One of the nicest personal touches to a marriage ceremony is when couples write their own wedding vows. While some people like to stick to tradition, and let’s face it, classic vows can be incredibly powerful, writing your own vows ensures that your ceremony will be truly unique. If you really want to bare your heart in front of your friends and family, writing your own wedding vows is a great way to do that. In this way,the most intimate, romantic moments of your wedding feel authentic and tailored to you and your partner. This is especially true for LGBTQ+ couples. With outdated or gendered language making up the majority of traditional wedding vow quotes and ceremony readings, many LGBTQ+ couples often wish to put their own spin on their wedding . It makes total sense to want to show pride in your community and your relationship when making your lifelong promises to each other. There are plenty of ways you can reference your relationship and your orientation in your wedding vows, quotes and ceremony readings, as directly or indirectly as feels comfortable to you personally.
“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me…Anything can happen, child. Anything can be… Listen to the Mustn’ts,”
Your vows will be the biggest promise you’ve ever made, so you already know that they’re a big deal. They will define how you intend to live and love for the rest of your life. While writing your own vows is a lovely idea, when it comes down to actually doing it, you’re likely to find it’s a bit more tricky than you first realised. You want them to be powerful, but not over the top; romantic but not cheesy; honest, but not boring; inspiring, but still grounded. It’s a delicate balance for sure. Writing your own wedding vows is not a task which can be left until the last minute. You need to give yourself enough time to think carefully about the promises you want to make. Find some quiet time in a relaxing place and begin by thinking back to the start of your journey together. About the moment you decided this was the person with whom you wanted to spend the rest of your life and the little things they do which make you smile every day. Write down any thought which occurs to you, no matter how silly it may sound. Just relax and let the thoughts flow. These are the notes from which you will create the final version of your vows. Spend around an hour on this and then just let those thoughts remain untouched for a while.
“Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens
A good marriage must be created
In the art of marriage the little things are the big things..
It is never being too old to hold hands
It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once a day
It is never going to sleep angry
It is at no time taking the other for granted;
the courtship should not end with the honeymoon,
it should continue through all the years.”
The Art of Marriage – Wilferd Arlan Peterson
Next, do some research to gain inspiration. Search your favourite literature and pull out quotes and phrases which speak to you personally. There are a huge number of resources on the internet, we’ve scattered some of our favourite quotes through this blog to get you started. Create a Pinterest board of your favourites, review this regularly to see which quotes jump out at you everytime you have a look at it. Once your research is complete and you now have your personal thoughts recorded, the next step is to create a structure for your wedding vows. Your own wedding vows will, by law, need to begin with a legal statement. It is usually something like ‘I xxx, accept you as my wife/husband’ but this will vary depending on which country you are marrying in and the type of ceremony you are having. After the legal statement, you are free to begin putting your own spin on the promises you make. You might choose to write your vows together to preserve continuity, keeping them short and sweet while injecting a bit of humor, like in this example:
I, Julie, accept you, Dan, as my husband.
I will always love you and support you, no matter what life throws at us.
I promise to respect our differences, and accept you as you are,
…but I will always have the last word.
I, Dan, accept you, Julie, as my wife.
I promise to always be there for you when you need me.
I promise to love you, care for you, and always let you have the last word…
Whatever you write, you should make it personal to you. Your vows are the most solemn promises you will ever make in the presence of your family and friends. They should be heartfelt and real. You won’t keep your promises if they’re not true to who you really are. Speak from the heart, and don’t use fancy language. The more truthful you are, the more powerful your vows will be. Cara and Gill did just this in the example below:
I promise to try look interested when you talk about baseball and motorbikes
I promise to always remember the reasons that I love you, should you start to annoy me.
You know me better than anyone and yet you still love me (even when I’m grumpy).
I can’t wait to grow old with you, living our life as an adventure.
If you like the idea of keeping your vows secret from your partner until the time comes to read them out on your wedding day, this can be intensely powerful and emotional for you both. However, it’s a very good idea to have a trusted family member or friend read through both sets of vows first. Just to check both you and your partner are on the same page. You might like to agree on a format for your vows too, a simple guideline of how many sentences you’re both going to write and whether you intend to be humorous or serious. This way when you come to say your vows, things will be nicely balanced. Lastly, write the near-final version of your vows… and then put them away for a week or two. When you take them out to review, take some time to really consider if the words you’ve written are true and from the heart. You can make a few edits here and there but try not to obsess over the final result. As long as you followed the planning steps above, the words you write will be absolutely perfect for you and your partner. At the end of the day, that’s all that really matters. We hope we’ve given you some inspiration. Are you intending to write your own vows or have you heard any which are particularly touching or funny? We’d love it if you contacted us to tell us all about it.
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