(1 Month to 2 Months before your Wedding)
To show the couple's love and commitment to each other, often couple's write wedding vows as part of the wedding ceremony. As couple's start to put down their thoughts of what they want to say to each other, their thoughts often get a healthy dose of writer's block. They want the wording to be perfect to say to each other, but find that heavy life-altering feelings are not so easy to put into a string of coherent words.
Before you proceed with putting your wedding vows together, you first need to check in with your officiant and church affiliation on what they will allow in regards to wedding vows. At many ceremonies, depending on the church, traditional vows are part of the wedding ceremony, but often the vows you can use are left to the officiant's discretion. many officiant's are accommodating but what words you both want to say to each other, the officiant usually will want to review your vows in advance.
You also will need to decide how you want to write your wedding vows, write your wedding vows together, write your wedding vows on your own then let the other review it or each write their own vows and let the wedding vows be a surprise. Any way is fine as long as it's acceptable by your church and your officiant. Please note however, if there is something you want to say at your wedding but are kind of shy to include it as part of the ceremony, you can say it privately in a card, either sometime during the wedding day or present the card on your honeymoon.
The tone of the wedding vows can be delivered in a number of different ways too. The wedding vows can be presented in a serious light, or make it humorous, or even poetic, it really should be presented in accordance with the personality of the couple. The important thing that the vow sounds true and the meaning comes from the heart.
As you begin work on putting together your wedding vows, you might want to start by outlining of what you want to say. Some experts advise to break your wedding vows into about 10 different pieces. You also want to try to keep the wedding vows to no more than two minutes apiece by both the groom and the bride. If the wedding vows are longer than two minutes it's about to the point when you start to lose wedding guest's attention.
There is another point made by wedding vow experts, and that you need to find your voice when stating your wedding vows. First of all you should practice giving your wedding vows a number of times, you don't want your voice to be too loud or too soft. You want to show your voice in a medium romantic tone and you also don't want to state your wedding vows too fast or too slow. If you are saying your wedding vows at an outdoor location, its recommended to get your hands on a microphone so all your wedding guests can hear you, the outdoors often muffles your voice and you don't want to sound too loud.
Another point that experts make, is have a copy of your wedding vows in your hand, it's up to you if you want to read them or say them from memory, but often at weddings both brides and grooms often get nervous and even if you know what you want to say by heart, brain freeze often happens at weddings. If you ever find yourself in a brain freeze situation, you always have your vows on paper to refer to as a backup. Having the vows on paper adds to the special occasion too, you should include your wedding vows in the back of your wedding album or in your family wedding bible. If you keep a written copy of your wedding vows put the vows on nice paper too.
You want to lay out about ten points that have meaning to you as a couple and write your wedding vows accordingly. The following is just an example to show how you might come up with an outline and how to pull your wedding vows together. Try to keep your points in chronological order, you might include points that matter to your marriage too and these points don't necessarily have an order to them. Remember wedding vows can be your commitments to each other or express your love of each other, every couple may have their own way of writing wedding vows.
1. How was the state of your life before the two of you met?
Describe how your world was, did your life have meaning, did your life have purpose, were you in a state of flux?
2. When and how did you first meet each other?
Was your first meeting, did it seem like it was destiny, put your first meeting into a little story.
3. When did you realize you were in love?
Was it love at first sight, or did you fall in love little by little?
4. What have you learned from each other?
Did each of you have weaknesses, or were there things your partner brought to your life, maybe it is new experiences, different cooking pleasures, exposed to different types of movies or becoming familiar with new sports or a different perspective on politics, have you become more patient, cut down on smoking and drinking, become a better person?
5. Has the view of the world changed since you met?
Was your life at a stand still before you met, and now you are looking forward and making plans together now?
6. What things do you miss when you are apart?
For some couples it's somebody to do things together with, for some there is romance and being around your best friend, for some it's having someone to talk over the events of the day, and for others it's having a comfort zone, instead of tackling life yourself, now you can tackle life together with a partner.
7. What plans do you have for your future?
After you get engaged, it's usually followed by major plans, where are you going to live and what are your career plans, are you going to start a family. It helps if you talk the future over with your partner, where do you see yourselves in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, and 40 years?
8. What do you look forward to in your lives together?
If you fell in love with each other, there must be a reason why you decided to get married, there is something in your partner that you really fell in love with and you look forward to having in your life. Also ask yourself, what makes the two of you a perfect pair.
9. What special moments you remember since the two of you met?
Talk about a couple of special moments that your partner impressed you and is a fond memory, was it how your partner handled a situation, or proposing at a special place, or is it a choice of friends, or playing it cool in a crisis.
10. What happened at the proposal and how did you feel?
Was the proposal a surprise, you thought it was never going to happen, a yes yes moment or do you need a bit of time to make a decision.
Your wedding vows should be written so it's important to the both of you, some vows include what to expect to keep a happy marriage. For some couples, it's important to continue golfing with their friends, or playing bridge, or shopping with friends or meeting work friends at happy hour. It's helpful to use wedding vows to allow some compromise but make commitments to each other to keep the marriage strong. The first couple of years of marriage, couples tend to look their best and share new adventures. After awhile couples get into a routine and the marriage will take extra effort. It's so important to keep romance in a relationship and many marriages work by committing to your wedding vows.
You might think of giving a charm bracelet or necklace with ten or whatever amulets that matches up with important matters of your wedding vows and bring attention to any matters that come up. It's important to continue to make a commitment to each other and to keep romance in your lives and you can use your wedding vows as your guide.
See you on the other side!