To Write Your Wedding Vows, Or Not?

“So this I am sure – you are my partner, my lover, my very best friend. My heart beats for you. On this day, the day of our wedding I promise you this: I promise to lay my heart in the palm of your hands – I promise you me.”

Quote from the television show, Grey’s Anatomy

Writing your own wedding vows has become popular through the example of romance movies and television programs. It appeals to every romantic soul…to come up with those lines which are deep and earnest, written only for your beloved, but to be declared amongst many witnesses.

There is no argument that writing one’s own wedding vows is romantic. It takes a lot of thought, and a lot of heart searching. One need not be an author, but merely have the ability to say what is in their heart, expressing feelings, hopes, and commitment with a language born in honesty and love.

The writing of one’s own wedding vows is not merely a way to be different from the rest, although individuality is desirable. It is a starry-eyed gesture, but expressing love is not of sole importance. Wedding vows are also for pledging each person’s responsibility to maintain the relationship. Modern vows often sidestep references to a lifetime commitment, but it is a prime dynamic of any marriage. Too many things in this world are disposable, and marriage should not be one of them. The traditional vows include sentiments such as ‘for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health’. These words are not simply to fill in some time, but are an undertaking between the two to work at creating an enduring, husband and wife partnership.

In the deciding whether to use personal or traditional vows, consider the following:

– The process should be rewarding and not create undue stress.

– Are both the bride and groom eager and agreeable to writing their own vows? Misplaced obligation can create a lack of fulfillment and resentment.

– Is tradition important?

– Are there elements of the traditional vows that you want to honour in your own vows?

Once decided that writing your own vows is the way to go, the most challenging time has come – to actually put pen to paper and lay out all those thoughts in a logical declaration of love and fidelity.

The vows can be simple or elaborate, but should never be too long. If the right wording proves elusive, inspiration abounds on the internet. Try a search on ‘original wedding vows’. There is even a website designed to teach people how to write their own special vows.

The style of vow is another facet. Poems are universally popular, but a poorly executed verse may sound cheesy. Are quotes to be included? Romantic poetry, lines from movies, or snippets of the traditional mixed in with your own words. Is it entirely romantic, or spiced up with a drop of humour? There are many choices.

The vows should include statements of commitment and love, imbued throughout with the writer’s personality. This mix ensures your vows will be as individual as you want to make them.

One final consideration in the process is whether the vows are to be read, memorized, or prompted by the officiator. Long vows are more difficult to commit to memory and may sound rehearsed. On the other hand, reading from a sheet of paper held in front of your face deprives you from staring with adoration into your bride or groom’s eyes. Whichever method of delivery you choose, the celebrant or minister must have a copy so they can provide a whispered prompt if needed.

Wedding vows are a significant beginning to two lives becoming as one. They are worth spending time on perfecting.