When you first talked about writing your marriage vows, I bet it sounded like a good idea, right? But now that you're actually trying to put the words on paper, you may be finding that it is a bit of a challenge.
As you know, marriage vows are the most important part of the wedding. Yes, the dress matters. Yes, the venue and the flowers and the music all add to the occasion, but the vows are the essence of the wedding ceremony and foundation upon which you'll build your marriage.
The promises two people make, witnessed by their family and friends, are the verbalization of a three-way commitment between the bride, the groom and God. Sometimes referred to as a ‘covenant,’ the marriage vows lay the foundation for a couple’s commitment to one another. For this reason, when writing your marriage vows, the words you use need to be your own, born from your own convictions.
Marriage vows can take whatever form the bride and groom wish. Some couples want their vows to be somber and dignified. Other couples like to interject humor. Still others prefer a lighthearted touch. Whatever appeals, it is important to recognize that these are vows, promises and commitments.
While we can't write your vows for you, we can offer a few tips to help get you started:
- Check with the church. Find out if the church has guidelines on what they will allow or approve of in self-written vows.
- Have the conversation with your fiancé. Make sure you are both on board with writing the vows yourselves and with what you are promising each other.
- Your vows should reflect your personal style. Be you, through and through.
- Keep your marriage vows short. Anything longer than a minute or two will begin to make your audience uncomfortable.
- Speak from the heart. Only include what you truly intend and believe in - not what you think others are expecting to hear.
- Celebrate! Vows are a wonderful thing! They add a sense of trust and stability to your relationship.
After the wedding, you might want to consider displaying your wedding vows in your home as a reminder of the promises made to each other. Many couples find this helps keep their marriage on track. In time, you may find other promises you'd like to add as your grow and mature in your relationship.