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The vows are the centerpiece of a wedding ceremony. After all, the point of the wedding is the pledging of bride and groom to one another for a lifetime of love, and a lifetime of work. The vows, then, are the words that symbolize this life-long commitment. We all have at least a passing knowledge of the traditional vows, but more and more couples are choosing to personalize their ceremonies by writing their own vows. If this is a decision you and your future spouse have made, it can feel overwhelming. Fear not! Keep reading below for our wedding vow ideas.
Choose a Tone
It’s best to establish a tone for your vows and ceremony right away. If your spouse has a serious, romantic wedding in mind, and you’re thinking about introducing all the most embarrassing stories and jokes you can into you vows, there will likely be conflict. Communication is one of the keys of a successful marriage. Start it now! Humor may be best saved for the best man speech.
Decide on a Length
You and your partner (hopefully) have great chemistry. It’s likely you love everything about them, and so the temptation may be to wax poetic about all their endearing qualities for as long as possible. As much as everyone wants to support you, it’s unlikely they want to sit through an hour-long dissertation. Try to keep your vows under three minutes in length, and save the rest of your praise for the years of marriage to follow.
Any good writer will tell you that you need to read in order to learn how to write. Vows are no different. Scour the web and compile a list of example which fit with your tone, and then read away. It may feel like stealing, but it’s not. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!
Practice makes perfect, so don’t skip out on the practice. You are going to be inundated on your special day with swirling emotions, details, and thoughts. You will be in front of your friends and family, in an unfamiliar place (the wedding venue!), on one of the biggest days of your life. If you haven’t practiced your vows, you may find yourself completely overwhelmed. Don’t freeze. Practice can help you get the words out, even if there are a few tears in between.
Practicing aloud will also help you time your vows.
Include a Story
Don’t hesitate to include a story, even a comical story, but avoid embarrassment. Even if you and your spouse decide on a lighter tone, you don’t want to humiliate that special someone on the big day. Instead, include a story which illustrates the things you love most about your husband/wife.
Focus on the Future
Use the traditional vows as a blueprint. You are promising specific things for the future, and you should list those things. Stay in the spirit of those traditional vows, but tweak them to give your own unique take. In this way your wedding vows will be a unique expression of your special love.