The vows you give during your ceremony are one of the most significant parts of the entire wedding. The vows you make are the basis of the commitment you are making to each other as partners. This is your opportunity to tell your partner why you love them and why you want to be committed to them for the rest of your life. One way many couples take advantage of this opportunity is to write their own vows. You know your relationship better than anyone else and writing your vows will give you the opportunity to be creative and give them even more meaning. However, public speaking is harder than it looks, and it can be even harder when you are expressing such personal and intimate promises. Below are some tips to help you write the best vows possible.
Agree on format and tone
Sit down with your fiancé and decide how you want your vows to come across. Will they be humorous or romantic? Will they be completely different or will you make the same promises to each other, as you would with traditional vows?
Jot down notes about your relationship
Take some time to reflect on your relationship and remember both the big and small moments that you fell in love with your fiancé. Here are some questions to get you started:
- Why did you decide to get married?
- What hard times have you gone through together?
- What have you supported each other through?
- What challenges do you envision in your future?
- What do you want to accomplish together?
- What makes your relationship tick?
- What did you think when you first saw your fiancé?
- When did you realize you were in love?
- What do you most respect about your partner?
- How has your life gotten better since meeting your mate?
- What about them inspires you?
- What do you miss most about them when you’re apart?
- What qualities do you most admire in each other?
Come up with promises
They’re called vows for a reason, so the promises are the most important part! A tip, include both broad and specific promises like always supporting them or sharing the remote.
Write it out
Speechwriting expert Robert Lehrman suggests a four-part outline: Affirm your love, praise your partner, offer promises and close with a final vow. You can also start and end with a story about yourselves. Remember to leave out the clichés- you want your vows to sound like you and relate to your relationship, and including sayings that have been used over and over so many times makes them no longer sound genuine.
Via The Knot
Take out anything too embarrassing
You’ve invited your family and friends to witness your vows in order to make your bond public, so be sure everyone feels included in the moment. That means putting a limit on inside jokes, deeply personal anecdotes and obscure nicknames or code words. Wedding celebrant and author Maureen Pollinger suggests, “Think about how your vows will sound to you 10 years from now.” Have a friend or family member read it over ahead of time for feedback, if you’re okay with sharing your vows beforehand.
Shorten your vows to one to two minutes, max
Your vows are important, but that doesn’t mean they should drag on. By picking the most important points and making them, you avoid over saturating the moment and loosing meaning.