How Do I Say "I Do?"

By, Gretchen Gales

Pink notepad with wedding vows and rose on a wooden background.

So, you want something a little more personal than “‘til death do us part?” No problem. More and more couples are writing their own vows to replace traditional vows. No one expects you to write like Shakespeare, but you still want it to be a sincere and beautiful statement. Here’s some simple tips on how to write those vows:

 Do Some Pre-Thinking

Take a walk outside, maybe with some music, and wait to see what comes to mind. Many writers will also do this to help them to relax and come up with fresh ideas. Not a fan of nature? Do something else that relaxes you like listening to music inside, drawing up a bath, meditate, or invest in an adult coloring book (what’s more inspiring than the Enchanted Forest one?). Make sure there’s a notebook and pen nearby to chronicle any thoughts you have. Nothing’s worse than having a brilliant idea and losing it because you didn’t write it down, which happens all too often.

Hint: If you choose to listen to music as inspiration, remember to pick some favorite love songs as inspiration. Go outside of your comfort zone and listen to songs outside of your favorite genres as well to gather inspiration from their lines in an unexpected way. Need suggestions? Popular love and wedding songs in the past include Shania Twain’s From This Moment On and John Legend’s All of Me.

Outline What You Want To Say

This is the part where memories from your school teachers forcing you to write outlines for your papers comes in handy. Unless you want a jumbled mess of vows, having some sort of skeleton is a good idea. Here’s some good topics to divide it up into:

·      When was that first moment you fell in love with your partner? When did you know you wanted to spend forever with them? Where were you?

·      Favorite memories with your partner, such as first dates, fun trips, inside jokes, etc.

·      Talk about your favorite aspects of your partner. Do they have the best smile? Tell the best jokes? Do they tell bad jokes, but you think it’s charming anyways?

·      Talk about what you’re looking forward to in the relationship. Will children be in the picture? Do you just know wherever life takes you, you’re happy that they’ll be there?

·      If you and your partner already have children together, include them in your vow. If you want, get them to help out with the vows.

·      Another suggestion is to put a favorite quote, verse, or poem in your vows.

·      Also, don’t be afraid to use humor. Humor is a great way to make the moment memorable and truly yours.

Beat Writer’s Block

Great writers always read, and you should do the same. Consider heading down to the local library or bookstore and read classic romantic texts, love poetry, wedding magazines, and anything else that makes your think of romance and weddings. The library also has (and don’t laugh at how 1990’s this sounds) many CDs to rent that you can listen to and follow along with lyric books.

You don’t have to be the next great love poet, but follow these tips, and you’ll be on your way to making a memorable vow!