You’re about to tie the knot and you and your fiance have decided to write your own wedding vows. It might not be the easiest activity, but know that it will be worth the effort.
Once you’re at the altar, professing your love in your own little ways, all the anxieties you felt while writing your vows will dissipate like dust.
As of now, you might be telling your partner how much you love him every day. But when it comes to creating your vows it can be a bit different. First of all, the setting is not as relaxed as an all-day-in-bed-Sunday-session. The audience will be following every word you say, and that can feel intimidating.
But no worries! As a wedding planner in Malta, I’ve witnessed many couples share their unique wedding vows at their destination wedding. Here are a few helpful tips I’ve picked up along the way. along the way.
Make it Clear With Your Officiant
The first thing many soon-to-be-wed couples forget is that some religious organizations (including Catholic, Jewish, and Episcopalian) require the bride and groom to recite at least part of, if not all of, the traditional vows.
There are even some who don’t allow couples to say their own.
So first things first – if you’re having a religious ceremony, confirm with your officiant that you’re allowed to recite your chosen words. If yes, then let him/her know as soon as possible that you’re writing your vows.
Agree on a Structure
One of the most awaited parts of the wedding ceremony is when the couple professes their promises and love for each other. Because of that, you’ll want to be on the same level as your partner.
For example, you don’t want your audience comparing your declarations – that yours was more heartfelt or well-thought-of while he was full of cliches or vice versa.
To walk the same line, both will have to agree on the length, format, and tone of voice used. It’s a good idea to figure out the answers to these kinds of questions first before you even start writing:
Do you want them to be light and humorous or more poetic and romantic?
How will your vows fit your wedding’s mood and theme?
How long will they be?
As with most things, starting isn’t easy. Hence, you should start off by researching and doing your homework. The internet is full of examples of customized vows, religious vows, and other kinds as well.
Get inspiration by reading a variety of vows. Don’t copy word for word, but use them as a starting point to create your own.
There is no shame in borrowing ideas or quoting lines from movies, poems, and books. You may capture those words, phrases, and sentences that touch your heart, then elaborate with your own language of love.
Take Notes (in Your Notebook or Journal)
During your brainstorming session, we really recommend you write everything down. Write down anything and everything you can think of, more than you’ll ever need for your vows. Jot down all the important details of your relationship, like:
- How you met
- When and where were your first kiss, first date, and other firsts
- When and how did he propose
- Memories you share – trips, when you realized you loved him, hardships you’ve overcome, etc.
- All the things you love about your partner
Bring that notebook, pad, or journal with you wherever you go, so that whenever a memory or thought comes in, you’ll be able to write it down and never forget about it.
It is best that you start taking all these notes at least two months ahead of your big day to make sure it will be finished and you’re not stressing out the night before the ceremony.
Don’t Forget Your Promises
A wedding vow is called a vow for a reason. So make sure that you don’t miss out on saying your most sincere promises to your loved one.
Even if you’ve confirmed that you’ll be saying traditional religious vows in your ceremony, it is still best that you don’t miss out on saying what you really want to promise to your spouse.
Say It Out Loud
The saying, “Practice makes perfect” isn’t just a cliche – it is also applicable in writing and speaking your unique vows.
Now that you have written everything down, the best thing to do is practice speaking. Practice with yourself, your mom, your best friend, or to your fiance (if you have decided not to keep it a secret from each other).
By practicing how to say it out loud, you’ll be able to shorten it to one or two minutes. And it’ll be easier to pick out the most important things – your feelings, thoughts, and promises.
Cut out the personal quotes, inside jokes, and nicknames, as you want your audience to understand what you’re saying. Also, don’t forget to exclude pretentious jargon, long sentences, and tongue twisters.
Remember, practice as many times as you can, and every time you say it aloud, try it make it better.
Practice early and often because you don’t want to be stressing about this the night before the wedding when you need to rest. And if you’re traveling for a destination wedding, you’ll don’t want to waste your precious time on holiday rehearsing.
Another tip: Work on your delivery. Practice in front of the mirror (if you’re practicing all by yourself) and look at what your face is saying. How are your facial expressions and body language while saying it? Make sure to stand straight and let your whole body show how sincere those words are.
Do Whatever Feels Good
All these tips are here so we can help you start and get on the right path as you write your vows. As there is no right or wrong formula, don’t forget to do whatever feels good. Write the thing that means the most to you both.
At the end of the day, what matters is that you have opened up your heart in front of the people dearest to you and have professed your love to your significant other.
Yes, your vows may touch your audience (or even make them cry), but it is you and your spouse who will remember that precious moment for the rest of your lives.
One last tip: Make a copy of your final wedding vows. Use a nice notebook or print it on a lovely paper that matches the theme of your wedding. This’ll be a nice addition to your album or scrapbook, or can be framed as a keepsake in your bedroom.