If you're looking to personalize your ceremony, writing your own vows is a great way to go. Here are a few steps to follow that will help you get over the writer's block that comes along with choosing the right words to say about your beloved.
Step One: Get on the same page
No pun intended! Sit down with your partner and settle on a format and style. Do you want your vows to be sweet and to the point, or more personal and lengthy? Discussing a format and tone together will make the final result turn out more cohesive.
Step Two: Ask yourself questions
This is to help you get the ball rolling. Ask yourself these questions and scribble down the answers. We promise after this step you will have a ton of great material to work with.
What do I love about my partner? What made me fall in love? At what point did I know we were meant to be? How does my parter make me a better person? How do they inspire me? What do I admire about them? What excites me about the future?
Step Three: Make promises
What promises do I want to make to my partner? List as many as you desire.
Step Four: Put it together
Take your answers to all of the questions and string them together. Choose the most meaningful promises and tack them onto the end. Add some silly promises if you want a funny or lighthearted element to the overall vow.
Step Five: Read it aloud
Do this a couple of times. This will help you in the editing process. You'll get a feel for what sounds right and what might be awkward to say in front of Great Aunt Gertrude. Keep an eye on the timing.
Step Six: Edit
Eliminate what didn't feel natural to say and expand if anything sounds too cryptic.
Step Seven: Finalize and write a fresh copy
Get a clean sheet of paper and make yourself a neat copy. Put it in safe keeping until the big day!
A few extra tips:
Consult the Pros- Read poetry, listen to your favorite love songs (or songs you love together), and look up famous quotes. Put them in your own words, or refer to them and expand upon the ideas.
Watch out for clichés- Don't let anyone else's words take precedent over your own.
Don't ramble- We suggest you keep your vows between one and two minutes to avoid this.
Have a back up plan- There's a chance you and your partner might be too emotional to speak, so consider asking your officiant if they would read the vows under those circumstances.
Good luck and happy writing!