How to Vow – 5 tips for writing wedding vows that don’t suck

I don’t think wedding vows should have the word “death” in them. I know, I know, who am I to alter hundreds of years of wedding tradition? I’m just one bride, really – one who thinks that bringing up the inevitable passing of your partner, on your wedding day, is just not necessary.

I think that vows should be happy-go-lucky statements of love and devotion that reflect the people who are saying them. Take Napeloeon Dynamite for example – this film depicted an awesome wedding scene and while they said traditional vows, this is more my speed:

Kip and Lafawnduh aside, here’s my advice for writing your wedding vows:

1. Read, read, and read some more. Do your research – Google search, Pinterest search, Priest/Pastor/Cleric search! Reading different variations of vows will expose you to a plethora of words and phrases that will help you formulate what is most important to you and your partner.

2. Know your limit, write within it. Know when to put your pen down. Yes, your vows are important but try to avoid an over indulgent discourse.

Exchanging vows & wedding bands

Exchanging vows & wedding bands can be a challenge (photo credit: Tracey Nolan)

3. (Don’t) Cry Me A River. Emotion and passion are key components of your vows, but beware of going too far. You want to actually be able to say your vows because blubbering might not count and snot running down your face is not cute.

4. They belong to you, both of you. It should be a joint effort by you and your fiance. You’ll be saying the words to each other, after all.

5. Say it loud and say it proud. I recommend saying the words out loud, for two reasons. First, you want to ensure that the transitions between words are smooth and easy to say. None of that “Sally sells seashells by the sea shore” business.
Second, practicing helps normalize the words and takes some of the overwhelming sentiment out of them. They’ll still be meaningful, just easier to say in front of 200 people.

It’s time for full disclosure – I thought vows were trivial. I just didn’t understand why everybody made such a big deal about them. To be honest, I truly didn’t realize how significant they were until my wedding day. Each word was chosen by us, to represent us and our love; I cannot express how meaningful they became in that church on September 20th, 2014.

When it’s your turn to be up there, in front of everyone, looking into your partner’s eyes, you want to be sure you’re saying something important. What are your tips for writing wedding vows that don’t suck?

Saying our vows (that didn't suck)  (photo credit: Tracey Nolan)

Saying our vows (that didn’t suck)
(photo credit: Tracey Nolan)

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2 thoughts on “How to Vow – 5 tips for writing wedding vows that don’t suck

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