I love you because… You’re about to put pen to paper to tell the love of your life how much they mean to you, and what hopes and dreams you have for the future. SSSSHHH! I can hear crickets chirping – very loudly!
When I meet with couples and ask if they’re going to write personal vows, I see all types of reactions – pure fear, raised eyebrows, flushed faces, giggles, shaking of heads, eyes averted, beaming smiles…
Yeah, I know writing vows isn’t for everyone. Perhaps the thought of sharing your innermost feelings in front of your guests (especially the guy in the second row who you’ve never met) will get the pulse racing and send you into a cold sweat. So STOP! It’s your wedding, do it your way. Just say the legal vow each (that’s the one you must say). None of your guests are going to shout out – tell us why you love her!!
BUT if you know that you want to make that moment the heart of your ceremony, and give your vow and promises to each other, here’s the biggest tip I can give you… write from the heart.
Everyone at your wedding loves you both – that’s why you invited them, and they'll love anything personal that you write.
Trust me when I say your vows can never be wrong if you speak from the heart and mind combined. Don’t use fancy language or make promises you know you can’t keep. The more truthful you are, the more powerful your vows will be.
Your vows need to reflect you, your relationship, and can be whatever you like – serious, funny, touching and intimate, copy and pasted from the samples I give you.
I try not to say don’t, but DON’T tell inside jokes, talk about old relationships, fights, family or friends you can’t get along with, or anything about your sex life. You might find a funny way to share these but do you really want to make your love or your guests feel uncomfortable? And who wants to be forking out exorbitant counselling fees years later because what you said (or shouldn't have said) has stuck in your head and is on constant replay.
Here’s some questions to help you get started.
1. What first attracted you to your love?
2. What do you love about your love now?
3. What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
4. Why are you a great team?
5. What will you promise to do or to not do? (Is there something you do that drives your love crazy.)
Fast forward to the wedding day, when you’re about to read the words you’ve spent hours working on. Take a deep breath and take your time. If you burst into tears or get the giggles or stumble… it’s okay! Your vulnerability will create a closer bond between you and everyone watching on.
And I’ll put money on it, that out of the entire ceremony, your favourite memory will be the moment that you made your vow and promise to your love.
P.S. Last tip – get the white ink out if you’ve written vowels instead of vows. (Vowels are those letters that join words - a-e-i-o-u - not people.) Happy vow writing!