I Love When Couples... Write Their Own Vows
When it came to our wedding, there was not much that my husband felt very strongly about. For the most part, he stuck to the “happy wife, happy life” philosophy which I appreciated because, I am sure like a lot of you, I had this day planned since I was a teenager. However, when we got engaged, one of the very first things he said to me was, “No, we are not writing our own vows. Period.” I’ll be honest, when he said it my first reaction (the one you can’t control) was to be sad because I love when couples write their own vows, but my second reaction (the one I could control) was understanding. I know it may sound odd, but I love public speaking. It gives me such a rush! Course, I just love talking in general, so essentially writing a love letter to Chris and reading it in front of 150 of our closest friends and family was no sweat for me. This was, and is, not the case for Chris. He is very private and not a public speaker, so to him, professing his love for me in front of 150 people was not something he was interested in doing.
After I digested that we would not be writing our own vows, I still wanted to make our ceremony personal and create some element of emotional surprise, so I started thinking of ways to incorporate how we feel about each other without us actually having to read anything. Here is what I came up with… I asked Chris to write three sentences (just three) on what he loves about me and send it straight to my cousin (who was our officiant), so I wouldn’t see what he wrote before our wedding day and I did the same for him. It was not the same as writing our own vows, but on our wedding day when my cousin read what Chris wrote about me as we were looking straight into each other’s eyes and holding hands, I felt all of his love and I couldn’t help but get emotional. Looking back on it, our ceremony felt like “us”, and it felt like everything it was supposed to be. However, I still love when couples choose to write their own vows. Let me tell you a couple reasons why, so you and your significant other can decide what is right for you.
The definition of “vow” is a solemn promise to do a specified thing, but that does not mean your vows have to be that simple. Unlike at the end of your ceremony where there are certain things that your officiant needs to say to make sure everything is legal, there is no real template you need to follow when writing your vows. That is the beauty of it… you can make them as personalized and as long or short as you want! There is no right or wrong way, but it is not very often anymore that I hear, “I vow to do A, B and C”. They are meant to be very personal, so say what is in your heart and tell a story, rather than just a stringing a bunch of sentences together.
As a wedding planner, I typically spend close to a year with each of the couples I work with, but not on a daily basis so sometimes it does not feel like enough time to fully get to know each of them as both individuals and a couple. That is why I love personalized wedding vows. It gives me a chance to hear their love story through their own words and experiences. It gives me a chance to emotionally feel what they are like as a couple, where they have been and where they are going. It’s fun, not only for me, but for all the guests to hear about the quirks that your significant other thinks are cute or drives them nuts, but they love you for it anyways. Or about the pickup line that was used at the very beginning, where even though it was terrible sparked a great conversation and created a funny story that can (and will) be told for years to come.
You are starting your next great adventure with this partner standing across from you who you want to spend the rest of your life with, so I think it’s important to tell them how excited you are for every goofy, hard and happy moment that lies ahead. Don’t think about the 150 people staring at you… just look at that one person standing across from you because they are the most important thing in that moment.
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