Writing your wedding vows can be challenging. By the time you get around to marrying someone, hopefully you’ve already told him or her how much you love them – even possibly doing it everyday. Your vows are a much more public setting than your living room couch, so it’s understandable if the right words are escaping you in the process. These intimidating circumstances can be overcome, and with what you say being entirely up to you, there are a few tricks that can be used to make this experience what it’s meant to be – a truly wonderful privilege, not a daunting task.
Relax. Take a shower or bath, go for a walk, enjoy a cup of tea or coffee – whatever it is that brings you to a Zen place. It’s easier to be inspired here.
Take notes. Have you ever noticed that your writer friend carries around a notebook at all times? This isn’t a throwback to pre-technology old-fashioned journalism, but rather a key tool in catching ideas and inspiration as it comes to you throughout the day. It’s been proven that once you’ve begun writing, your brain subconsciously works on it, therefore giving you those, “Eureka!” moments experienced when doing things completely unrelated to your vows.
Go on a date. This may sound silly, but as with anything in marriage, collaboration is key. Going on a date or evening stroll to discuss what you each have in mind will help ease the tension of the experience for you both. This doesn’t mean you should discuss what you plan to say to one another specifically, but rather the logistics of how your vows will be delivered. Some people are comfortable with the traditional exchange of mini-speeches, while there are others who are more on the shy side and would perhaps be more comfortable with a back-and-forth format. This would also give both of you the chance to catch your breath and keep a pace together, lessening the stress of having to keep a tempo on your own.
Create an outline. Don’t sit down and create an outline for a five paragraph essay, this isn’t an exercise from your English teacher, but rather something to help guide your train of thought. There’s the option to trade outlines with your partner to see if you’re on the same page, but most couples prefer to keep their vows a secret until the big day. You can outline some questions to answer that may help, some examples being:
- When did you know you were in love/knew this was the person you wanted to marry?
- What is your favourite memory of your partner?
- What does marriage mean to you?
- What would you like the world to know about your partner?
- Another tactic is to create three statements of what you love about your partner (declarations of love), and three statements of what you want to promise to your partner (vows).
Children. If you and/or your partner have one child or multiple children, you may consider including them in your vows. You’re blending your families and they are the best parts of you, therefore you are sharing in a love bigger than just you and your fiancé – you’re sharing and celebrating the love of many beautiful souls.
Read. Look for inspiration where few seem to travel these days, the classics. Traditional vows, classic writings, contemporary lines in books or online, popular culture, music lyrics, love letters exchanged between you and your partner, poetry or prose, can all be used as examples of where inspiration can be hiding. The personal touches will add authenticity and quality to your words, inside jokes are also adored – your guest will appreciate the connection you share.
Try these steps to help guide your writing so that you are more apt to come out with something truly unique to both you and your relationship for your big day.
By Megan Chase
Photo courtesy of IQphoto Studio