Guide to Writing Your Wedding Vows

Wedding Vows

Photo Credit: Darrell Jesonis; Flickr

That moment you’ve been waiting for. It’s time to sit down and write your wedding vows! Writing your vows and explaining your promises on paper can be an overwhelming task. Not only do you want to say all things you know and feel in your heart, you’re also presenting them in front of an audience.  And most importantly, to your special someone.  While the task may be a challenging one, these guidelines can help make the process easier.

Start Early

Absolutely do NOT leave writing your vows to the last minute!  Even if you’re one to be quick on your toes, winging your vows is not a good idea.  Give writing your vows the time and thought process it deserves.  Start working on it at least one month in advance, perhaps after you have booked your major vendors.

Set the Tone

Decide the tone of voice you want you vows to evoke.  Funny but sentimental?  Poetic and romantic?  The choice is yours.  Just be sure that what you’re saying is coming from the heart.  You should also address your serious commitment in the relationship at some point in your speech, even if you want to crack a couple of light-hearted jokes.

Communicate with Your Partner

Sit down with your fiancé and talk about the content you want written in your vows.  Talk about how long you want the vows to be, and if you want to write them separately or together.  Discuss the fundamentals of your relationship, what marriage means to you, and what you two expect out of your marriage.  This will make sure the both of you are on the same page, and will help you two keep your promises to each other.  Talking about your vows before revealing them will help you come up with the right things to say, and also could help you input the right side stories and appropriate phrases.

Brainstorm and Outline

Get ideas from poetry, books, religious, and spiritual texts.  Note the words that are able to say exactly what you feel in your heart. It would also be useful to create an outline so that you can organize your thoughts. This way you can ensure that your speech has a beginning, middle, and end.

Remember Your Audience

Your wedding vows should be personal, but not too personal.  Leave out anything embarrassing and limit inside jokes, obscure nicknames, or code words.  Remember that your family and friends will be there, and they want to feel included in your sentimental moment of promise.

Length

Your vow should be about a length of about a minute or so.  Yes, it’s true that it is the most important part of your ceremony, but your audience isn’t going to want to sit there and listen to someone talk for hours.  Stay on point and speak from the heart. Really convey to your audience what it means to you to marry this special person. And don’t forget to save some last thoughts for the reception toast!

Practice!

These words will be heard by a live audience.  Make sure you practice in front of your closest friend or family member, or at least in front of the mirror.  Just make sure that your words sound good when spoken aloud.  This will also help you see how long the speech actually is, and you can get an outside opinion from the people you practice in front of!  Practice makes perfect.

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