Wedding vows are the treasured promises you make to your life partner in front of your friends and family during your wedding ceremony. Some studies suggest that writing your own vows is actually more sentimental and special, and that your marriage may have a better chance of enduring over the years if you go this route.
Whether or not this is accurate, the wedding vow portion of your ceremony is your opportunity to express yourself, to declare your eternal love in a very personalized and intimate way. Whether you’ve opted for a beach wedding, traditional church nuptials, or a backyard ceremony, writing your own wedding vows can help make your Hawaii wedding day the most memorable and extraordinary day of your life.
For many couples planning a wedding, writing your own vows can be an intimidating task. It may seem next to impossible to accurately capture what your partner means to you and translate the depths of your love into mere words. That’s okay; you don’t have to be a writer or even a creative, right-brained person to nail your vows.
Here are a few tips to help simplify the vow-writing process in preparation for your Hawaii wedding:
—Talk to your partner about tone. Should you go lighthearted or serious — or maybe a combination of both? You don’t want to read a paragraph that gets the crowd giggling while your partner’s vows are deeply sentimental.
—Consider creative formats. In recent years, it has become quite trendy to add a creative twist to vows — like rhyming or singing them.
—Keep it short. Vows should be kept short and sweet, no longer than one to two minutes each.
—Get inspired. To stimulate great ideas about what to write, jot down the story of how you met, recall significant moments like the first time you said the “L” word to each other, the proposal, or your first date, and think about the specific qualities your honey has that stole your heart. Here are a few resources to help get the ball rolling.
—Put pen to paper. Just start writing. Use the format that you feel most comfortable with (typing or handwriting) and don’t feel pressured to produce the perfect prose right off the bat. Start with “stream of consciousness” writing and then cut away the less important or moving stuff to focus on what you really want to say up there.
—Make a few copies. Entrust your wedding day copy to your bridesmaid or best man so it’s ready to go when you’re standing at the altar. Also be sure to print out a nice copy for your Hawaii wedding photographer to snapshot, and set this copy aside for your scrapbook.
—Practice, Practice! Read your vows aloud in front of a mirror, your mom, or your best friend. Welcome constructive criticism, but remember these vows are a personal pledge from you to your honey, not entertainment for the crowd. Pay attention to details of your delivery, too, like voice projection (so your audience can hear you), inflection on certain words, and maintaining a good posture.
—Use props. It adds a nice touch to bring along sentimental items to present during the reading of the vows. For example, the card from the flowers your received you on your two-week anniversary, a movie ticket from your first date, or a picture you keep in your wallet of the two of you.
Remember that writing your vows should be a joyous process and a time to reflect on your love and what brought you into each other’s lives. Stay focused on the spirit of celebration and use the guidelines above to help you create vows you’ll look back on with fondness as you go through the adventure of life together.
Jeannemarie is Hawaii’s Premiere Destination wedding photographer based on the islands on Oahu and Maui. She is available to photograph your wedding or event on any of our beautiful Hawaiian islands or where ever your wedding takes you. Contact her today about your BIG DAY!