Some people love the thought of writing their wedding vows. The thought of being able to write out your feelings and promises and express them to your partner in front of your closest family and friends can be a wonderful sentiment. For others, while the gesture is nice, writing them can be a major challenge. The feelings are there, but the thought of actually putting them into cohesive sentences on paper can be terrifying. Writing doesn’t come easy for everyone, and writing a piece that carries so much weight can seem daunting. If you find yourself in a bit of a writer’s block—or don’t even know how to start—follow these tips to make the wedding vow writing process a breeze.
Give Yourself Time
Don’t let procrastination get the best of you—start working on your vows as early as possible. This will allow your thoughts to come more naturally to you and will give you the opportunity to rework your vows without any major time crunch giving you any pressure. Nothing fuels a writer’s block like a tight time limit, so give yourself the time you need to work on your vows at your own speed.
Get on the Same Page as Your Partner
Talk to your partner and make some decisions on the general format of the vows. Decide on how long they should be, if they should veer towards being more sentimental or funny or traditional or casual, or if there are any specific elements you want to tie in (such as religious components). Once you know that you are both approaching the vows from the same angle, you’ll feel a lot more confident in what you are bringing to the table.
List Out Your Thoughts
You don’t need to create a coherent, beautifully constructed piece from the get-go. As you are first putting pen to paper, make a list of any thoughts or ideas you may have about your vows. By just jotting out random thoughts, you will start to recognize any interesting themes or ideas that you may want to expand on in your vows.
If you aren’t sure what to start with, simply start by putting your focus on your partner: their personality, why you love them, how they have changed your life, and so on.
From there, ask yourself these questions and write down what comes to mind:
- When did you know you were in love with your partner?
- When did you know that this was the person you were going to marry?
- What quirks about your partner do you absolutely love?
- What are you most looking forward to in married life?
Next, think of fond memories that you have with your partner—your first date, your first kiss, your funniest memories, any vacations you’ve been on, meeting each other’s families, and so on. Stories are a wonderful way of making your vows truly personal. They allow you and your partner to reflect on the life you’ve led together so far, and give your guests an interesting glimpse into your life as a couple.
Once you have your list of memories, thoughts, and ideas, highlight any that stand out to you that you’d maybe like to focus on in your vows. You don’t need to do all of this list-making at once—make a list on your phone so that you can quickly write things down as they naturally come to you throughout your day.
Acknowledge the Unique Ways You’ll Support Each Other
Of course, besides reflecting on your love for each other, the core of the vows is recognizing how you will show up for each other and work together as a team in your marriage. We have all heard the “through sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer…” vows, but take that sentiment and make it true to you. Express what it really means for you to be by the side of your partner through the highs and lows.
While these vows can be heavy, don’t be afraid to touch on some lighter promises as well, like “I promise to always kill any spiders in our house” or “I promise to watch your favorite TV show with you every Sunday night…even though I don’t think it is that great.” Bringing in lighter elements will allow you to have a bit of fun and showcase your personality.
Don’t Feel the Need to Include Absolutely Everything
You’ll probably have a lot of thoughts and ideas from your brainstorming session but fight the urge to include absolutely everything. By touching on a memory or two and a few meaningful promises, you’ll be able to express your sentiments without going on for hours. You’ll put a lot less stress on yourself if you narrow in on a few key ideas—and your guests will thank you for it.
Write a Few Drafts…But Don’t Overdo It
Give yourself the time to tweak and rework a few ideas, but don’t end this process in a pile of dozens of rejected drafts. You may feel the urge to write until you’ve come up with the most unique and spectacular vows known to man, but that will simply put unnecessary stress on you. Write up to three drafts if you need, and feel confident that what you have written will perfectly encapsulate what you need to say.
Take a Break If You Need It
If you find yourself forcing yourself through the writing process with no real inspiration striking, take a break. Walk away for at least 20 minutes—or even a few days, if you can. This will allow you to reset and refresh and approach the task with a clear mind.
Practice Out Loud
You might feel a bit goofy practicing your vows aloud, but it can be a major help in terms of both writing and reciting on the big day. You’ll notice any awkward phrasing if you actually speak the words aloud, rather than just reading them in your head, so you can make any necessary adjustments to make the vows flow better. It will also help you get more comfortable with the words and get rid of any performance jitters if you are a bit uneasy about public speaking. The more you practice out loud, the more comfortable you’ll be, and the more natural you’ll sound.
If you are in the process of planning your wedding, come to the next Georgia Bridal Show near you. You will have the chance to meet with wedding professionals of all talents who can help bring your vision to life!