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How To Write Wedding Vows

How To Write Wedding Vows

Today is my 2 year anniversary!  It feels like we've been married much longer, not because it's been hard, but because we've grown so much and climbed to new heights I didn't think were possible in such a new marriage.  By far my favorite moment of my entire wedding day was exchanging vows with my husband.  I'm a words person (obviously) and so all roads led to the moment I got to deliver my "forever promises" to Hassan.  I took the vows very seriously and began praying about them months in advance of even writing them. 

There is no set way to write vows.  Some opt for the traditional "do you?; I do; will you?" vows.  I was much more interested in penning something more heartfelt, meaningful and intentional.  If you are going to write your own vows, here's a few tips:

1.  Be authentic.  If ever there was a time to speak your truth, this is it.  Don't try to promise the universe if you're not willing to give the stars.  Also, honor your relationship when you are writing your vows.  Find a quiet place to reflect on your relationship.  Think about what makes you all unique and what's important to you, and then let it flow. 

2. Be specific.  This goes both for what you vow to do and what you don't plan to do.  I'm not a laundry person and never intended to be that in my marriage.  So I let him know - before God and everyone - that I did NOT promise to do his laundry.  Hey, at least I gave him notice.

3. It's OK to keep it light.  I think it's perfectly OK to throw in a little light-hearted quote or quip here and there to keep things fresh.  If it's not you though, reconsider.  I've been at a few weddings where vow-jokes not only fell flat but were just crass. But a well timed joke or anecdote can go a long way to making those vows memorable.   

4. Be brief.  Look, we get it - you really really really love your spouse.  But if you get up there with 3 pages worth of vows, chances are you are a damn liar.  Not only will you not keep any of the promises beyond the second page of those vows, but your wedding guests will check out and begin thinking seriously about taking selfies.

5. Don't cut and paste.  There are general concepts that most brides and grooms use in every set of vows.  While it's OK to research things to say to the one you love, add your own flourishes. It's perfectly fine to get inspiration from others, but don't plagiarize your wedding vows!

6. Feel free to embellish, wing it, or have notes.  Although I'm a trained trial lawyer and do very well speaking off the cuff, I knew that I needed to stick to the paper to overcome my nerves on that day. My husband on the other hand says he wrote (and memorized) his vows.  I still believe he got up there just spoke on a whim.  And you know what?  It was beautiful. Either way, do the thing that's going to make you feel the most comfortable.

7.  Say "I love you".  You'd be surprised how many people leave the three most important words out of their vows.  Sure you're promising forever to the other person, so love is assumed.  But it's still nice to hear at the altar.

And because I can't get enough, press play below to hear some of our vows.

Feature Photo by Jeremy Wong on Unsplash

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