Til death do us part
Wedding vows. Do those two words put together make sweat beads form on your brow and your heart start to palpitate? No, we’re not talking about the act of committing yourself to your fiancé for the rest of your life, we’re talking writing those vows. That moment when the wedding pauses, the room quiets down and all the attention is on the two of you. What will you say? How will you say it? If you have little idea of how to proceed with speaking from your heart in a way that doesn’t sound corny and coming up with something meaningful that isn’t complete overkill, tune in now, folks. Because here is the ultimate guide to writing your own wedding vows.
A good first step, although it may seem obvious, is to consult with your fiancé about your preferred style and format. Some couples opt for using flowery phrases like ‘My dear beloved, my heart is a well, filled with the deepest of love and admiration for you.’ Others might decide phrases such as the one above is enough to make them want to puke and decide to go the casual route. They might choose to say something like, ‘I love you, mate,’ and that’s enough for them. Whatever the case is, make sure you and your fiancé are on the same page, figuratively and literally, so you don’t get any unplanned surprises like your fiancé singing a rollicking song to the tune of Waltzing Matilda while dressed in a tuxedo, swagman’s hat and polka dotted bowtie.
Once you’ve clarified the essentials with your fiancé, It’s a good idea to sit down with a blank piece of paper and preferably some quiet. Next comes that famous action word: brainstorm. Vow to yourself that you will not get up from your position until you have a list of at least 10 things about what your fiancé means to you. Now play the memory game. Play back in your mind how you met, where you went on dates and when you realized he was The One. As the video reel in your head is playing, take that pen in front of you and jot down whatever comes to you. Don’t be critical of yourself. Just write, even if it sounds silly and you find yourself coming up with deeply romantic sentiments like ‘I love the way your old t-shirts smell of sweat.’
When your paper is full, read it over and try to formulate your thoughts into sentences that could become your vows. Remember that most wedding vows will consist of a statement of love together with promises and wishes for your future together. But the thing that takes the wedding vows from ordinary to outstanding is how you choose to personalize them. Personalizing your vows is the secret and most important ingredient, so it’s important not to overlook it. If your vows were a table, the declaration of love and the promises for the future would be its legs, while the personalization’s you include would be all the aesthetics that bring the table to life.
Personalising vows is where the fun really starts. You can choose to make your vows funny, endearing, silly or poetic. Proceed with caution when relating personal anecdotes that will only be understood by your fiancé and yourself. No one else wants to hear about the private language you share or how you share each other’s toothbrush. Whichever style you do choose, make sure it’s a style you feel comfortable with. Then jot some more sentences down as if you were writing a speech. Practice saying them aloud in front of a mirror. If it sounds funny or doesn’t roll off your tongue easily, consider rewriting or rewording them. Have some fun with it. Stand up and address a pretend audience. Then put the paper aside and leave it overnight as you get your beauty sleep. Look at it again in the morning. Practice saying the vows aloud again. Do they sound as if they belong to you? Well done. Chances are you’ve just written some killer vows.
image: ellie grover