Writing vows

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It can be really easy to get caught up in the trap of what vows are “supposed” to sound like. Let’s throw that word “supposed” over our left shoulder with some salt for luck and forget about it. Vows are personal. Pretty words and elegant sentences are not important. When writing your vows, just
be authentic.

Vows can be serious, dramatic and/or humorous. Clichéd as it sounds, good vows come from your heart.

Write down anecdotes from your relationship. Tell stories to yourself in the mirror about beautiful moments, funny moments and even hard moments that taught you something. Practice saying the words and see which stories move you most. Write those ones down.

Make notes about the promises that you want to make. Of course, promise to be there for better or for worse, but you can also promise to be there through the chronic back seat driving and late night ice cream runs. It’s your marriage, what promises do you want to make and keep?

Tell the story about the moment you knew this was the real deal. Say what you are looking forward to about marriage – that’s going to be different for everybody. Bring up adventures, laughter, support or whatever it is that makes your relationship so wonderful and important to you that you ended up here, declaring your love.

After you get all your ideas out, figure out how you want to string them together. Take notes in a way that works for you. Some people like bullet points, while others need their vows written out word for word.

If you can’t figure out the right order of the stories and promises that you want to include, try writing each idea on a separate index card, lay them all out on the floor and arrange them in different ways until they fit together the way you want. Then number the cards, so you don’t forget the order if they get mixed up.

Vows are simply a conversation between you and your partner, so don’t stress about them too much. Just make sure that you say what you mean and you mean what you say.

Tip: Make copies of your vows and save them in a wedding scrapbook or photo album. It will provide meaningful reminiscing in later years.

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