Your wedding vows are the focus of your entire wedding ceremony – they’re an affirmation of your relationship and a declaration of the promises you make to your partner. But writing your vows can also be one of the most difficult parts of wedding planning.
If you’re not naturally gifted with words, it can be impossible to articulate your feelings without coming across like a bad romance novel. But don’t worry – writing your own vows doesn’t have to be as difficult as you thought.
While vows pulled from wedding planning books or the Internet might sound pretty, they don’t reflect your own ideals and thoughts about marriage. Your wedding vows are the most personal part of your whole ceremony – they are just between you and your partner. So, like every other major aspect of wedding planning, writing your vows should begin with a discussion with your partner.
Grab a pen and paper and jot down some ideas. Does your wedding have a theme you’d like to incorporate into your vows? Do you want your vows to be serious and heartfelt, or light-hearted and funny? Are your vows a promise, an affirmation or a celebration of the virtues (and foibles) of your partner?
Talk with your partner about the principles and ideals that have guided your relationship and the promises you want to make to each other. Write down all your ideas – even if they seem silly or cliché or soppy.
Go over everything you’ve written down and pull passages and fragments to incorporate into your vows. You could do this together, or separately, keeping your vows secret until the wedding day.
Don’t worry if you’re more “Bob the Builder” than “Lord Byron” – your vows don’t have to be a work of art. All that matters is that you’re sincere – and that you don’t waffle on for pages! You can express a lot with a few well-chosen phrases.
Ask a close friend, or your celebrant, to look over your vows and help you express your ideas. They can fix clumsy wording and suggest alternative phrases to make your vows truly beautiful.
What makes your fiancé so awesome?
When did you realise you were in love with them?
What do you admire about the way they treat other people?
What does marriage mean to you?
What have been some of your favourite moments together as a couple? What made these moments so special?
Are there other people you want to include in the vows – for example, children?
List five words that describe your partner? What about five words that describe your relationship?
What makes your relationship so strong?
What do you think your lives will be like in 30 years time?
Writing your own wedding vows can be a tough creative challenge, especially if you’re not good at expressing yourself in words. But when you’re standing before your family and friends and looking into the eyes of your partner, you’ll be glad you took the time to create vows that reflect your own ideals and relationship.
Written by guest blogger Steff. An alternative wedding celebrant based in Auckland and a writer for the Wedding Wise Blog – filled with tips and inspiration for New Zealand couples in love. Wedding Wise is a NZ wedding directory with a difference – couples can post reviews and ratings of vendors, so you can find a vendor who matches your style and needs.