By Ellen Adamcewicz
Saying up ‚ÄúI do‚ÄĚ is not always as easy as it sounds. Along with the weeks of preparation and organisation, sometimes it is easy to forget (or just pop on the backburner) the whole reason why you are getting married in the first place.
As not all couples connect with the wedding vows in their traditional form it has become more common that couples write their own.
Like your fingerprints, your vows are unique and personal to you. Your wedding vows should be instantly recognisable as truths spoken from your heart and should add to the romance of the day. They are the words that will see you starting your life with the one you love, so investing some time and effort into them will not go astray.
Even if you choose to stick to the tried and true traditional words, setting aside some time to learn the words off by heart rather than simply reading them off a page or repeating them after your celebrant will add to the emotion and feeling behind them.
Personalised vows are also great when planning a inter-cultural ceremony as you and your partner can customise them to suit you both and reflect your future life together.
A good place to start when you decide to write your own wedding vows is by talking to your loved ones. Decide with your partner whether you will write your vows together or separately and also whether you will keep them a secret until the ceremony. Settle on whether you will have separate words for the exchanging of the rings or whether you will write a separate piece for that as well.
If you are having a religious ceremony, check if personalising your vows is allowed with your celebrant or if there is any wording you need to adopt or observe.
With personalised vows, wording is crucial. It is very easy for one word to misconstrue your love and devotion for your other half. CW recommends avoiding controlling and aggressive words if that is not the meaning you seek to convey in your vows. Words like ‚Äėown‚Äô, ‚Äėprize‚Äô, ‚Äėclaim‚Äô can have negative connotations whereas ‚Äėcherish‚Äô, ‚Äėtreasure‚Äô and ‚Äėadore‚Äô place emphasis on your love for one another.
Take inspiration from how you met each other, idiosyncrasies in your relationship, and songs and poetry that you both enjoy.
There is also nothing wrong with adopting sections of traditional vows if you feel they reflect your feelings and hopes for the future.
If you need some help getting started, write down the answers to the following, being descriptive and honest as possible.
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Why do you want to spend the rest of your life with your fianc√©?
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† What drew you to them in the first instance? What draws you to them now?
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† What qualities do you admire in them?
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† How have you changed because of this person?
Simple, honest vows from the heart will serve just as well as wordy ones, with the added benefit of being easier to learn and will provide you with just a good a start to your life together as elaborate poetic ones.