Writing your own vows can be one of the most tasteful ways to personalize your wedding. Instead of saying what others have said to each other for years, you are saying exactly what you wish to say to your partner. Plus, you can promise things to each other that are uniquely fitting for your relationship. Who wouldn’t want to say their own vows?

The problem is, though, that the task can be rather intimidating. What do you say? How do you say it? Does it sound like you’re rambling? Does it sound like you’re repeating yourself? Are you even making sense at all? Never fear, for here are a few tips to ensure your vows come out just as perfect as you mean them to.

Tips for Writing Your Own Vows

1.) Plan ahead. Writing your own vows isn’t something that you want to leave until the last minute. As the wedding day gets closer and closer, you’re going to get more excited and stressed, making it more and more difficult to articulate gracefully what you want to say to your fiancé when the time comes.

2.) Be honest. This is your chance to say your deepest feelings. While we admit that putting down into words just how much you love your new spouse seems like an impossible task, you shouldn’t shy away from it. Pour your heart out in your first draft. You can always edit later.

3.) Look to tradition. Many cultures and religions have a basic format they follow for wedding vows. If you’re having difficulty getting started, reading what fellow Catholics or Mexican-Americans have done for their weddings might be helpful. You can always personalize everything later, but at least this will give you a jumping-off point.

4.) Check with your officiant. Many officiants actually don’t allow personalized vows, as they have their own script that they use. If personalized vows are an absolute must for your wedding, it should be a priority discussion point when searching for your officiant.

5.) Decide on the overall tone. This tip is often placed higher in many other lists, but we place it near the bottom for a reason. A natural tone comes through once you begin writing your own vows. If you and your fiancé have a similar sense of humor, that tends to show through in your vows. If you’d like to keep things serious and on point, you can adjust your vows after you have read through them a time or two. Overall though, it’s important that both sets of vows match in tone. If you are serious and romantic and your fiancé makes jokes throughout, it will seem like he’s not taking things seriously.

The last 2 tips

6.) Edit, edit, edit. Continuously read through your vows to make sure what you are saying is not redundant. There is no faster way to lose an audience than to start repeating yourself. In addition, make sure you are using the right words to say what you mean and that it actually sounds like something you would say. Fancy adjectives might sound good in theory, but they will sound alien if you’ve never used them in your life.

7.) Practice out loud. Practice at home, alone in the mirror if you have to, but at least practice! It will keep you from stumbling over certain phrases, know when and where to take a breath and give you more confidence when speaking in front of all your guests.

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