A Simple Guide on Wedding Vows for your Melbourne Wedding
Writing your own wedding vows is the perfect way to personalize your Melbourne wedding and to show your guests exactly what you love about your significant other.
Your vows should be short and sweet, but they should be able to communicate what makes your relationship unique and what you and your partner will hold sacred for the rest of your lives. If you want to know how to make this daunting task as easy as saying "I do," then follow these easy steps.
Get clearance from your officiant.
Make sure it's acceptable for you to write your own wedding vows.
Agree that you and your significant other will be writing your own vows.
Both people have to be equally committed to this concept, or the guests will be able to tell. Writing your own vows isn't for everybody.
Take the time to reflect on your love.
Once you and your future spouse have committed to writing your vows, you should take some time, both separately and together, to think about what you love about each other and what makes your relationship unique. This will help you brainstorm ideas for your vows, and you will hopefully see that you have so many beautiful things to say about your significant other that it'll be nearly impossible to trim down your vows! Here are some ways to reflect on your love:
Make a vow date.
Seriously. Go to a romantic restaurant, or your favorite restaurant, have some wine, and talk about what you love about each other. Share your best memories of the relationship, discuss the hardest thing you went through together, and talk about the moment you knew you wanted to be with each other forever.
Don't be afraid to be a little silly during your vow date! Goofy memories work too. Bring a notebook and jot down some ideas.
Take time to reflect on your own. Write your thoughts about your loved one in a journal.
If you have kept a journal throughout the relationship, go through it to see if you can gain any insight into the relationship.
Make a vow plan with your future spouse.
Once you have both reflected on your relationship, you can discuss some of the nitty-gritty of your vows, so you make sure that you are on the same page and present a united front to your guests. Here are some important things to decide on before you jump into writing your vows:
A time or a word limit.
Most vows are around one minute long, or 150 words long. Don't make them any longer than that.
Keep it short and sweet, or your guests will get restless.
Decide on a tone.
Will it be serious with just a touch of humor? Poetic and lighthearted? Deeply romantic? Though you don't have to have the exact same tone as your partner, your vows won't sound right if you went for "deeply romantic" while he chose "completely hilarious." Remember that, while you are welcome to show your silly sides, that there should be a serious undertone. You are making a lifelong commitment, after all.
Decide on a structure.
Go for a parallel structure, such as starting with "I promise..." or "I pledge..." You can also have the same opening or closing line, such as "Thank you for wanting to be with me forever." You can refine the structure as you start writing if you like.
Decide whether you will write them together or separately.
Will you share all of your thoughts during the process, run them by each other at the end, or keep them a surprise until it's time to get married?
Decide on a due date.
This may sound silly, but you should have your vows done at least a month before the wedding, so you don't end up writing them overnight. The more time you take to write them, the more you will be able to express how you really feel.
Take this time to set the tone and talk about how much that person means to you. Nick stated everything I was to him, but I launched into storytelling mode and mentioned some of my favorite memories. Neither is right or wrong - do what feels best for you and your relationship. (This was really paragraph 1-3 for me)
Write about what you love about your beloved. Brainstorm all of the things that make your future spouse so unique. This could be his or her beautiful blue eyes, the way your loved one can make you smile no matter how awful you feel, or how your significant other knows exactly what you're thinking even if you're miles away.
Make a list of adjectives that describe your beloved's best qualities. Think about the ones you want to emphasize in your vows.
Focus on anecdotes to help emphasize your beloved's best qualities. Saying he is "kind" is less effective than talking about the time he cleaned the whole house because he knew your family was coming for a visit.
Think about the times your beloved has really been there for you. All good relationships still have some rough patches, and you should think about how your loved one showed character when he helped you through a rough time in your life.
This is the meat of what you're saying...your literal vows. I think it's important to make these YOU as a couple. Yes, some of them should be serious, but some of them should be funny and light!
Think about the places you have gone together, from the first hike on a mountaintop to your favorite restaurant.
Think about critical milestones in your relationship. This could be anything from getting a dog together, moving in together, your first date, or the moment you knew it was meant to be.
Think about the hardest time of your relationship. How did you work through it together?
Write down the promises you want to make to your future spouse. Depending on who your significant other is and what memories you've shared, you'll write a list of promises you will make to your loved one forever. Some can be serious, like always apologizing no matter what, or never going to bed angry, while others can be more fun, like promising always to do the dishes as long as you can win the thermostat war.
Remember that in most traditional vows, people promise to be there for their loved one in sickness and in health, through the good times and the bad, and to support them no matter what. Find a personal way to make some of these same points, since that's what marriage is really all about.
Remember to be yourself. You may be so focused on writing the perfect vows and impressing your guests that you're forgetting to show what makes you who you are, and what makes your loved one so unique. If you're both really silly together, go the silly route. If you're both hopeless romantics, don't be afraid to go over-the-top with some poetic phrases. This is your day, and you should show off who you really are.
You can look at other vows, read poetry, or browse the Internet for inspiration. You can ask a close friend who recently wrote her own vows if she would share them with you. These can be helpful guides, but don't lean too much on the words of other people, and focus on showing what makes your relationship unique.
If you have a sense of humor, throw in a lighthearted joke! After saying something serious, you can tell your loved one, "I promise to always watch Monday night football with you, as long as you still bring me flowers every week."
Remember to be yourself, but don't forget your audience. You can still share the best parts of who you are and what your relationship means without isolating, confusing, or boring your audience. Does Grandma Flo want to hear about your beloved's amazing foot massages? Probably not.
As you write your vows, it may be tempting to fall into clichés. The point of writing your own vows is to make them as personal as possible, so try to find the most original ways of showing how you feel. Avoid calling your future spouse your "best friend" or your "soul mate," or saying that your "heart melted" when you first met.
You should avoid clichés, but don't obsess over being too original. If your beloved really is your best friend, don't be afraid to say so. But for the most part, focus on writing the vows that only you could have written.
Basically, wrap up all that you just said. Nick and I love to cook and drink wine, so I mentioned those things because they are a huge part of our relationship and something I see us doing forever. He actually mentioned that in his vows! This is really just sealing all that you have just said, so don't think too hard about it.
Once you feel confident about your vows, it's time to get some feedback. Though you may think that your vows will bring your audience to tears, you need to make sure that you've set the right tone and have clearly communicated your feelings before you share them with the world. Here are some people to ask for feedback:
• If you and your spouse-to-be have agreed to share your vows, ask what he really thinks.
• Ask a trusted best friend who really knows you and your relationship to see if it's communicating everything you want to say.
• Ask your parents, or even your grandparents, for advice. Having the insight of an elder will help you understand more about the nature of love.
Prepare to say your vows.
Once you've got your vows down, all you have to do is focus on the execution. You should practice saying them enough times that it sounds natural, but don't tell them so many times that your vows sound too rehearsed. They are supposed to come from the heart, after all.
Focus on speaking clearly and maintaining eye contact with your beloved while glancing at the audience.
Remember that on your wedding day, your vows won't sound just like they did when you rehearsed them. You will be a little bit choked up, and that's okay! Your vows will only sound sweeter if your audience sees how much you genuinely love your future spouse.