The Southern Bride’s Guide to Everything Wedding
Sep 14, 2012
7 Tips For Writing Your Own Vows
If you choose to forego the traditional wedding vows in favor of writing your own, there are several things to keep in mind. I've brainstormed 7 tips that will help you write your vows and make your wedding ceremony even more meaningful than it will already be.
1. Start early. This is the same advice I give to students who have to write a term paper. Do not wait until the night before! Starting ahead of time will ease any stress and will allow you to brainstorm all the ideas you can before you decide on something.
2. Set the tone in advance. Talk to your fiance about whether you want serious vows or humorous. Do you want something poetic and romantic? Or nostalgic and touching? Make sure you are on the same page so the vows will complement each other. You also need to decide if you will write the vows together or keep them a surprise for each other.
3. Take ideas from tradition. Browse famous poems, religious texts, love songs, anything you can think of that you can draw inspiration from. Jot down your favorite quotes... you might just add them to your vows once you start writing.
4. After setting the groundwork with your fiance, take some alone time. You need to get away from your man to reflect on how much you love him and what you want to say about him... what you want to say to him. Some examples are: when did you fall in love with him? How does he make your life better?
5. Create an outline. This will help you set up a structure for your vows and help you to link everything together. For example, start off by talking about how you fell in love, transition into your favorite love quote, and end with promises you want to make to him regarding your future together.
6. Don't forget: audience and timing. There will indeed be people watching you say these vows, so try not to get too personal! Put a limit on inside jokes so that your guests will feel "in the loop." Also, timing is important. One to two minutes is a good range; I know you could go on and on about the man you love, but for the ceremonial vows, keep it short and sweet.
7. Practice out loud. Just because something looks good on paper does not mean it sounds good when spoken. Practicing out loud will allow you to change any sentence structures that sound awkward, as well as pointing out sentences that might be too long... after all, you don't want to run out of breath when exchanging vows!