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7 Foolproof Steps to Writing Your Own Wedding Vows

Jul 23, 2019 11:00AM ● By Enjoy Magazine

Take a Vow

August 2019
Story by Enjoy Magazine

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! You and your fiancé have decided to write your own wedding vows. Personalized vows are a unique way to pledge your commitment to one another and put your own special touch on your ceremony. You may not be sure where to start with this fun, yet daunting task. Follow these steps and you’ll have your vows written in no time.

First, Check with Your Officiant The very first thing you need to do is talk with your officiant about your vows. Will he or she allow custom vows to be included in the ceremony? Do they require a certain length or tone?

Then, Make a Plan Once you get the go-ahead from your officiant, you can start planning. Do you want to tweak traditional wedding vows? Or do you want to write your vows entirely from scratch? You and your fiancé should agree on a basic structure and starting point.
Will you be silly or serious? Steadfast or romantic? The vows you and your fiancé write should match in tone and style.

Stay Focused While you want to speak from the heart, you don’t want to embarrass yourself or anyone else. Keep in mind who your guests are. Don’t say anything inappropriate or completely off the wall. You’ll have a little more leeway with the speeches you make at your reception. Keep the vows focused on your marriage and your commitment to one another.

Do Include Your Children If you and your spouse-to-be have children, vows are a memorable way to include them in the ceremony. Remember, this is their big day, too. Stepparents can read vows to their new stepchildren, and the children can recite short vows back.  

Practice, Practice, Practice If you and your partner are keeping your vows secret from one another, find a friend to practice with. This is where your maid of honor and best man will come in handy. Make sure you can read your vows without crying (or giggling) uncontrollably. You don’t need to have your vows memorized unless you really want to, but you should be able to read them smoothly and clearly. Some statements look good in print but sound not so great when spoken. Practicing gives you the chance to edit and revise your vows if needed.

Pace Yourself When people are nervous, they tend to speak quickly. Slow down and enunciate each word. If you’re not accustomed to reading out loud, you may feel like you’re speaking too slowly. But a deliberate, unhurried pace allows your guests to take in the meaningful words you have written. You’ve spent a lot of time writing your vows, and you’ll only read them once in your life. Give your guests, and your partner, a chance to hear and understand your vows.

Lastly, Keep an Eye on Time When practicing your vows, time yourself. There are no hard and fast rules for wedding vows, but traditional vows are short for a reason. You don’t want to give your guests a reason to check their watches. If your vows take more than a couple of minutes to read, ask yourself if content can be condensed or eliminated.

With a little preparation and practice, you can write the perfect wedding vows. Just remember to relax and enjoy your special day!  •