Creating Marriage Vows Unique to Your Bond
Writing your own wedding vows is almost as common as saying “till death do us part.” You just need a few pointers to get you started. First off: Check with your officiant about any rules and regulations your house of worship requires (what you can say, what you need to say, etc.). Also, he or she might need to hear or approve the vows first.
Remember, even though this is the biggest day of your new life together, it’s a celebration…not a lecture. Like all toasts and speeches, you don’t want to force the band to start playing just to get you to stop talking. Keep it relatively short, no longer than a few minutes each. Go with your heart: While some conservative wedding publications are likely to advise you not to say anything “cutesy” or “fun,” if you’re dead-set on telling your beau that you’ll finally watch The Matrix series to show your support, go ahead. Likewise, if this is the time for him to fess-up about his dirty-sock habit, he should be allowed this opportunity to make cleanliness promises.
In your own words.
Don’t worry about being overly cute. Chances are, when you sit down to actually think about what your spouse means to you, you’ll probably end up having a few notes of devotion to get off your chest. Don’t worry about being funny, either. This is about your love, not whether you’ll be invited back to Last Comic Standing.
It’s wise to avoid overtly sexual themes, like trying out that new position you saw on a “Sex and the City” re-run. Remember, nana’s probably in the second row, and some things should stay in the bedroom. Politics are another no-no; anything too controversial is likely to get an argument going that might overshadow the moment.
As for resources, it’s common to quote passages from Shakespeare’s Sonnets, the poetry of Yeats and Shelley and Dickinson, even the bible. You can also go online for a whole list of readings people use. While your vows are not going to garner awards, they should be rehearsed. Even if you aced public speaking in college, you’ve never before had to look at the love of your life and spill out your emotions. Complicating matters, your best friends and loved ones will all be watching. If you absolutely cannot speak without a prompter, either cut down your words to a sentence or two, or have them written down on paper. There’s no point in writing personalized wedding vows if all that comes out of your mouth is “drrrrr….”
More important: Do not drink to calm your nerves. Your new in-laws would probably not want to start the wedding day off by thinking their new son or daughter’s a drunk. Relax, breathe, tell your spouse how nervous you are, and do your best. It’s not important how well you deliver your lines; all that matters is what you say.