In a romantic moment of excitement and pure bliss, you both decided you want to write your own vows. No pressure! You’re only going to recite these words to the love of your life, in front of everyone who means the most to you both… No big deal, right? WRONG! Before you start pricing ghostwriters, we’ve got some pointers and ideas that are sure to get the creative juices flowing.
First of all, relax a little. You aren’t going to find the right words while racking your brain. You’ll come to them by expressing naturally just what you’re feeling. A great exercise that will help you get started: Free writing!
Set a timer for 5 minutes (or more… or less… whatever’s clever.). In that time, try writing whatever comes to mind. Think about the way you feel about your fiance and all the things you love about them. What makes you laugh? What makes you cry? What made you fall in love? Write about the kind of marriage you want to have and the kind of love you intend to give. Whatever comes to your mind: write it! This isn’t supposed to have any kind of format and there are no rules. Your goal here is to get your thoughts, however jumbled, down on paper. Your challenge is to write for the entire 5 minutes. When your time is up, read what you’ve got and highlight any points you particularly like, even if it’s not worded perfectly. See what ideas you can expand on or what rings true… (see what we did there?). Even if you’re only able to get a few bits of inspiration from this, it’s a starting off point and it’ll get you into the writing groove.
Talk to your partner about your vows. Come up with a strategy, an angle. Some couples choose to write one set of vows together that they both recite. Others choose to use the same format… for example, starting or ending with the same phrase but personalizing the gooey center. Do you want to decide on a length? Are you going to be funny and personalize things (“I promise to always put the seat down…”) or will you take a more traditionally romantic approach?
Is there a verse from a poem or song that’s meaningful to you or your relationship, that recalls a personal memory or key moment you shared? Maybe a monologue from a favorite film or book that perfectly expresses how you feel or how you define love? Don’t be afraid to borrow from the best, if it’s meaningful to you. Whether you quote just a line or two, or read an entire poem – this totally counts as your “something borrowed.”
Still not sure where to start? Here are some writing prompts that might help you kick things off:
What does marriage mean to you?
When did you first realize you were in love with your partner?
What makes your partner “The One” perfect mate for you to share your life with?
What are the most important things you want to promise to your partner about the kind of spouse you will be?
Did you dream about your Prince Charming when you were little? How does your real life Prince compare?
The most important rule to follow: there are NO rules! You came to the decision to write your own vows because you wanted to say it your way… and that’s who your groom fell in love with! You. Wordsmith, or not.