The vows are the most important part of the wedding, in fact, they ARE the wedding! Your guests are coming to be witnesses to the promises you will make to each other! Traditional vows usually go something like:
“I, [your name], take you, [their name], to be my wedded wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge thee my faith.”
There’s lots of different versions of this, and many couples love using it because it has cultural or sentimental value to them. But what if you want to write your own vows? Where do you even begin? Writing your own vows allows you to add a personal element to your promises. There are no set rules you have to follow when writing your own vows, it’s simply you just telling your spouse what you are committing to. Here are a few tips to help you get started!
1. Start with why. Why are you promising this person anything begin with? What has brought the two of you to this moment? Of course, “love” should (hopefully) be the top reason! When thinking about what to say in your vows, include what attracts you to your spouse, what your favorite qualities are about them, and what makes them a wonderful person! Explain why you make a good team and how you know they are the one for you!
2. Make some promises. That’s what a vow is, it’s a promise, a commitment. So be sure to include a few promises. You could make your own spin of the traditional vows and list all the things you want to endure and celebrate together. And they don’t all have to be serious! It could be something funny like, “I promise to always bring you ice cream when you’re feeling sad” or “I promise to be the driver everywhere we go.” Look into your future together, all the way to the end, and think about all the things life will take you through, and then think about what kind of spouse YOU want to be to your husband/wife. Then, make those aspirations into promises!
3. Make it you. This is the part that no one else can copy! Include things that are special and meaningful to your specific relationship. It can be as simple as using his/her weird pet name you always call them, or making a reference to your favorite TV show that you watch together. Think outside the box and figure out what it is that makes you different from other couples, and highlight that! No two people are the same, and no two relationships are the same. What is your “thing,” what is that exclusive activity, word, tradition, inside joke etc. that is reserved just for you two? Incorporate it into your vows!
4. Mean it. The last bit of advice I would give about writing your own vows is, take them seriously! You can write a pretty speech, but if you don’t mean what you are saying, then it’s not worth it!Don’t include something in your vows just because you think it sounds profound or because you think it will make your mom cry. Be intentional about every word, don’t be afraid to be vulnerable, and share your true heart’s desire for your marriage. Nobody who gets married assumes they will get a divorce (I hope!), but sadly they still happen. And they can all be traced back to one or more of their wedding day promises being broken. Really think about the phrase, “till death do us part” before including it in your vows. If you do put it in there, then follow through! We are human, so we will all mess up in life (sometimes majorly!), but through it all, which promises are you willing to keep no matter what? Because those are the ones you should make!Personal vows can make your wedding ceremony so special! They will add deeper meaning to your promises, and they will create a sweet memory of the day you and your spouse said “I do.” Your guests will love it, and you will remember it forever!