Gwen O'Toole is the director of a boutique event management and creative services company, The Ideas Library. Visit www.TheIdeasLibrary.com.au
Many couples choose to personalise their wedding by writing their own wedding vows.
If this is something you're keen to do, have a chat with your celebrant to get the go ahead for writing your own vows. Sometimes, you might find that your officiant will insist upon you and your fiance recite the traditional vows although nowadays many celebrants welcome personalised vows.
Writing your own wedding vows can be a great way to personalise your wedding. Image courtesy of freeimages.com
Before you get starting writing your vows, think about the following:
Are you writing one set for both of you to recite or unique vows from each of you?
Will the individual vows be seen by each other before the ceremony?
What do you want the collective feel of the ceremony to be? (Lighthearted or formal vs traditional)
Also before you start writing your vows, it can be worth considering how you individually as well as a couple, define marriage. Asking yourself this will allow you to see what promises are most valued.
Create a list of some specifics that define your relationship. Such as where you met, when you knew they were the one you wanted to marry, a certain date or period of time that stand out in your memory, character traits you admire in your partner, etc. These details will offer themselves as inspiration, and will help you put together the words easier.
Don't let the actual writing of the vows intimidate you. Once you've written down your initial thoughts, go back and read what you wrote.
Nothing is set in stone so feel free to cut parts out, change your wording, or start over completely if you want!
If you find yourself struggling, if you get overwhelmed or you can't seem to focus, take a walk, look at photographs from your relationship, listen to some songs that bring back special memories, or talk to your family and friends and ask what they love about you as a couple. You never know when inspiration will strike so take a note pad with your wherever you end up!
A few extra tips...
If starting entirely from scratch seems like a daunting task, print out some traditional vows and edit them to your liking.
Don't wait until the last minute to write them, it will add unnecessary stress.
If you are worried that separately written vows will be too dissimilar, have a trusted mutual friend look over both of them.
Lastly and most importantly, don't leave out the romance of the vow writing process! This is an extraordinary moment between the two of you; don't allow it to be turned into just another task to be crossed off a list. Make it special in a way fitting to you as a couple.