Planning a wedding can certainly be hectic, so it is important not to lose sight of what’s really important. And that’s the two of you starting a new chapter of your life together. Writing your own vows is a great way to meditate on why you’re getting married in the first place and choosing each other over everyone else for this next great adventure! Writing your own wedding vows may seem like a daunting task. Perhaps you are hesitant because you feel that writing is not your strongest suit. Or perhaps expressing your intimate feelings in front of your friends and family seems a little awkward. What if you can’t find the right words to express yourself? Well the good news is this is not a test of your writing abilities. Your words should come from the heart, so be honest and open. When planning your wedding you wanted it to feel like you, and so the only rule to writing your wedding vows is that they should also feel like you! Remember that your relationship is unique. As long as your words reflect your unique personality, they are perfect!
I always encourage wedding couples to write their own vows. Not only for the reasons listed above but also for the benefit of their wedding film. My wedding films are story driven, this is why I strongly rely on dialogue to shape my films. Vows help set the mood and make your film even more personal. I hope the tips below will inspire you to write your own vows!
Tips voor het schrijven van je huwelijksgeloften
Don’t know where to begin?
Take some time to reflect on your relationship. Remember when you first met and how you felt on that first date. What attracts you in your partner, what fascinates you about them, what makes you admire and respect them? What made you fall in love in the first place? How has your relationship evolved over time? How do you feel when you are together? What do you miss about them when you’re apart? Think of the great times you’ve shared, of happy travels and celebrations. Think of all the ways in which your life has improved since you met them, of all your accomplishments together. But also think of the challenging times that you’ve overcome and what it was about your relationship that helped you through, helped you grow closer together, rather than apart. When did you realize you wanted to spend the rest of your lives together? How do you envision your future?
Can’t find the right words?
Think of your favourite films, songs and books. Remember those lines that tug at your heartstrings. Perhaps they will get your creative juices flowing. There’s no shame in turning to the greats for help. After all, maybe Mick Jagger already said it best. Expand on those words, explain why they are so meaningful to you. But don’t borrow every line from other sources. After all you want your vows to be personal.
Write your wedding vows
After having jotted down some notes and ideas write your wedding vows. There is no one correct way of doing this, but having a structure always helps. Start by affirming your love, tell your partner what you respect, cherish and admire about them. Use a personal story or anecdote to bring this love to life. This may be a story of how you first met, of the moment you realized you wanted to spend the rest of your lives together or how you proposed (or were proposed to). Express your gratitude for the time you’ve had together and memories that they have given you. And finally make your promises: tell them what you vow to do in this next chapter of your life and who you vow to be for your partner.
Make a promise
Traditionally wedding vows are promises. You promise to commit to your partner for the rest of your life. How you word your vows or what you promise each other is completely up to you. You can turn to traditional weddings vows from your religion for inspiration and adjust them to suit you. After all these vows have stood the test of time for a reason. Or you can write your wedding vows from scratch. At the core of your wedding vows is a promise to stand with your partner no matter what life may bring.
Delivery and style
Saying your wedding vows can be very emotional. Understandably, most people prefer to read them rather than recite them. Practice reading your vows to know where to pause for emphasis or to take a breath. You don’t want to rush through your vows too fast. Share them with a close friend to get an honest opinion. You may have many words of love to dedicate to your partner, but you don’t want your vows to be too long. Average length is about 2-3 minutes. Make a clean copy. Write them down in a special vow book, rather than read them from a piece of paper or your phone. First of all it makes for a better picture (think of your wedding photos and film), secondly it makes for a very special keepsake.
EXTRA TIP FOR WRITING YOUR OWN VOWS
Did you know you can follow follow a course on writing your own vows? And even have a one on one coaching session with a professional writer! Check out this wedding writer collective if you need help expressing yourself with words.