Writing your own wedding vows

Now that you’ve gotten the perfect engagement ring and booked the date, you’ve decided it would be romantic and memorable to write your own wedding vows. You sit down, pen and stationary in hand… and stare at the page as writer’s block takes over.

It’s already difficult to put your feelings and thoughts into words, but for your wedding, it can be even more of a daunting task. You need to string together sentences that define your innermost love and feelings: not exactly a walk in the park.

Before you even get started, make sure you’re even allowed to write your own. Some congregations in Victoria, such as Catholic and Episcopal, may require you to recite the traditional vows. To be sure, check with the officiant.

Next, talk to your fiance(e). Perhaps to make the task still personalized but a bit less overwhelming, you can pen them together.

Just like you learned in middle school, building an outline before you write it a key to keeping it organized. If you’re writing them separate from your fiance(e), it’s also helpful for having a structure that you’ll both more or less follow, including the approximately length.

You might also want to discuss the overall tone. Will it be funny? Mushy? Romantic? Poetic? Evoke yourself in whatever you write.

So what exactly should you say? Here are some through-provokers to get you started.

When did you first meet? Was it in Victoria, where you’ve decided to return to? What did you think? Was it “love at first sight”? Did you realize that they were possibly the “one”? Were you friends for years? Did your friends set you up?

What was the moment you fell in love? Do you remember the moment in time? Was it gradual? Was it always?

What has changed in your life now that they are in it? Do you feel complete? Do you live different? Appreciate things different? Before you met, you felt a certain way… and now, how do you feel?

When you’re away from each other, how do you feel?

Where do you picture yourself in the future? Say 5 years down the road? 10 years? 50 years? What do you look forward to? How will you change together?

Do you have certain memories or moments you want to pinpoint? A song lyrics that brings you together or a favorite quote? Is there a moment in time when you realized them in a new light, perhaps moving from friend to girlfriend/boyfriend, or girlfriend/boyfriend to possible wife/husband?

Are traditional vows important to you? If you want, include a few of them.

Do you share similar goals and values that bring you together?

What is inspiring about them? What do you see in them that you want to find in yourself or prove in yourself? What do you respect the most about them?

What will you promise for them?

Why are you getting married? Why is it so special? What will keep this marriage strong?  What are you most looking forward to about married life? What do you expect out of married life?

And sum it in a few words: “I love you because…”

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