Of course, you have no problem showing your love for one another – both in public and in private – but when it comes to making those vows in front of an audience, it can feel like a terrifying ordeal, especially if you’ve decided to write your own.
Many people nowadays choose to write their own wedding vows as this makes their wedding unique and personal to them as a couple. You may not want the traditional vows at all, or you might want a mix of traditional and personal, with additional religious or cultural elements added in.
If you’re going down this route, here’s a few ideas and guidelines to make writing your vows a bit easier.
Talk to your intended first
One worry is that people will compare your sets of vows – are yours longer, are his more practical? Is one set funny and is the other set a tearjerker?
Try to get on the same page, at least in part. If yours take a minute to say, then your fiancé’s should be around the same length. Do you want generic and sincere or do you want a few in-jokes? Are there any religious or cultural elements? This framework will help you to get started.
Write them somewhere quiet
Take some time to relax, away from the TV, or work commitments and other distractions. Focus on a few words that mean a lot to you both and start from there.
You might not be able to craft complete sentences at first, so just focus on those special words, as well as your aspirations for your marriage, and take your time.
Use others’ vows as inspiration
It’s OK to get ideas from other people, but don’t copy the vows word-for-word, as this will make them less personal to you and your fiancé. Your vows should be all about you two.
Put the vows in a drawer for a few days
Once you’ve got that first draft, leave it alone for a few days, then go back and review it. Most often, you’ll see something you think jars, or you’ll think of something that works better. Don’t keep doing this, though, as you’ll never be happy – three or four times is the maximum, really – these words are from the heart, remember?
Don’t leave it too late
Aim to have your vows ready a month before the big day and then you have time to rehearse them. Practice together and alone, in front of the mirror. You’ll be grateful for this prep on the day itself!