I can’t believe it’s been a little over 4 years since I sat down and wrote my own wedding vows – a few hours before our wedding began. That’s right, I wrote my wedding vows not just on our wedding day, but a few hours before our ceremony, in my wedding robe, hair and makeup done. Ethan on the other hand had written his vows months before, rewritten them, shared them with me, and of course – they were so stinking beautiful. But my first thought after reading them was “HOW IN THE WORLD could I write anything even half as beautiful?!”
I was so terrified of writing the wrong thing, it being too much, or not enough, that I waited, and waited….
And waited. Till our WEDDING DAY.
The truth is, once the day actually came, the words honestly just poured out of me. Something about it being the actual day of our wedding, being around my friends and family all getting ready and excited, just made the day feel so much more real, put things in perspective, and reminded me what this day was really all about; and it wasn’t about me writing vows out of a Nicholas Sparks book. And to be honest? I don’t regret waiting, because for me, it ended up being the best thing! So with that, today I’m sharing 4 Do’s and 4 Don’ts if you decide to write your own vows!
1. Decide to do this together: Be open and honest about this, and if you decide to write your own vows over using traditional ones, make sure that decision is mutual. Of course one of you may be more on board to do this than the other, and that’s completely fine, but just make sure you both agree to write your own.
2. Use promises: A vow is a promise after all, so it’s a good idea to include 2-3 promises in your vows. If “to have and to hold till death do us part” isn’t really your style, then it’s definitely a good idea to just include promises for your future spouse from the heart.
3. Allude to future challenges: It’s easy to be caught up in your wedding day and feeling like everything will be smooth sailing bliss forever. But we all know that life gets tough and you’ll no doubt face some challenges together, and you probably already knew that. You may want to include something referencing this in your vows.
4. Keep it short and sweet: Vows are typically around 2-3 minutes, so be sure to include why you love your partner, why you want to get married, include promises to your partner, and allude to how you plan to overcome future challenges because of your love. Sure, it’s your wedding day, so if you want 15 minute vows, hey, go for it! But if you feel like you just have so much to say that you can’t keep it under 5 minutes, remember, you can always share how you feel with your partner for the REST of your lives (holla cause you’re in this forever!)
1. Pressure your partner into writing your own vows: Please just hear me out on this and decide for yourself after this. The worst thing you can do is pressure your partner into writing their own vows if that’s not really their thing. It’s completely different if maybe he didn’t really think about doing that but is totally on board now. Or if he’s fine either way. But there are some people who really just prefer traditional vows, some who feel flat out uncomfortable writing their own, etc – the important thing to remember is they don’t love you less if they aren’t thrilled about writing vows! It’s all about compromise. Just talk through it together and focus on the positive!
2. Copy your vows from the internet and tell your fiancé you wrote them: Cringe. Cringe. CRINGE. Believe it or not, I’ve heard this too often. It’s one thing if you find some vows you love online that perfectly embody how you feel. But be honest about it. Just trust me on this one 🙂
3. Be someone you’re not: Your partner is marrying you for YOU. Write about how you really feel. One of the worst things you can do is be disingenuous, because the person you’re about to marry? They love you for who you really are, and want to hear what’s in YOUR heart – after all, they’re choosing to spend the rest of their life with you!
4. Don’t compare your vows to your partner’s: This one really hits home for me so I want to be sure I share this with you. Be true to how you feel and don’t be ashamed of that! Just because your words (or your partner’s) may not flow like poetry, doesn’t give them any less meaning. The story they till is still meaningful!
In the end, however you chose to write your vows and what you chose will be perfect if you just remember to speak from the heart! As cheesy as that sounds, it really couldn’t be more true. Let me know what else you would add to this list!