Your imagination painted the picture perfectly. There you are, gazing into the eyes of your soon-to-be spouse. A crowd of friends and family looking on from the background. You hold in your hand a notebook that keeps your original wedding vows, personal and timeless. You deliver them with confidence and elation, the moment of a lifetime.
Now that you’re engaged, you’re probably beginning to wonder how much of this mind-picture will become reality. You’ve hardly had time to think about your wedding vows amidst all of the wedding plans. But as the day draws near, you know the pressure is on. And sitting down with a blank sheet of paper isn’t cutting it.
Whether writing is a part of your profession or you haven’t picked up a pen since college, writing your own wedding vows doesn’t have to be stressful, scary or time-consuming. Here are five quick ways to write wedding vows that will last a lifetime.
Spread it out.
You don’t need a schedule but having a plan will ease the stress of the process. Keep a journal just for your wedding vows, and write as you go. Some days you are going to feel extra inspired by your fiancé, and you’ll write love poems until your hand hurts. Other days you’re going to wonder why you picked him in the first place, giving you the opportunity to write about why you did and why you’re choosing to marry them anyway. Even though sitting down for a marathon writing session sounds like a good idea, it’s not. Especially if it’s the night before your wedding. Procrastinators, your wedding vows are likely going to suffer in the face of urgency. Give yourself enough time to write thought-out, meaningful vows that weren’t thrown together at the last minute.
Make authenticity a priority.
Anyone who knows anything about marriage knows that it’s hard work. And while all of the love songs and romantic comedies have done a good job of making us believe that marriage is all about happily ever after, that’s not the reality. Let your vows reflect the honest state of your present and future relationship. Make authentic promises that your fiancé needs to hear. There is a time and a place for regurgitated love clichés, but your wedding vows will be better off without them. Remember, now is not the time to be guarded and write the minimum either. Even though the idea of saying vulnerable things in front of your family might make you sick to your stomach, do it anyway. Your partner deserves to hear your honest thoughts and promises on your big day.
Keep it personal.
You know what your strengths and weaknesses are as a couple, and while this isn’t the time to air your dirty laundry, it is the time to highlight who the two of you are and where you’re headed. Think about things like: what kind of promise can I make to him based on our last argument or our last heart-to-heart conversation? What does my partner need to hear? Perhaps you need to promise your future spouse that you’re going to work on becoming a more patient person or that you’ll never go to bed angry. Think about their doubts and insecurities, and then answer them kindly with your wedding vows. This is your one opportunity to make beautiful, personal promises to your partner in front of your family and friends.
It’s not easy to sit down and come up with original ideas for your wedding vows, especially when you realize it’s all been said and done in the world of romance. Instead of letting that fact discourage you, search for inspiration instead. Romantic movies and novels, love songs and even quotes about love will get your brain thinking in the right direction. Artists are notorious for borrowing inspiration from the work of other artists, a practice you could definitely benefit from when it comes to your vows. For example, take a line from your favorite love song and tailor it to fit your relationship. You’ll be surprised at how original your personal remix can feel.
Answer the right questions.
If you’re answering the right questions while you’re writing your wedding vows, then you’re probably doing a stellar job. Think back, when did you know you were in love? This important detail gives a glimpse into where it all began. What has your partner added to your life that you didn’t have before? How have they changed how you see the world? What about them inspires you? This person has so obviously changed your life, and the answers to these questions give clear examples of how they’ve changed you. What do you expect from married life? A chance to express your excitement along with how you’ll handle the challenges you’re sure to face. And don’t forget to talk about the future. Where do you see yourself in 20 years with this person? Brainstorm your own list of questions that are relevant to you and your relationship. Then, go through and answer each one thoroughly and thoughtfully. These details can act as a starting point or as benchmarks during the writing process.
Don’t let the process of writing your wedding vows add stress to your wedding plans. Instead, follow the advice above and write vows that will last a lifetime. After all, the only thing that matters at the end of your wedding day is that your partner knows you’re fully committed to them. For better or for worse.