Writing your own wedding vows is becoming more and more important now that increasing number of both gay and straight couples are choosing the less traditional approaches to both religious and civil marriages.
I was delighted to discover recently that one of my lovely Blog Writing News subscribers, Nadine Amore, is a non-denominational Minister and Wedding Officiant based in Ohio, USA. So I asked her to share her advice with us here … for any readers considering writing their own wedding vows – or have
friends or family who are considering it. Here’s Nadine…
Writing your own wedding vows sounds like a daunting task, but it really is much easier than you think. You already have all the words inside of you; you just need to put them to paper or screen. Writing your own wedding vows also can be done for a commitment ceremony (in the UK, a civil partnership, too).
It is all the same: it’s about two people who want to spend the rest of their lives together and want to do it in a most meaningful way.
There are a few things you want to figure out first. Make sure your wedding officiant or minister will be willing to do this. I believe most will. What type of ceremony are you planning? Religious, civil, traditional, humorous? Do a search online for “Wedding Ceremonies”. These will help you set the tone for writing your wedding vows.
You will also want to consider whether you will write them together, or each write their own. You also need to decide whether you will read them directly – or you could also have the officiant read them and have you repeat them. Plan for whatever makes you feel most comfortable.
Making a start on your wedding vows
Now you need to sit down one evening, weekend, or whenever you can set aside some quiet time alone. Have a pen and paper handy or if you’re a high tech couple, a tablet or laptop. Maybe have a glass of wine or other favorite beverage and take a deep breath and relax. Play some music that you both like for inspiration. Clear your mind of everything. It is just the two of you. This is the person you love with all of your heart and that person loves you with all of their heart.
Write the answers to these questions on your sheet of paper or screen:
- Where did you meet?
- How did you meet?
- What first drew you to each other?
- When did you first realize you were in love?
- What do you like to do together?
- What would you miss most about your partner if they were absent?
- What is better about your life now?
- What are the little things your partner does that makes you happy?
- What do you want for the future?
- How do you feel when you are with this person?
Simply write from your heart
Write down all of the qualities about your partner that are important to you, and use those to help you formulate your own, and each others’ wedding vows. They don’t have to be long. You are not writing a book. You just need a few sentences. You can also write something funny if you would like.
Above all these answers should reflect your personalities. Remember they are wedding vows and usually include promises to one another. An example would be: “I promise to love you through good times and bad. I promise to cherish you and mow the lawn every week.” It can be anything you would like to say, in your own words.
Look over everything you wrote. Put a couple of sentences together; do some editing and it should start to come together. If you are still having problems or writers block, take a break for a little bit. Read over again the ceremonies that you searched for. That could trigger more ideas on how to adapt and enhance what you have already written.
Keep it simple: it is your feelings, put into words. This is the person you are going to spend the rest of your life with! Why are you going to do that? Ahhh, there you go! You have it now.
A few more tips
If you are going to read your wedding vows yourselves, write them down on cards. You could try and memorize them, but you will be a bit nervous, so better safe than sorry.
Make sure the officiant or minister has a copy, too.
Remember to relax. This is a wonderful, special time in your life.
Writing your own wedding vows will make that day one you will always remember with a smile. Congratulations to you both! Happy Writing!
Nadine Amore is a non-denominational Minister licensed by the State of Ohio to solemnize marriages. She is the owner and Wedding Officiant at Coshocton Weddings in Coshocton, Ohio, USA. Nadine enjoys writing ceremonies and strives to make each one unique. She also writes short articles on various subjects including weddings and has several published works. Nadine owns 5 cats and one dog who love to help her on the computer. (I know that feeling well, Nadine! Sz.)