When I ask couples if they want to write their own vows for their ceremony, I often get some responses of uncertainty. Some are just uncomfortable with the idea of public speaking. Mostly, they feel overwhelmed at the prospect of distilling their feelings for their partner into a few paragraphs and writing those sentiments well.
My answer to this problem is to keep it simple. Consider the three simple points I'm about to share with you and you'll find that writing your vows is not as daunting as you might have feared.
But before we get into the 3 simple steps to writing your own vows, I want you to keep one main thought in mind: No matter what you say, the words should feel like you! If you are not into poetry, do not quote Shakespeare. If you love humor and satire - feel free to infuse some light-hearted jokes. No matter what, when you say your vows, they should feel like they are coming from you, not another person or the internet. The person you are delivering these words to is the most important, most special person in your life. Just be yourself and they will appreciate everything you have to say.
Ok, so here it is - Keeping it Simple with 3 Steps to Writing Your Own Vows
1: My favorite thing about you is_______________! Fill in the blank. Close your eyes and picture your love. Imagine the thing they do or feature they have that makes you involuntarily smile. You got it?! Now, tell them about this characteristic. One or two things they do that are the best part about being around them. Their smile. Their ability to be a good listener. Their support. Their humor. There was a reason why you fell in love with this person. Name it and share it!
2: Say Thank You! Now that you have a favorite thing, thank them for it. Pretty easy, right?! Gratitude is so important in any relationship and marriage is no different. Let them know how grateful you are that they have that special something that makes you happy. And, by the way, keep thanking them after the wedding day, too!
3: Make a Promise: A vow is exactly that – a promise. What will you offer your soon-to-be spouse that no one else can? How hard will you work for the life you're about to begin together? And a promise does not need to be perfect. It just needs to be earnest, sincere and made with intention. Tell them about how every day, you plan on trying your best to make them happy, support them and build a great life with them. What more could anyone want than a promise to do your very best at being a great partner?!
There you have it - a short and simple road map to writing your own vows. Of course, having your thoughts put together doesn't always mean that you're ready to read them aloud publicly. If not, that's okay. If you don't want to share your vows on the wedding day, share them privately with each other in the form of a letter. You can do this on the night before your wedding or on your honeymoon, after the wedding hub bub has passed and you can find a more relaxed moment to share with each other.
For more details on vow writing, letter writing and starting a special anniversary tradition, check this earlier Facebook live broadcast.
(Originally published 8/21/2018. Skip to minute 1:15 to get right to it!)
All my best, with no stress!