Wedding Vows Start with the traditional
Reciting traditional wedding vows is still perfectly acceptable. So look at those first. They can get you started on the kinds of things that people say to each other when they are getting married. Someone may have already written what you want to say. I have posted the vows that I have used with couples in the past from my tradition. Feel free to start with these.
Don’t let tradition limit you
Many couples are choosing to speak their own words, which can set a more intimate and personal tone for the ceremony. For those who fear speaking in public, writing vows and expressing personal feelings can be a bit scary, but most couples find overcoming their fear is worth it to ensure a memorable wedding.
Add a little Romance
Plan a romantic evening out together a day or two before writing your vows. Reminiscing about how you met, your first date, and special times you’ve shared together can help get your emotions flowing. Looking through photo albums or reading cards and letters your partner has sent you might also bring inspiration. In my premarital sessions I always encourage couples to write a love letter to each other. You can use this letter as an outline for your vows.
Spend some time alone
These are your vows to your finance on your wedding day. They are words that you want to share with them. So you need to get in touch with yourself to do that. So get alone and listen to romantic songs and write down your feelings and thoughts. Take some time to list the qualities and personality traits you love about your partner, what attracted you in the first place, what made you realize you were falling in love, and why you want to spend your life together.
Use whatever literary form fits you
Some couples believe they have to be poetic in writing vows. Nothing could be further from the truth. Simply stating your feelings about how you met, how your relationship has grown, and how much your partner means to you is preferable to memorizing poetry that may come off sounding phony or stiff. If you can pull off poetry great. But it is not mandatory.
Borrow from other sources
Check out a few books on how to write vows from the library or rent a few of your favorite romantic movies. Using a phrase from a film, song, poem, spiritual text or book won’t be corny if it’s meaningful in some way to you and your fiancé. Just be careful about using long passages or poems. You don’t want your guests to get bored while you’re reciting a sonnet.
Keep your sentences easy to understand. Talk the way you normally do. Use your love language. Avoid using very long phrases and stay away from words that may be difficult to pronounce when you are nervous. Use traditional words like love, honor, cherish, and respect as a starting reference and build sentences around them by putting your feelings for your partner into words. Make your vows sincere and avoid a long-winded recitation that sounds like a speech. Your vows should be short enough for you to remember most of it. It’s okay to glance at a note card while you say your vows, but try and avoid reading them.
Practice out loud
Practice your vows with a friend so that your partner will hear your words for the first time during the ceremony. Consider shortening sentences if they seem too long or change repetitive words. Speaking from your heart at the ceremony will come easier if you review your vows several times before the wedding.
Make them VOWS
Your wedding vows are a statement of your love and a time for promising commitment. They are not just about how you feel about each other. You are describing to each other the level of your commitment. If one partner is really uncomfortable writing vows, the other can help things along by writing some phrases both of you will repeat in the traditional manner, such as, “I will cherish, honor and love you, as long as we both shall live.” The groom would then repeat the same phrase, inserting the bride’s name. If you decide to use this method, keep the vows brief so your guests won’t get bored listening to a string of repeated phrases.
Show them to your officiant
When you have finished writing your vows, show them to the person who will be officiating at the ceremony. They may be able to help you smooth out awkward phrases or suggest alternate words that express what you are trying to say in a more romantic way.
Don’t worry about fumbling over words or crying
When you recite your vows you will be looking into your fiancé’s eyes. This will help ensure that your words are coming from the heart. It also means you may fumble or stumble over a word or forget a phrase due to nervousness, don’t panic. You may even cry. Don’t worry about it. It shows that you are really speaking form the heart. Just pause for a moment, breath and keep going. When you speak with love about how you feel about your partner and your future together, none of your guests will know you forgot a phrase or two.