Writing vows is not an easy process. Think about it more as a journey you are going to take inside yourself. You are going to ask yourself many questions, maybe finding unexpected answers. It will take your time and a bit of your energy as well. But it will be fun, painful kind of fun but still fun and joyful. Your personal vow is one of the most beautiful gifts you can bring to your wedding day.
In the beginning I will try to convince you that this is a thing totally worth your time and effort. Later on, I would present you some hints and tips about the writing. I will provide you with some examples and ideas. So please, have a seat, prepare your favorite cup of coffee or glass of wine, put your phone on mute and hide under the pillow (just remember which one to avoid hours of searching afterwards) and let’s start the journey.
Some time ago I was invited to the wedding in California. The couple prepared the most beautiful, personal wedding vows. When the moment came to read them I could notice complete silence. Everyone, including me, was listening. People were moved. Our attention was focused. I was incredibly touched by their speech. There was something very intimate and fragile in this moment, but also very, very real. Naked truth about two people who wants to spend their lives together. Total eclipse of the heart, I thought. What had such a big influence on me? The answer was clear: it all happened because the vows were written by them. The uniqueness of those words made this moment absolutely special.
Your own wedding vows are bringing the authenticity that nothing else can bring. They will make your wedding even more yours, because original words and personal stories will be remembered forever. They could never be replaced with poems or regular, repetitive vows that everyone knows. This is the story of your love. Could there be anything more special on that day?
Also, writing can give you an unforgettable experience. It’s when you relive all those nice moments you shared that warm up your heart. It’s also a very beautiful gift for your beloved. I believe it all make your love grow even bigger!
Maybe this sounds a bit scary to you now. Do not worry, do not let this feeling win. Everyone can write about love. If you love, you have all your answers in yourself. You live it every day. All you need to do now is a small effort to put it into words. Give it a name, give it a life. And do not worry, YOU are enough to do it. You have all the answers in yourselves.
1. THINK ABOUT THE PAST
Open your photo album. Reminiscence through the memories. Try to recall all the details.
Where did you meet for the first time? How was it? Where was it? What did you think when you saw him/her? What did you feel? What was the first moment when you realized THIS IS IT? That moment you knew you want to spend the rest of your life with this person? Do you remember what triggered those feelings?
Describing first meeting is maybe a bit cliché, but it is for sure an easy win. In fact, we all want to listen to those stories over and over again. The choice is yours: it is totally OK not to mention it, but if you do so – be sure you will make a successful start. Example:
“I had a two hours break between my shifts at work, did not have much to do, the weather was good, decided to go for a walk. I think he was bored in his office too as I started to receive the messages. How are you, what’s up, standard whatever. I told him I was here walking through the fields and that I just saw a beautiful white-brown horse. He laughed and than he said : “tell me everything you see”. And when I read this sentence my heart thrilled. I realized there is someone who cares, who is interested in my life, who wants to know each part of it, each moment of my day, each step I take. Who wants to see the world I am seeing. Who wants to look at it through my eyes. This was the moment when I knew for the first time we are meant to be together.
There was once this day full of wonderful adventures. Only good things had happened to me. However, I felt upset and I wondered why. And than the answer came: I am sad cause I cannot tell this to you.
That was the moment when I realized there is no joy in my life without you.”
2. DREAM ABOUT THE FUTURE
Think about the things that you want to do together, things you are looking forward to. What are your common plans? What are your desires? Imagine how your future everyday life is going to be? Which parts of those life will make you happy? Which of those visions of the future make you smile? Example:
“Yes, sure, I want to travel with you, I want to have house and family with you I want to grow and be inspired by you. But you know what else I want? To see your first grey hair, to see your first rimples, and than next and next and next. I want to see it all cause it is all you.”
3. USE YOUR HUMOR
We tend to fall in love easily with people who make us laugh. The same sense of humor brings people together as much as the same taste in fashion or music. Use it. Make your beloved one laugh. Make other people laugh as well. They will be an easy public, they may have had a first glass of champagne already 😉
Think about the funny moments you shared together. Something happened during your holidays? Any funny misunderstanding? Any things you both love or both hate? Lots of humor is coming from the moments which expose your differences. Anything funny happened in your life which can prove that “opposite attracts”?
4. A BIT OF TRAGEDY? WHY NOT, BUT AS LONG AS THERE IS A HAPPY END!
Our life is composed not only of cheerful moments. In each relationship there is also place for sadness and tears. Very often going together through difficulties is making the relationship stronger. It is worth mentioning. Just remember to be tactful about it. Pain and difficulties are more intimate and personal than joy and happiness. Do not say what does not have to be heard by the whole crowd. The beloved one will get the message anyway. You can stay with a few words. Remember to not leave the crowd with sad feelings lingering. There must be a happy end after all! Try turning the story into a joke or make a funny punch line.
5. USE YOUR HERMETIC LANGUAGE
Maybe there’s something only the two of you understand, that you can bring up? Maybe you have your inside jokes? Make your wedding vow unique by spicing it up with personal, original language that just you two share.
In general, it will be the best if you find a balance between lyricism and humor. Find place in your speech to be funny but also the moment when you are serious. Good mix of light, heavy, funny and sincere is a key to success of writing your wedding vow.
1. I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO WRITE. I AM NOT A WRITER.
Yes, you are. Give yourself a bit of credit. If writing has never been your cup of tea, try to keep it simple. Basic. Do not overdo. Do not go for complex sentences if you do not feel comfortable with this. Write as you are, as you feel, as you would like to hear it yourself.
2. HOW TO START
Do small brainstorming. Think about some key words which are popping up in your head when you think about your beloved. Start simple, start basic, do not judge your flow of thoughts, write everything down. Everything. Let your brain draw the story.
3. HOW TO DESCRIBE MY FEELINGS
Try to use all your senses. What do you see? What do you feel? What do you sense? Smell? What can you touch? Your senses are making the description fuller, richer, more complete. It is also proven that our memory works much better if you activate all of them. Examples:
“In the mornings I like to come back to bed sometimes, when you are already gone to work. I put my head on your pillow and I still feel the warmth of your head on it.”
“I like finding your hair on my shirt when I am at work.”
4. I AM REPEATING MYSELF OVER AND OVER AGAIN
Listen to the music, read some books, watch a romantic movie. You can go with pop classics, take some diva’s best hits ever, read the most romantic love stories, watch the most dramatic romantic scenes. Inspiration is a key to success. Do anything that can wake up the flow in you.
1. STOP MAKING SENSE
Please do not complain that your speech has no sense. It is not a math, no power point presentation. Let yourself go, free your mind. Also, remember that maybe in the end only the two of you will understand the meaning of it. It’s your party, it’s your wedding, it’s your love and your story – don’t be afraid of that.
2. RESPECT THE TIME RULE
You need to remember not to make it too long. People will enjoy listen to you but they will not listen forever. The show must go on on a timely manner.
3. TAKE LONG SHOWERS, TAKE SOME TIME ON THE TOILET
It is not a joke! It is scientifically proven – the best ideas are popping up in your head under the shower or when you’re relaxed on the toilet 😉
4. THINK ABOUT THE END OF THE SPEECH
Strong accent by the end of the speech is a good idea! Can be funny, can be twisted, can be romantic and emotional. Example:
“And God only knows what can happen in the future. Life may not be the party we wished for. But as long as we are together we can at least dance.”
THE 24 HOURS RULE
Read what you wrote the day after. if you still like it, it means it’s good. If you think it is bad – wait! Give it one day more, maybe you can change something, adjust, maybe you were trying to say something but could not capture it with the correct words. Read it once again later. Maybe better idea will come tomorrow.
USE SOME HELP OF A GOOD FRIEND
You can give the text to read to someone else. It may be interesting to hear the second opinion.
PIMP IT UP
You can print your wedding vows on a hard paper or write them by hand. You can present them in a nice form, when you put your heart to it. Also there are great calligraphy artists and graphic designers that can help you with that! It could be a nice gift for your spouse afterwards.
The vows will be good only if they are real. They will be real when they are coming from you. Read the examples if you want, do whatever you need to inspire yourself but keep in mind: after all the words have to come out from you. Better short and simple, and even clumsy but yours than complicated and sophisticated but taken from someone else.
And last but not least – if you read all this, you tried and you tried and nothing is happening – do not worry. Just leave it. Do not stress about it, do not jump into deep despair. There are hundred different ways of showing your love. Maybe this one is just not for you and you prefer to sign a song? Quote someone or create something with your hands?
I strongly believe that the effect of this exercise will stay anyway with you. It will help you realize what your relationship is for you, who is the person you are going to marry. Maybe you will look at all this stuff written and this will lead you to a thought “it’s incredible that someone so unforgettable thinks that I am unforgettable too”. Starting writing is already a success. Do not stress, take a pen and write down the first word you have in mind.
Maybe it’s L O V E ?
Let your heart do the rest of the job.
I hope this guide was helpful in writing your wedding vow. I’d be happy to hear how did it go for you, so don’t hesitate to contact me via mail, instagram or facebook. Especially if you’re looking for a wedding photographer 🙂
Huge thanks goes to Joanna Pieczonka for helping me with writing this one.