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Writing Your Vows: The Dos & Don'ts

One recent tradition that is becoming more and more popular is the writing of your own vows. Adding this personalized touch to your wedding ceremony adds tenderness and romance that can never be contrived or phoney. If they are from your heart, they will always emote the right response from your partner.

Here are just a few simple guidelines to get you started...

Do – Sit down with your fiancé and discuss overall guidelines for your vows. You want to keep your vows similar in length and style. You certainly don’t want to say too little or too much, when your fiancé is doing the opposite. Also, if you decide to add some humor to your vows, but your partner keeps their vows very serious, the ceremony will not feel balanced.

Don’t – Don’t write for the crowds. Keep your vows only about each other and your relationship. Don’t feel like you have to make your guests laugh or cry. Your vows are about you and your fiancé and your guests are simply there to share in YOUR joy.

Do – Talk with your officiant to gain his/her perspective on your vows. Your officiant can offer insight on what is appropriate and can also help with writers block by offering suggestions and feedback.

Don’t – Don’t try to memorize your vows word for word. In the moment, no matter how many times you’ve rehearsed you may go blank with the excitement of the situation. So at the very least, keep a cheat sheet.

Do – Review traditional vows for inspiration. The most common vows are: “I so-and-so, take you so-and-so, as my lawfully wedded husband/wife to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death do we part. This is my solemn vow.” Remember that your vows are about a promise you are making to each other, not just about how great your partner is.

Don’t – Don’t embarrass your partner or friends and family with your vows. Sincerity is key but you don’t want to get too intimate or personal.

Do – Be specific. Use words and phrases that are to-the-point and truly signify your commitment to your partner. Don’t use fluffy words or phrases to make your vows sound profound. They will come off sounding pretentious.

Don’t – Don’t use clichés. Your commitment to each other is unique and special, and cheesy cliché’s are not appropriate for the seriousness of your vows.

Do – Practice, Practice, Practice! You want your partner to believe in what you are saying, so don’t ruin the moment by not being prepared. Plus it will help lessen your nerves and you will be able to focus on your fiancé rather than the lines you are about to recite.

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