How do you go about writing your own vows?
This is a two-part series designed to make writing your own vows easier and less scarier. More and more couples are opting to write their own wedding vows, doing away with the traditional vows and showing their individuality. This decision is usually made in a romantic fit of love without ever considering whether or not either (or preferably both) people in the couple are writers.
That's not to say that people who don't write cannot write their own vows. It simply tends to strike fear in hearts of a mere mortal to be faced with composing something that is going to be read in front of dozens, or hundreds, of their closest friends and family.
At a wedding you'll receive immediate feedback. So, for those of you who want to write vows but are scared to death, here are a few tips to help get you started.
The first step is brainstorming. To brainstorm, you begin by numbering a piece of paper from 1 to 10. Next, write the phrase "I am madly in love with (fiancées name) because..." at the top of the page. Take a few deep breaths and then finish the phrase ten times, one reason per number. Don't analyze, don't edit, and don't judge. Just write out 10 reasons. If you can't write 10 reasons then...well...you may have bigger problems than writing your vows.
The second step to your brainstorming has to do with you. On another page, or the same page, add another set of numbers, 1 to 10. Now write the phrase "I promise to give (fiancées name) the following..." above your set of numbers. Take a few deep breaths and finish this phrase ten times, one reason per number with everything stated above still applying.
Two last things now: decide and write down how you plan to refer to your fiancée. Every potential title has it's own energy, and you need to decide what you're shooting for. Consider nicknames and pet-names, as well as general terms of endearment. Then, decide if you and your fiancées will each write separate vows or read the same vows with the names changed. Each has its benefits and drawbacks. If you go individual, perhaps include similar lines at the beginning or end. "I want to marry you, (fiancées name) because..." and "I promise you these things and many more, (fiancées name). This provides some connection between the two different sets of vows.
Then...go do something else. Read a book, cook a cake, go for a walk. Do something to get your mind off what you've written so that, when you come back to it, you can see it with clear eyes. In the next part, we'll look at actually, gasp, writing the vows and you'll need that fresh perspective.