It’s one of the most sentimental verses you’ll ever pen, so it pays to do it well – here’s how to create vows that’ll hit all the right notes.
- Check things over
Talk to your celebrant to check that you’re allowed to write your own vows. Catholic congregations, for example, may require you to say certain traditional phrases. Also check with your fiancé that they are happy to go the DIY route.
- Devise a plan
Well ahead of the big day, decide together whether you and your partner want to write your vows individually, or whether you’d like to recite the same words. If opting to go separately, will you show them to each other before the ceremony? Will you read them, or memorise them? Will humour come into it at all, or will you stick to sentimental thoughts?
- Get thinking
Sit in a quiet space and consider the things you love about your relationship: when did you know you were in love? What’s the greatest thing about your fiancé? What’s your most treasured memory of them? Next, think of the ways marriage will change – or not change – your relationship – where will you be in 20 years? 40 years? Finally, list all the reasons you can’t wait to say ‘I do’ and write down the things you are vowing to do once married.
- Be inspired
Read through wedding vows online, as well as love poems, stories, songs and readings. Highlight passages or phrases that resonate with you or that you feel reflect your relationship. Leave yourself lots of time – once you’re in the vow-writing headspace, you’ll find that inspiration strikes wherever you go.
- Ready to write
Pull together the best of your own thoughts and the words you’ve gleaned from your readings – incorporate them together for a sentimental final result. If you’re struggling to structure your vows, use the following guideline: What you love about your partner, what you love about your relationship, what you promise you’ll do as a spouse.
Read the passage aloud to a trusted friend or family member – someone who knows your relationship and has a decent understanding of language and writing (they might be able to offer some insightful tips!). Time yourself, and try to cut down your vows so they take less than a minute to recite. Memorising your vows will save you from relying too heavily on notecards or paper – when the big moment arrives, the best place to look is straight into your groom’s eyes!