Wedding planning information and ideas, a wedding planning checklist

Wedding Planning Information and Advice

Writing Your Personalised Wedding Vows

The modern marriage or civil ceremony service gives each partner to the union an opportunity to make their promises and commitments in their own words. The words that each of you choose when you say "I do" can express your innermost hopes, aspirations and lifetime commitment in your unique way. Your personal wedding vows allow you to express publicly those things that are important to you as you embark on a journey for the rest of your life. The vows which are exchanged can be the same from each partner, or can be personal from each of them, there are no specific rules. If, like many couples, you want to write your own wedding vows, try these simple steps to guide you through some of the difficulties that you may face when getting started putting pen to paper.

Writing personal wedding vows

Ten Tips For Preparing Your Personal Wedding Vows

  1. Get yourself a plain sheet of paper (plain A4 is good, but any plain sheet of paper will do just fine). To the left of the page write the numbers 1 to 10 evenly spaced down the sheet of paper. Without pausing to collect your thoughts, write in against each number the first ten things that come into your mind in completion of this sentence: "I love (your partner’s name) because….." When you have completed the ten answers set this sheet of paper aside.
  1. Now, get yourself another sheet of plain paper! It’s your turn – what are you going to bring to this union? What promises are you going to make? On your new piece of paper, write them down as they come into your mind – don’t worry about spelling, grammar, how you’re going to word them, etc. just write down the things you want to promise this very special person with whom you want to spend the rest of your life.

Here’s a few points to consider:

  • Do you promise to be there for him/her in bad times as well as good?
  • Do you promise your support for your partner even when he/she isn’t perfect?
  • Do you promise to be faithful with your body as well as all of your heart and mind?
  • What do you promise in the event your partner gets sick?
  • What do you promise if you have a serious argument or fight?
  • Do you promise to share everything you have?

You get the idea…. what promises are you making as you enter this new union together?

  1. Now, get yourself another sheet of plain paper! It’s your turn – what are you going to bring to this union? What promises are you going to make? On your new piece of paper, write them down as they come into your mind – don’t worry about spelling, grammar, how you’re going to word them, etc. just write down the things you want to promise this very special person with whom you want to spend the rest of your life.
  1. If you have followed steps 1 to 3, you will by now have two pages of notes and made a decision on your partner’s special title for you. Now, set it all aside – do nothing else on this right now. In fact, do something else, preferably together with your partner, preferably fun!! Planning weddings can become something similar to dressing a Christmas tree, they sometimes get too much ‘stuff’ hung on them. By stepping aside from the stress from time to time you can make yours a beautiful experience without the stress in all the planning. Go out! Remember why you love each other and why you’re doing all this …have some fun!!.
  1. Done that? Relaxed? Now it’s time to move on to the BIG DECISION. Are each of you going to give the same vows, or will each of you write your own vow to give at the wedding ceremony? You don’t both have to give the same vows, some of the most beautiful wedding ceremonies celebrated had each partner saying something different. Now here’s a suggestion; if each of you are writing and saying your own individual wedding vows, why not both include a final sentence that symbolizes that you as individuals are coming together as a couple, without surrendering your individuality? Indicating that you are creating a beautiful and shared union together. Here’s a couple of examples of words that each partner may wish to conclude their wedding vow with:

John, I accept you as my husband.

I John, embrace you Susan, as my partner for life.

I Jason, take you Helen, as my life partner.

  1. Now it’s time to get back to the paperwork you created in steps 1 and 2. If you’re working together on your wedding vows you’ll have fun sharing your thoughts with each other and seeing where your items overlap. Use a coloured pencil or highlighter to emphasise those items that you have in common, to make those promises and statements of love fly off the page.
  1. Whether you’re working on your wedding vows alone or together as a couple, it’s time to prioritise  - which is a good way of saying "OK, if I have to cut a couple of these promises from my list, which ones will they be?". Nibble at your lists, removing those things that are a little less juicy or significant, until you have narrowed them down to just four or five items that you love …and about the same number of things that you promise.
  1. Take a new sheet of blank paper (it’s amazing what a difference a clean sheet of paper can make!). Copy over the ‘must have’ items from your vows onto it.
  1. One more consideration… this is a wedding, a celebration of your intent and commitment for life. Do you wish your vows to indicate this in what you say? Some couples use such phrases as:

"Through all our years, and in all that life may bring us…"

"For the rest of my days…."

"As long as we both shall live...."

"lifetime partner...."

"partner forevermore...."

Or you may consider including some of the more traditional phrases, like:

"until death us do part"

"for as long as we both shall live"

Whatever works for you, reflects your personality and you feel comfortable with. The wedding, or service of union/commitment, should include some phrase that indicates the duration of your commitment. (And if you’ve come this far, your promises should be for a commitment to your chosen partner for life.)

  1. Choose someone that you trust and who's opinion you rely on (other than your partner) and read out your vow aloud. Does it sound like you and the commitment you want to make? How do you feel saying these words out loud? Have you included any thing in your vow that you may be too embarrassed to say in public? Have you included words or phrases that turn out to be tongue-twisters? (It's surprising how the most simple phrases can become complex when it’s time to actually speak them!) Make whatever minor changes are needed, and then stop. Feel good about what you have done – you have created one of the greatest gifts you will ever make.

 

And afterwards…. When the wedding is past, your unique wedding vows and solemn promises to each other hold true for a lifetime. Why not type them up and print them onto a nice parchment paper, have them framed side-by-side and hang them in your home. With them on permanent display you will never forget them and have an ongoing reminder of your very special, unique and sacred marriage.

 

 

Based on an article by Maureen Killoran, MA, DMin, who is a Unitarian Minister and a life coach in private practice in Hendersonville, NC. You can learn more about her services as a wedding consultant and officiant at http://www.spiritquest.ws

 

 

 

The wedding vows given by the bride, groom or partner should be personal and unique. There are many places that will assist with preparing the personal wedding vows, give you items to include and inform you of the most suitable content for the particular service you are about to have.

The wedding vows should be of personal and unique content, covering the formal requirements of each partner, include personal promises and along term commitment.

 

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