Your Guide to Writing Your Wedding Vows

Thinking of writing your wedding vows as putting all your feelings feel for your potential spouse into words makes the process seem pretty daunting. Ditch the enormous, till-death-do-us-part mentality around the task. Instead, when you write your vows, be present. Speaking honestly. Write as if you're having a conversation with your partner right now. Own those vows! Here's how to do it.

Get inspired

Head to a spot where you and your partner have created awesome memories together, play some of your songs, or remember the moment you realized your partner was the one. Relive what you ffelt in that moment and write down everything, stream of consciousness style. You can edit later. This part is about getting a sense of what's really important in your relationship or a sense of what you really want to say . If you writing out your stream of conscious doesn't flow for you, bring a voice recorder and speak out loud.

Make an outline

Reread what you wrote and break it up into definite, separate ideas. Rewrite it as a more succinct point form list or mind map. As you beef up each idea, connecting it to personal examples and hopes / promises for the future, hash out the ultimate point of each and how it fits into the larger piece you're writing. Make sure each statement has a clear purpose, and make sure each one supports what you're trying to say in your vows as a whole.

Strike the right balance between the vague and specific

Look for small, intimate details in your relationship that represent the larger issues you want to touch on. Incorporating images from your specific learning experiences will make your vows personal and meaningful.

Write like you talk

As you edit in the final stages, read your vows out loud as if you're having a conversation with your partner. This will bring your vows "out of your head" and into the world. If you hit a sentence that feels awkward – like it wouldn't connect with your partner or doesn't really make sense, ask yourself, what am I really trying to say here? Be as literal and honest as possible.

Don't feel confined

Who says your vows have to sound like wedding vows? They only have to sound like you. Don't worry about tailoring them to anyone else's needs but those that fit you and your partner. Just worry about being honest and speaking from your heart. Don't rush your vows. Write a first draft, leave it for a few days, then come back to it. The truest writing will still resonate after time has past, and chances are, the ideas that are meant to be there will become clearer in your mind and you'll know how to finalize them.  

Tags: Relationships, tips to writing your vows, vows, wedding, writing vows

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