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Dr Kelsey Graham, Wedding Officiant Dr Kelsey Graham, Wedding Officiant

Writing Your Vows Writing Your Vows

Wed, Oct 31 2012
Writing those VOWS

 

Standing out under an old cedar tree back in the early fall, I heard what I believe are the most honest vows I’ve ever heard as a wedding minister.

Here are the bride’s words to the groom:

“I’m stubborn. I can’t cook. I rarely make sense. I’ll never be able to read a map. And I’m horrible with public displays of emotion. And I promise that I’ll never be the perfect wife. But there is one thing that I can do better than anyone else, and that is love you will all of my heart for the rest of my life.”

Even Elephants Like to Hear Personalized Vows!

I almost expected the groom to say, “No thanks!”

Seriously, I love the vows. They were unique. They were honest. And they were from her heart.

Such genuineness is one of the reasons I believe guests do love to hear couples say their own vows. I’m not going to try to convince you that you should write your own vows. I assume by reading this page, you’re already seriously considering doing it, and maybe just need some direction.

Writing personal vows doesn’t come easily for many people, and is one reason most couples don’t write personalized vows.

So here I want to suggest to you three different approaches to writing creative wedding vows – each of which is doable by most anyone.

  • The Easy 2-Step
  • Uniquely-Us
  • Go-Pro

I’ve also provided some additional tips that should make it easier for you. So let’s cut to the chase and see your options, and then you can give it a shot.

The Easy 2-Step

The quickest and easiest route is to use standard, simple wedding vows and adapt them. Here’s how you do it in two steps:

Step One:

Take some traditional wedding vows like these:

I GR/BR take you BR/GR to be my wedded wife/husband. 
And I do promise, before God & these witnesses, 
to be your loving & faithful husband/wife. 
In plenty & in need. 
In joy & in sorrow. 
In sickness & in health. 
For as long as we both shall live.

Or take some contemporary worded wedding vows like these:

I GR/BR, offer myself completely to you, BR/GR, to be your husband/wife in marriage. 
I promise to love you with all my heart, 
to be true and faithful, 
to be kind and caring, 
and to be unselfish in my love. 
I promise to stand beside you always – 
in good times and in difficult times. 
I pledge myself and all that I am, to you and you alone.

Step Two:

Now, all you do is to go line by line and rewrite the statements in your own words, and maybe elaborate a little. And you can combine the best statements of both the traditional and contemporary vows if you want.

Tip: Ask friends and co-workers who’ve written their vows to share with you their vows and tips on how they did it. There’s nothing better for getting unique wedding vow ideas than seeing what others have done. Under the CEREMONIES tab of my web site, I’ve given several wedding vow examples from couples whose weddings I officiated.

Uniquely-Us: A More Personal Approach

If you’d like more original wedding vows, take this approach:

Click the link below and do the couple’s EXERCISE.

I Love You Because . . . 

The answers you give to the questions in the EXERCISE will give you the “content” for your vows.

Then, just write it up in short statements like this:

  • I love you because…
  • I am marrying you today because…
  • This is what I want to promise you today…
  • And so forth.

You might find it helpful too to see what other couples have written.

Here are a couple of real-world, real-wedding wedding vow samples:

____________, I love you. You are the man I want to spend the rest of my life with. You are kind and generous. You are smart and hardworking. Your commitment to everything that you do inspires me. Your deep love for your family and God humble me. You are honest and fair, strong and thoughtful. You are so full of love. Everything that you are moves me to love you. My love for you moves me to be a better person. I love you _____. And I vow here before you, our family and our friends, to be your wife. To comfort you when you despair. To laugh in good times and cry in bad times. to be faithful to you in body and mind. To be stubborn in the face of adversity. To work by your side and support your dreams. To remind you to relax and have fun. To accept the changes and challenges of life that will come our way. _____, I love you and I promise to care for you all the days of my life.

I searched for you all of my life. Looking for you, watching for you, needing you, wanting you, but I didn’t know who you were until God finally brought you to me, and your love touched my heart. You alone are the love of my life, my dream come true. Now that I’ve found you, I feel that I’ve known you always, my soul mate, my precious ____. I was only half a person until you came into my life, but now I’m whole and complete. How I love and adore you, ____, and I give myself to you this day with all of my heart…

 

Outsource Your Vows to the Professionals

Feel like you need more help writing your wedding vows?

Outsource them!

No it’s not completely a hands-off approach, nor would you want it to be. You tell a writer what you’d like to say and the writer uses their skills to help you develop the wording and flow for your vows.

Think about who you know who is a good writer. Maybe a friend, co-worker, or family member. Writers love to write. And the writer you ask to help with the prose of your wedding vows would likely be delighted to help you.

Or, you could hire someone.

How much will it cost? You can spend $125 or more. On the higher end, there are professional wedding vow writing services like Ghostwriters. At last check, you can get custom wedding vows for either bride or groom for $75, or both for $125.

Or IF you book one of our team as your professional Officiant help in writing your vows is included in our package. Simply ask- or the Associate Officiant will be asking you if you need help in writing you vows.

 

 

Other Tips for Your Personalized Wedding Vows

Intimate Wedding at Mooncake Lake

1. You don’t have to memorize your vows and I wouldn’t even recommend that you try. Most couples have them written out and in hand (or nearby!) for the wedding ceremony.

2. Humor is fine, just be careful. Don’t embarrass or put down your partner in any way – or joke about marriage. Like,“Marriage is a fine institution – if you don’t mind living in an institution!”

Funny wedding vows are funny not because of a joke, and certainly not because of something crass – but because they say something that’s unique about the couple that registers with the guests.

3. Discuss with your partner general rules for your vows.For example, about how long do you want your vows to be? And you both might want to take the same approach (from the three above) to writing your vows.

4. If you want to do more research on vow writing, and put more time into writing your vows, there’s a workbook written by a Nashville couple that seems pretty straight-forward called How to Write Your Own Wedding Vows and Toasts.

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