Marriage & Wedding Information

Writing Wedding Vows - Ideas That Will Help You Express What You Truly Feel

More and more, couples are choosing to write their own wedding vows. Although many people believe that this is the best way to truly express their personal beliefs and feelings, often they are unsure about how to begin and what to include. If you would like to write your own wedding vows, here are some tips for writing vows that pledge the love you truly feel.

Inform your clergyman early

If the ceremony will be religious, let the clergyman know about your plans as soon as possible. If there are guide principles you will need to be aware of as you write your vows, the sooner you know what they are the better. This is also a good way to avoid possible conflicts between the beliefs of your house of worship and your own personal beliefs. If there is some disagreement between the two, you may need to adjust your plans or wording, or perhaps look for another clergyman.

Ask yourselves fundamental questions

Once you've taken that first step, begin by asking yourselves questions. These may include: "What does marriage mean to us? Why are we marrying? What promises are most meaningful, and which ones are essential that we keep?

You may want to ask what words like love, honor, respect, faithfulness, forgiveness, honesty, fidelity, friendship, and trust mean to each of you. This exercise will help you to clarify your thoughts as well as express your true feelings toward each other, your expectations for the future, and your personal visions of your lives together in the future.

Focus on what's unique

An essential element of personalizing your wedding vows is expressing what is unique about the other person. Think about how you see each other and write down as many of the reasons for loving each other as you can verbalize. If your backgrounds are different, acknowledge this and promise to respect and honor your differences as well as your commitment to building bridges that will strengthen common grounds. If this is not a first marriage for one or both of you, you may want to talk about your faith in love and the bond that marriage creates between two people.

Don't get too personal

Keep in mind that exchanging wedding vows is as serious as it is meaningful. Your goal should not be to make your vows sound cute or amusing. Also, avoid suggestive language or phrasing.

And don't confuse personal feelings with private affairs. Topics having to do with money, conception and child-rearing, politics, or in-laws should not be included in wedding vows to be overheard by your guests.

Incorporating traditional pledges

Although much of what you will write will be unique to your relationship and therefore highly personalized, you may want to include meaning parts from traditional vows that are a part of your culture.

While most of the wording is their own, many couples continue to incorporate the familiar love, comfort, honor (though usually leaving out the "obey" part) wording into their vows.

Rehearse before your wedding day

Since this is a special occasion, you should give it all of the time and attention it deserves. Practice reading aloud what the two of you have written. This is the true test that what appears on paper is what you really intended to say, in the way you intended to say it. Rehearsing will also allow you to determine how long exchanging your vows will take and whether adjustments are needed. If the wording sounds awkward or if it is difficult to read, change it.

Don't rely solely on your memory

A case of nerves can strike unexpectedly, and at the most inopportune time, so make sure your precious words are written down. Once you are satisfied that your wedding vows express exactly what you wanted to say to each other, it is time to finalize your draft. The final copy, preferably two or three, should be printed using a fairly large font size, which will make it easier to read.

It is a good idea to give a copy to the clergyman, at least several days before the ceremony is to take place. If a severe case of nerves does strike, it may be he who will need to read your vows.

Personalize the whole ceremony

Aim to keep the time it takes to exchange your vows between one and three minutes. To extend the feeling of a ceremony that is a celebration of your unique love, have a family member or good friend offer a carefully selected prayer or reading as part of the ceremony. You can also choose music that is both appropriate for the occasion and especially meaningful to the two of you.

About the Author

Jean Bachcroft is a former public relations director, the founder of Bachcroft and Aloha Labels, and the publisher and editor-in-chief of Town and Country Shopping Bargains Magazine. For designer wedding, holiday, and year-round mailing and return address labels, visit Bachcroft Mailing and Return Address Labels and Aloha Return Address Labels.

For bargains and bargain shopping articles, visit Town and Country Shopping Bargains.

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