Today I’m sharing part three of four for creating your perfect ceremony. We’ve already talked about finding the perfect place for your ceremony and making it uniquely yours. This week I wanted to dig a little deeper into your vows. They’re arguably the most important part of the ceremony, so they deserve a little extra attention.
Vows, like every other aspect of your wedding, can be as traditional or non-traditional as you want. I mentioned before that my husband and I chose to use traditional vows for our wedding. I thought about writing our own vows, but he wanted to use the same ones that our families would have used for generations.
If traditional is the way to go for you, talk to your families. Ask if there was anything in their vows that they carried on from anyone else. Where did they get their vows? For us, our priest (we were married in a Catholic Church) read them to us. We didn’t offer any suggestions, just let him read the vows that were traditional for Catholic ceremonies.
The thing to remember is nothing is set in stone, so even if you want to go traditional, you can ask your officiant what vows they intend to read and to allow you the freedom to alter them slightly.
If you’re more adventurous, or want to personalize your ceremony even more, you might want to try your hand at writing your own vows.
Writing your own vows can be tough. You’re pouring everything you want to say to the person you love in a two minute speech that you’re going to say in front of all your friends and family. Which means keep it short, and don’t get too personal.
Do you really want your grandma to hear the private details of your relationship?
I hope not.
Start by talking to your fiancé. Agree on the tone of the vows (silly or serious, romantic or real, etc.). If you’re taking the time to write your own, you probably want them to reflect who you are as a couple.
My husband and I both have a very dry sense of humor. When we met, he made me laugh. We’ve spent years laughing together, so if we wrote our own vows, they would have had a humorous tone to them. I also know I would have included something about laughter in our marriage.
Decide together if you’re going to keep them separate from each other or if you’re going to share parts or the whole thing with each other in advance. Maybe you want to vow something special, a phrase that you say to each other. Or you want to have some words or phrases the same in both. Agree on those and make sure you can work them in to the vows you plan to write.
Think about why you’re going to be standing in front of all your friends and family and promising to love, honor, and cherish the person you’re writing those vows for. What do you love about him? What made you say yes to that first date, or ask him out the first time? What drew you to him? What keeps you going back to him again and again?
It helps to write the answers out. Pick out words that keep coming up. If you repeat them, they mean something to you. Thread those words into your vows, wrap them up with the way you feel, and you’ll come up with the perfect vows.
You know you love him. Finding a way to tell him just how much he means to you isn’t going to be easy. But it is very possible. When you think you’ve got it, practice. Make sure it’s not too long. Keep practicing until you know every word is the exact one you want to use. When he hears the words you put together just for him, he’ll know how much you love him, and so will everyone else lucky enough to witness your love.
Do you plan to write your own vows or go with traditional vows?
Do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife? Do you promise to make her laugh and kiss her goodnight? Do you promise to love her as much as the ocean and surround her with your love? Do you promise to give her all of you and accept all of her? Every day, from now until you are no more?