When Mr. T and I first started to plan our wedding, one of the first things we agreed on was writing our own vows. It just made sense. I'm a writer and so is he (though in a more academic way) and most of the traditional wedding vows didn't really match us as a couple. So here are a few tips for writing your own wedding vows.
I know this sounds really weird. I mean, it's not a freaking blog post Jess. But I really mean it. Take an hour, two hours, however long, and just jot down some ideas on what you want to say and how you feel. Don't correct it or worry about how it feels, just brainstorm and write.
Talk to your significant other (a little)
Mr. T and I didn't share any details of our vows with each other, but we did discuss it beforehand. We actually picked a nice little passage from a friends wedding that we both wanted to include and we tried to get an idea of where the other person was going with their vows.
Don't over analyze everything
As I loved the idea, I was super nervous about it. I mean, writing blogs is one thing. But writing out your feelings and then saying them to the person you love in front of your friends and family? Terrifying. I found though, that writing the words came pretty easily. As did actually standing up there and saying them to him. Mostly because I didn't let myself analyze too much. I just wrote things as they came to me. Think of it like you once thought of text messages when you were dating. Too much thought just ruins everything.
Give yourself time
Now, I'm going to tell you something. Mr. T totally winged (that's a word, right?) his vows. But that's because he's the person that can do that. He just knows what to say and he doesn't over analyze things. It works well for him. I am NOT that person (and I'm guessing you aren't either if you're reading this post). So don't write your vows the night before your wedding. Give yourself time to think through it. Jot down notes here and there. Keep track of fine moments. Vows are like cheese, they get better with age. So let them age.
Keep a running list of thoughts somewhere
One brainstorming session might not do it for ya. I thought of stuff in the shower, while I was working, in the car. Pretty much everywhere. So I kept a running list on OneNote so I could jot things down as I thought of them.
Speak from the heart
Do not, I repeat DO NOT, Google wedding vows. There might be a lot of really amazing ideas out there, but if you wanted someone else's ideas you wouldn't be writing your own vows. Allow your heart to speak.
Be personal, but leave the really weird, embarrassing things out
I always think it's good to add personal, funny touches. I mean, that's the point of your own vows, right? I told Mr. T that I loved him more than nachos, that I would kill spiders for him, and that I promised him so many things unless, of course, I'm hungry. And then I promise nothing. (I totally get hangry, you guys). It was the right blend of funny things about me, him, and us, without being too embarrassing.
Record yourself saying them
Ok. I know this totally sounds dumb, but one of the best things about writing your own vows is how personal they are to you and your bride/groom. Reading them out loud ensures that they sound like you and not like some weird machine just saying some things.
Don't practice too much
I didn't practice my vows a bunch. I wrote them on a piece of paper that I could easily fit in my dress so I didn't have to memorize them. I didn't want it to sound rehearsed. This isn't speech class, this is real life and I wanted it to reflect that. I also knew I could write things like breath, take pause, and this is fun on the paper too. So that always helps as well.
If you don't listen to anything else I'm saying in this post, just remember that your vows are fun. Sure, it's not something to be taken lightly, but that doesn't mean it's a chore. So have fun and be yourself.