So, you have taken the step and decided to get married. Now begins the fun (and sometimes stressful) process of planning the wedding.
Getting married is about so much more than exchanging rings, It is your promise to one another to spend the rest of your lives together. Your wedding vows give you an opportunity to declare these promises. They allow you to let your partner know exactly what they mean to you. That?s why many people are now choosing to write their own vows. They find the effort is worth it, even if you find the very idea challenging.
We understand that the thought of writing your own wedding vows might be a bit overwhelming. The words you write may be the only time in your life where you will proclaim your feelings for your partner in front of an audience. It is more than a bit tempting to just skip the stress altogether, right? Going with the traditional script seems really appealing at the first hurdle you hit. Writing your own vows means that you can create a unique and intimate moment that gives your guests an insight into the love that you and your partner share. In our experience, many couples find it their favourite part of the wedding and worth the effort.
Should you write them together?
There are a few different ways to approach writing your vows and the way you do it is entirely up to you! The first decision should be do you and your partner write them together. Then, do you share the same vows, or write different ones? If you choose to write them separately, you should also discuss whether you want to keep them a secret for the big day. Some people do choose to share them with each other beforehand. Writing your vows together gives you the chance to talk about what you both love about your relationship.
Doing them this way might take some of the pressure off, especially if you choose to express the same vows. Sharing the same vows, however, gives you less of an opportunity to personalize them and make specific promises to each other. If you write your vows separately, you can read them to each other beforehand. That will help to make sure they?re similar in length and tone. The other option is to keep them as a surprise for the day. Another option is to each read them to a close friend or family member to ensure that you?ve both followed a similar format.
Be prepared that if you choose to keep them secret that reading them for the first time at the wedding will be a moving experience. Sharing these feelings with all your friends and family can feel like a lot of pressure and be very emotional.
How to overcome writers’ block!
If you try to start writing your vows and get stuck, take a step back. Some couples worry that their words won?t sound impressive enough. Remember, no matter what you say, it will be special and important to you and your partner. Your guests will be happy for you no matter what, and your partner knows that these words could never fully sum up your feelings for them. You could try to spark some inspiration by looking through photos or keepsakes, using poems, books or movies. These can be great to give you some ideas on which to base your own vows.
Asking yourself a series of questions that you could respond to in your vows include: – How has he/she changed your view of the world?
- How did you know when you were in love?
- What did you think of them when you first met?
- What are your favourite things about them?
- What do you want to do together in the future?
- What have you experienced together that you never would have on your own?
It can also help to focus on one memory and start by writing about it. Your guests will love that, and it gives you the opportunity to share your feelings through a story. More importantly, your partner will love it too.
Should you agree on a format?
If you?re writing your vows separately, it can be a good idea to agree on a rough format beforehand. That helps to keep them similar in length, tone, and even in content to an extent. It can help to make sure that one person?s vows are not very different from the others.
For example, you might agree to make the same amount of promises to each other. Some choose to decide on something more specific, like a word count (400-600 words?) or how long they take to say (between two and four minutes?). It is entirely your choice, what works for the both of you is what you should do! If you want to follow the same structure, you could choose a template to follow. Maybe something like this:
Begin with your declaration of love
You could start your vows by saying who your partner is to you; your best friend, your lover, or your everything. Let them know how much you love them. You could mention some specific things that you love about them and how those traits make you feel.
It is usual to make promises, state your intentions for the rest of your lives together. You may want to include a few traditional vows here, such as promising to love your partner in sickness and in health, through good times and bad.
It?s important to acknowledge the seriousness of this commitment and let your partner know that you will be there for them. There is nothing to stop you from including some light-hearted promises that are specific to you and your partner.
You could let them know that you will try not to leave a wet towel on the floor again, or that you will let them steal the blankets at night. Think about including goals that you share or things that you want to experience together.
Share personal stories
Use this opportunity to tell the story of how you first met or when you knew you were in love. Anecdotes like this give your audience a unique understanding of your relationship. It can really help you personalise your vows. Don’t write your vows with the intention of making your guests laugh. Don?t let humour overtake the seriousness of the occasion. You should also be careful not to embarrass your partner or include anything too intimate.
Don?t wait until the last minute
Giving yourself time to write your vows will give you the chance to think about them and revise them. Don’t leave it until the last minute and then feel stressed and rushed. Inspiration may strike you at any time. If you?ve already made a start it?ll be easier to build on what you?ve got. Planning a wedding can quickly make you busy, so steal a few minutes to remember why you?re doing it.
Don?t promise perfection
Our advice is to try to avoid using words like ?always? and ?never’ because it?s difficult to live up to absolutes over an entire lifetime. Acknowledge that there will be ups and downs in your relationship and that you?re prepared to work through them.
Read them out loud
On the day, you?ll want to be able to speak passionately and freely. To make sure this happens it?s a good idea to practice your vows a couple of times before the big event. This can also help to point out anything that is too personal, or that doesn?t quite sound right. You might want to read them aloud to a trusted friend to see how they react.
Make a list of all your thoughts
It can be helpful to write things down as bullet points before trying to word full sentences. Keep in mind that it doesn?t have to be perfect on the first go! It doesn’t have to be perfect when you speak them. Don’t be afraid to use quotes from poems, movies, or even other people?s vows. It doesn?t have to be all your own words – if you feel it, then it?ll resonate.
Don?t worry about having to include everything
Don?t put yourself under pressure to include every thought you?ve ever had. Wedding vows are usually only a few minutes long, and there?s no way this could ever really summarise the love you feel or the time you?ve spent together. No matter what you say or how nervous you are, your partner will love you and your guests will be happy for you.
Keep the ceremony moving
While you could probably spend forever speaking your vows, there’s plenty more to do! You need to exchange rings, the first kiss, and walk down the aisle as newlyweds! Your vows are an important element of the ceremony, they are not the be-all and end-all. Keep a little perspective and we’re sure your beloved will welcome everything you choose to say!
Platypus Park Riverside Retreat are one of the premier wedding destinations in Central and SE Queensland. We have been responsible for lots of weddings and pride ourselves on providing a truly unique experience for each.
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