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How to write your own wedding vows

A wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event for many, so couples wish for the event to be momentous and memorable. People are increasingly integrating personal nuances into ceremonies and receptions to tailor weddings to their unique visions. The desire to include personalized wedding vows continues to be a popular trend.

If you are considering personalized wedding vows, first realize that it may not be a simple task. You want the message to be dear to your heart, and that can be challenging when faced with the planning the rest of a wedding. But writing your vows isn't impossible.

Writing your own vows is a way to include personal expressions of love into your wedding. Public speaking is seldom easy, nor is finding the perfect words to convey feelings about a future spouse. Here are some guidelines for personalizing a ceremony with your own sentiments.

Schedule time for writing

Amid the dress fittings and interviews with photographers, it can be easy to put off the important job of writing vows. But as great writers can attest, it takes writing (and rewriting) to achieve a finished piece that you can be proud of. Mark it on your calendar and give the task of writing your vows your undivided attention.

Be aware of guidelines

Check with your officiant and confirm that personalized wedding vows are allowed. In civil ceremonies it's often acceptable to make vows as you see fit. However, during religious ceremonies there may be certain required passages. Before you spend hours working on the task, be sure that it is allowed.

Jot down your feelings

Answer questions about what marriage means to you and how you feel about your spouse. Avoid trite sayings. Think from your heart and personal experiences. Think about what is the most important thing you want to promise to your future partner. These notes can serve as the start for the actual vows.

Read inspirational writings

Is there an author or a poet who inspires you? You can quote certain writers in your vows or let the tone of their works help shape the words of your vows. There are also suggested wedding readings and many other quotes about marriage readily available at the library or with a quick search online.

Decide on a tone.

Although your wedding day is based on love and affection, you might not feel comfortable spouting words of adoration in front of friends and family. Feel free to tap into your unique personality. Humor can be used if it fits with how you normally show affection. Use your tone to show your sincere feelings.

Establish an outline

Put the words and phrases you've jotted down into an outline to organize the flow of the vows. Use these words as a guide for the vows and build upon them. Make the vows concise and aim for your entire speech to last around a minute to keep the ceremony moving along and to keep everybody engaged.

Put everything together

Draft your vows and then practice them by reading out loud. Avoid long sentences or anything that trips you up. Large words may sound impressive, but they could make the vows seem too academic and not heartfelt. Enlist the help of friends to be your audience to see if the vows sound good and understandable.