Many people couples to write their own vows for their wedding day. Conveying your emotions and recalling the special moments you and your partner have had together is easier said than done. This is especially true when you have to write it down—and say it in front of an audience consisting of your guests and your partner. For your wedding vows, you’ll want them to be short and sweet, and genuine and heartfelt. It can be challenging to convey your feelings, but vows are an integral component to a wedding, and writing them yourself adds an extra layer of personalization to your ceremony.
But how do you go about writing the perfect vows? We break down some helpful steps when it comes to the writing process.
Write down absolutely everything you can think of, and then chop it down. Writing the first sentence can often be the most challenging part in writing a wedding vow. But remember—the first words you write down are a rough draft that you can always edit later. That means that at this stage, don’t worry about form, flow and structure. Write fragments, run on sentences and even things that might not make a lot of sense. Once you have all of your ideas written down, leave it alone and let it marinate. That way when you come back to edit, you’ll have a fresh mindset that will allow you to start sorting the good from the bad.
Remember: these vows are for you and your partner, and no one else. You aren’t writing for your high school english teacher and your vows aren’t meant to impress everyone within the ceremony. If it makes sense to your partner, that’s all it matters. What’s important is that you communicate your genuine emotions to your future spouse. If you feel what you wrote is one hundred percent your love towards your significant other, they should get the message, no problem.
When in doubt, include an anecdote or two. One of the easiest things to write about are the special moments you’ve shared with your partner. The good thing about telling stories is that everyone enjoys a good anecdote. Some notable ones could include when you first met or how you knew you loved them and wanted to marry them. When you are writing these anecdotes, make sure you include as much detail as possible—maybe even down to what she wore on the first day—or what his smile looked like to you. In a nutshell, you want to paint a vivid picture for those who haven’t heard the story yet. Not only is it more romantic, but the anecdote will be more heartfelt.
Promises are important. Within your vows, you should mention promises that you will keep to your significant other. After all, weddings are a ceremony that solidifies and confirms the bond between you and your significant other. Include promises that you will be there with them through thick or thin and whenever they are sick or in trouble. You can use traditional wedding vows as a guide, or include any other personal promises you’d like to make.
Make your partner (and your guests) laugh. While vows should be romantic and sentimental, it’s good to inject some humour to keep the tone light and heartfelt. A funny anecdote or a joke is a good way to make sure that your partner and everyone else in the room won’t be bawling during the ceremony. Make sure the jokes are tasteful, appropriate and aren’t at the expense of someone else.
Have someone you trust look your vows over. If you’ve reviewed your vows over and over or if you have a bad case of writer’s block- consider passing your write up to a trusted friend. They could be a groomsman or bridesmaid. They may be able to give you ideas you’ve never thought of, ways to rephrase confusing sentences or catch any errors that you may have glossed over.