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You can write your own wedding vows, but should you?

You know how when you’re injured, you just love—love!—to go to the hospital, laugh at those incompetent, by-the-book doctors, and demand a scalpel and hacksaw so you can do the surgery yourself?

If that sounds like you, then you should insist on writing your own wedding vows.

If that’s not you—if you’re a believer in doctors, dentists, parachute instructors and other such specialists—then consider keeping things simple and using the basic vows.

Every couple wants their wedding day to be a unique, special celebration of their love for one another. One way to accomplish that is to write your own vows, but it isn't the only way. No one will be disappointed. No one will be embarrassed. No one will sit in the audience and grumble, "Beautiful ceremony, but for crying out loud, why couldn't they have gone off-script and gotten more creative?"

There are several important things to consider before you make the final decision whether on not to write your own vows.

  • Writing your own vows requires a significant time commitment. It takes time to read through a variety of wedding vows, poetry, love stories, etc. for inspiration, then write, edit and practice the vows. When a future spouse sits down to write their wedding vows, it can be an overwhelming task. Especially if they've never been married before and aren't even sure what they are fully getting into. Writer's block is real, despite how much love the couple shares and how excited they are to get married.
  • How comfortable are you and your partner with public speaking?
    • What are the arrangements for sound at your venue? Will you wear a wireless microphone? Pass a handheld mike between you? Rely on a stand mike positioned in between you? If you choose not to use a microphone and plan to project your voices, chances are you won't be heard by everyone.
    • If the thought of public speaking fills you with dread, you can still write your own vows, but may want to have your officiant speak the vows you've written and respond with the traditional "I do" or "I will", or have the officiant prompt you and then you repeat the lines.
  • Arguably, the most important consideration is whether both partners agree to take on the challenge. If writing your own vows is a matter of great significance to you, communicate your feelings to your partner. Talk to your future spouse and your officiant and make sure everyone is okay with personalized wedding vows.