Your wedding is the biggest day of your life, and you'll be saying your vows to the one you love in front of your entire family and friend group. But no pressure!
Seriously, writing your wedding vows can be majorly stressful, and that goes double for reciting them on the wedding day. Trying to figure out what to say isn't always easy, even though you know how much you love them. Anxiety is totally natural! And with a little prep, you can be sure your vows fill your partner with love and adoration. Follow a few tips, and you'll come up with the perfect vows to start your married lives together.
Discuss Your Wedding Vows With One Another
No, you aren't going to tell your partner what it is you plan on saying. But by getting on the same page with basics like length, incorporation of humor, sentimentality level, etc., you can be sure there isn't an awkward thematic mismatch between you and your partner's vows. For example maybe you're both super lighthearted and funny...assuming that your partner will go the comedic route, and then being surprised that their vows were all about the role of God in your marriage, it will feel a little off-kilter.
Writing Vows Means Revising Vows
Remember in school, when teachers told you the most important part of writing was the revision and re-writing? I hate to say it, but they were right. And while your vows should come from the heart, it's always good to tweak what the heart had to say so that it's exactly the way you want it. Think of your first draft as just hitting the theme and general points you want to hit. There, drill deeper and make the words more beautiful, and everything sounds the way you want your partner to hear it. Try to make a point of doing three or more drafts, even if you don't feel like it's needed. Sometimes it takes longer for thoughts, memories, and feelings to emerge that you didn't realize at first that you wanted to include.
Don't Promise Perfection
Promise to love, to try to be compassionate, promise to do your best. But don't promise perfection. It's just not attainble, not even for the most devoted of partners. As human beings we all make mistakes and have times where we're not at our best. So promise to do your best no matter what -- and to learn when you've made a mistake. Neither one of you is perfect, but you can grow together for the life of your relationship.
Once your vows are completely finished, practice! Say them aloud in front of the mirror until they flow naturally. It might feel overwhelming to say them in front of everyone, so the more practice you can get beforehand, the more comfortable you'll be when the big moment comes.
Run It By a Friend
Have your best man, maid of honor, or other very close friend listen to your vows and give feedback. Ideally, this person should know you and your other half extremely well. Having a bestie who can offer honest and constructive edits, thoughts, and reactions goes a long way toward finding just the right words and tone. This is where all that revising comes in! Once you have a first draft, expect fully that it will be drastically changed once you read it to a friend. Be open, and your vows will become the best they can be.
Mentioning specific memories and quirks is a good to way to make sure your vows are unique, and not just generic. They'll be more suited to you and your partner as individuals. Meanwhile, all your guests will appreciate feeling like they're let in on something deeply personal. That's a very charming and heartwarming thing, both for your partner and your friends and family!
Learn From Others
Don't shy away from reading other couples' vows and taking inspiration based on what you like. You can learn a lot from people who have already been through the experience! They can tell you what went well, and if there's anything they would have changed or done differently. Reading other people's vows is one of the best ways to spark inspiration and figure out your own vows if you're feeling overwhelmed.