are all about the personal touch. And nothing is more personal than original vows, written by you, and recited to your beloved in the presence of everyone who matters most to you. (A caveat: If you’re thinking you might like to write your own vows, make sure your ceremony venue and officiant allow personal vows—some houses of worship and clergy DON’T.)

OK, so you want to write your own vows, but somehow the thought of putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) to compose those once-in-a-lifetime marriage vows strikes fear in your heart. Well, take comfort, we are here to help. First off, we want to remind you that while your wedding vows are important, they do NOT need to encompass every feeling you’ve ever had for your fiancé or serve as an airtight contract. Your vows don’t have to be poetic, they don’t have to be hilarious, they don’t have to be Serious with a capital “S”—they don’t have to be perfect.

What your vows should be are heartfelt and meaningful—especially to you and to the person you are marrying. To help get you to the essence of what you want to say, consider these questions (and jot down your answers). Same thing goes for your fiancé. In fact, it might make things easier and take a little of the pressure off to do this part side by side, if you’d like:

•    When and how did you know you were in love with your fiancé and wanted to marry him?
•    What do you love most about your fiancé?
•    What do you miss about your fiancé when you’re away from him?
•    Why do you want to marry your fiancé?
•    How do you think your life will be different after marrying?
•    What is your fantasy of how you will celebrate your 50th wedding anniversary?

You can also look at photos and video clips from your shared life—vacations, family events, happy occasions, good times with friends, etc.—for more inspiration.

Once you have the essentials in rough written form, you can think about putting together a paragraph or so that says what you want to say.

To give your vows shape and conviction, include a statement of promise:

“Now and forever, I…”
“From this day forward, I…”
“In the presence of God, our families and our friends, I promise to…”

The web is full of additional resources that offer vow samples. Some of our favorites are My Wedding Vows, Love to Know Weddings Funny Wedding Vows. You can also search You Tube for wedding vows by category (funny, laughing, song, celebrities, etc.), for live examples (including some entertaining “wedding vows gone wrong”).

Your vows are your vows, so say what’s in your heart. Nothing—no gown, no flower, no diamond, no cake—is more beautiful than the truth.

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Wedding Planning Stressing You Out? Try a Modern Honeymoon

Let’s be honest, Houston bride: You’ve never needed a vacation as badly as you do in the midst of juggling those 7 million little details you diplomatically call planning your wedding. Luckily, you’ve got your honeymoon to look forward to, right? Ugh, if only you have to plan that, too …

Well, now, you can cross all of those honeymoon planning details off your to-do list. Instead, just pick up the phone and call Houston’s own Modern Honeymoons or visit their  website. This totally free service will do all of the legwork of planning your romantic getaway—and save you some serious money.

All you have to do is tell them about you and your fiancé’s honeymoon style and budget. Want to take a cruise around the world? Soak up the sun and drink piña coladas at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico? Pose in front of ancient monuments as you backpack across Europe and stay at cozy bed and breakfasts? You name it, Modern Honeymoons has you covered.

By milking its relationships with some of the world’s best resorts, boutique hotels and travel wholesalers, Modern Honeymoons—a division of Travel with Tim—scores newlyweds-to-be the best deals on airfare, rental cars, hotels, cruises. Their specialty? All-inclusive-stay packages, which means you and your guy can forget about money and planning meals and activities (finally!) and just relax and soak up your first days of marital bliss. And don’t worry about your budget—no matter how much you can afford to spend, Modern Honeymoons can put together a romantic honeymoon package that fits the bill.

That’s not the only reason to love this sweet honeymoon planning service: Modern Honeymoons can even set up a honeymoon registry. That’s right, Houston bride, you can give your wedding guests the option of helping to foot the bill for a honeymoon you’re sure to always remember (rather than a dozen settings of fine China you probably won’t use). And you can give yourself an even fancier post-wedding vacay than you’d planned.

So what are you waiting for? Your to-do list called, and it wants “plan honeymoon” crossed off—like now.

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Daytime Wedding Wow

If you’re of the mind that a daytime wedding is to an evening wedding what a flip-flop is to a Louboutin, get ready to have your thinking seriously altered, Houston bride.

The best thing about a daytime wedding? Well, beyond the fact that it’s a perfect lead-in to a let-your-hair-down, informal evening gathering, and that it allows weary revelers to get their beauty rest, having a daytime wedding, especially a Sunday daytime wedding, can save you a bundle on venue rental fees. Which means you’ve got that much more budget to allocate to things like floral, linen and décor. And trust us, you’re going to be grateful that you do. Because as far as elegance, artistry and luxury are concerned, the bright blue sky’s the limit for today’s daytime wedding.

We’ve collected a few breathtakingly beautiful examples to inspire the daytime bride in you!

How sweet is this Texas-style Southern California backyard wedding featured on 100 Layer Cake? The hand-lettered signs and bright, funky floral arrangements add so much warmth and whimsy to this joyful fête.

Photo: Michelle King
Photo: Michelle King

Also from 100 Layer Cake, here’s a showcase wedding design that was featured at a recent bridal show at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. We particularly love the “vintage concept” tabletop, with those antique vases and mix-n-match china. And the Hostess Sno Balls? Lordy, too cute!

Photo by Scott Clark Photo & Robert Wagner

This South African wedding, featured over at Junebug Weddings, is so simple and elegant. The pristine white-and-silver color scheme is lovely, especially with those small touches of green in the succulent and wildflower centerpieces.

Photo by Christine Meintjes

And lastly, here’s a completely different take on the daytime white wedding, from the ever-stylish Style Me Pretty. We adore everything from the monochromatic box centerpieces (perfect for rectangular banquet tables), to the white chiavari chairs, to the sea-glass plates and personal apple pies. So homey, yet so chic.

Photo by Bello Photography
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Beautiful Bridal Nails By The Time You’re a Bride

We’ll go ahead and admit it right here: We’re not nearly as good to our nails as we should be. If you’re like us—prone to nibbling cuticles, peeling snags and generally neglecting, even abusing, our poor, defenseless nails—you’ll be pleased to know that there is still time to change your ways before your big day.

To get your hands in fighting shape for your debut as a bride, you should ideally start training a few months out. That means from here on out, NO washing dishes without wearing gloves; NO picking, peeling or otherwise harassing cuticles or hangnails; NO removing labels or untying knotted stuff or doing other utilitarian chores with your fingernails instead of the appropriate non-fingernail implement.

It also means ALWAYS applying lotion or hand cream after exposing hands to water (you can’t beat
Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream for dry cracked hands, and we love the silky feel and pretty scent of L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream; ALWAYS treating any cracks or snags immediately with judicious clipping and moisturizing; and, whenever possible, getting a regular manicure—even if it’s just to groom and buff natural nails.

For at-home nail conditioning and maintenance, we highly recommend the Nailtiques line—especially the much-beloved Nailtiques Formula 2, with calcium and hydrolyzed keratin. This stuff is a godsend for weak, brittle nails like ours, and for nails damaged by years of acrylics. Apply it exactly according to instructions, and you can expect noticeably stronger nails in about a month.

Stick to a nail regimen like this, and by the time your wedding rolls around, you’ll be able to sport hot, new bridal nail looks like these:



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The Secret to Picture-Perfect Skin

Perfect wedding gown. Perfect shoes. Perfect ‘do. Perfect jewels. When it comes to your wedding day look, you’ve got perfect down.

Well, almost. If only your skin didn’t look so blotchy. If only those wrinkles hadn’t started lining your forehead since you started planning your big day. If only those hairs on your face would stop growing back.

Ugh, if only you could find someone to make your face look perfect for your wedding day.

Forget your if onlys, Houston bride, and make an appointment at Reveal Cosmetic Surgery & Skin Rejuvenation Spa. Dr. Farhina Imtiaz and her talented staff here excels at making brides look picture-perfect. Microdermabrasion and chemical peels? Check and check. Laser treatments? Check. Botox? You bet.

In other words, this one-stop spa can cure all of your skin anxieties and make your skin glow in that perfect dress of yours.

Houston brides aren’t the only ones getting lucky at Reveal. This cutting-edge spa also offers non-surgical facelifts and vein therapy and will soon offer skin tightening services, which makes it the perfect place to take your mother, mother-in-law, and grandmother. You know, all those women you love—and whom you’d love to stop kvetching about ruining your wedding pictures.

What’s that, Houston bride? All that complaining is more than you can handle right now? We totally understand—planning a wedding is hard work, way harder than any day job we’ve had! You’ve more than earned the right to pamper yourself with a Reveal spa facial. In fact, even if you hadn’t earned it, we’d still tell you to get thee to the spa. After all, a little R&R can do wonders for a bride-to-be’s skin.

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