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.