When it comes to writing your own vows, it can be daunting knowing where to start. It’s one thing to pour your heart out on paper, but you are going to be speaking those same thoughts out in front of all of your family and friends, and that isn’t always easy.
Many couples I have worked with (no, not just the grooms) feel that they don’t want their vows to seem too mushy or soppy, and so they hold back from including anything too personal. But in my experience, guests are delighted with mushy and sentimental vows, particularly if the couple aren’t usually overly romantic in public. After all, if you can’t be mushy on your wedding day, when can you?!?
And let’s not forget, your wedding day is about the two of you and the commitment you are making to each other. Your guests are merely on hand to witness your happiness.
When I first meet with a couple, I usually advise starting with the classics (after all, things are classic for a reason) and provide them with plenty of examples.
But you don’t have to be bound by “for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death us do part”. Personalising your vows is one of the best ways to make your wedding unique and memorable. In fact, I have lost count of the number of times I have heard guests say that their favourite part of a ceremony was the vows.
There are no rules when it comes to writing your own vows. Inspiration can come from almost anywhere.
“I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone.” (Lord of the Rings) Simple and sweet.
“I love you. I am who I am because of you. You are every reason, every hope, and every dream I've ever had, and no matter what happens to us in the future, every day we are together is the greatest day of my life. I will always be yours.” (The Notebook)Let’s face it – you could take almost any quote from this movie and it would be perfect for wedding vows.
"I shall call him squishy and he shall be mine. He shall be my squishy." (Finding Nemo) Ok, so it’s different, but it could work!
"You are everything I never knew I always wanted." (Fools Rush In)Huh? If you can work this one out, by all means use it!
“When I say, 'I love you,' it's not because I want you or because I can't have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try. I've seen your kindness and your strength. I've seen the best and the worst of you. And I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You're a hell of a woman. You're the one.” (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) Any bride who can hear this without bawling is one tough cookie!!
"You and I Are Meant to Be Together. Period. the End. Cue Happy Ending Music." (Dawson’s Creek) If your romance has felt just like a movie.
"Together or Not at All." ( Doctor Who) This sentence captures the essence of a love story in just five words.
“It's a Known Fact That Lobsters Fall in Love and Mate for Life. You Know What? You Can Actually See Old Lobster Couples Walkin' around Their Tank, You Know, Holding Claws…" ( Friends) Beach wedding?
"So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s gonna be really hard. We’re gonna have to work at this every day, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, you and me, every day” (The Notebook) Yes, it’s a book too, so I couldn’t help but include another one!
"My heart is, and always will be, yours." (Sense and Sensibility) Jane Austen – how can you go wrong?
"Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) Oh, it’s also from the bible (Matthew 6:21) if you don’t want to admit to reading JK Rowling!
"That's why, darling, it's incredible, That someone so unforgettable, Thinks that I am unforgettable too..." (Nat King Cole - Unforgettable) Doesn’t this just sum up what love is really all about?
"No one compares, you stand alone, To every record I own, Music to my heart, that's what you are, A song that goes on and on..." (Selena Gomez – Love you like a love song) Perfect for a musical couple!
"I have died everyday waiting for you / Darlin' don't be afraid / I have loved you for a thousand years / I'll love you for a thousand more..." (Christina Perri – A thousand years) Sigh!!
“I do, I do, I do, I do, I do” (ABBA) No explanation required, right?
So there you have it – inspiration is everywhere! Just don’t be scared to think outside the box and use something that really defines your relationship.
Oh, and don’t forget to keep a copy. Chances are you are both going to be emotional on the day, and won’t remember a thing that is said! (I speak from experience). And your beautiful vows may also be your “get out of jail free card” after your first fight!!