When it comes to writing your own wedding vows, you're bound to run into a bit of writer's block but it certainly helps to work out the direction of the vows and how personal to make them before you start. Here are a few tips for those penning their own vows for the big day:
Talk to your officiant
Get the green light from your officiant to personalise your vows (some churches require you to recite traditional vows)
Set expectations with your fiancé
Will you write your vows together? Will you share your written words with each other before the wedding day? Is there an ideal length for your vows? Is there anything too personal that you don’t want to be shared in public?
Aim for a similar style of vow.
There’s nothing worse than a Bride offering heartfelt, Shakespearean prose to a comedic, somewhat inappropriate recital from the Groom.
Decide on any religious references
If your spiritual leanings are loosely defined, or if the two of you were raised in different faiths, have a soul-searching discussion with your fiancé at least 3 months before the wedding to talk about your beliefs and how best to incorporate those beliefs into your vows.
Exchange love letters with your fiancé
Keep a copy of the one you write and reread both letters when starting to compose your vows. Reread any previously written and kept letters from throughout your relationship thus far. Look at any souvenirs, photos or memories from your relationship journey for inspiration.
Hit the Web
Get inspired by poetry and quotation sites such as poets.org and bartleby.com. Keep the words positive and personal - there's no need to relate the storms you two have weathered. Also, avoid words or phrases you wouldn't normally use – don't just pick a passage to quote because it sounds eloquent. Especially not something that may have been or could be misinterpreted. Consider incorporating meaningful quotes or passages and insert a tender passage from a favourite book or film.
Bounce Ideas off Friends, Relatives, and your Officiant
If you're nervous about the wordsyou've written, get honest feedback from a friend or family member.
Practice your Vows
In the days leading up to your wedding, look into the mirror and recite the vows aloud. Take it slow; this will help your voice resonate. Familiarity with your vows will inspire confidence.
And lastly, write down a final version of your vows and have your Maid of Honour and Best Mancarry a copy to the altar in case nerves leave you both tongue-tied.