“I’ve got a few jokes in there,” Kyle warned me about a week before our wedding. Well, not so much ‘warned me’ as ‘bragged to me’. He seemed pretty proud of himself. “You’re definitely going to laugh.”
‘Definitely’. I was ‘definitely’ going to laugh. Great. Over the past three days I’d been struggling to write something heartfelt and meaningful that wasn’t TOO mushy (then again, wedding vows are supposed to be a little mushy, right?) Meanwhile, Ellen Degeneres over here had apparently been prepping for his comedy special.
“What did you write?” I asked him.
“It’s pretty funny,” I swear, if he put something in there about that time I caught the stove on fire and he had to “save the day”….
I, on the other hand, was taking my vow writing very seriously. Granted I wasn’t done yet, but I’d been writing and deleting paragraphs about our first date; how I’d felt about him from the first conversation we’d had over drinks. The way I felt safe with him, and how he’d been a source of comfort to me for the past three years.
Meanwhile, he probably wrote something about how he thinks it’s “cute” that I snore.
If the two of you are thinking about writing your own vows, it’s important to make sure you’re on the same page – even if you don’t want to read each others’ pages beforehand! Here’s a few tips for how to get started:
- It starts with a love story
If you don’t know where to start – think about your love story. How did you meet? How did you fall in love? When did you fall in love? What was it about them that you fell in love with? (Believe it or not, one of mine was Kyle’s sense of humor and the fact that he could make me laugh.) What do you admire about your partner? What do you hope for your future together? Why have you chosen to spend the rest of your life with this person?
- Make promises
This can be anything from “I promise to love you in sickness and in health” all the way to “I promise to watch those cringe-y war movies with you at least once in awhile without complaining”. (For the record, that was one of the things I promised Kyle.)
- Consider model relationships in your life
Who do you look up to? Whose marriage do you wish for yours to emulate? These can be grandparents who have been married for fifty years, or a sibling who has been married for three. Who’s got it figured out and what’s their secret sauce? What do you admire about their relationship and what can you do to follow in their footsteps with your partner?
- Think about your future
It seems crazy to think about now, when you’re in the midst of wedding planning, but you and your new spouse are committing to a LIFETIME together. He’ll still be around when you’re fifty, sixty, a hundred and two. He’s going to see your grey hairs, your wrinkles, and he’ll be around for all of the events that are likely to come up in the future – both good and bad. Think about what life will look like in the next thirty years – will you have children? Where will you live? What will you be doing? What do you want that story to look like?
- Consider what you admire about your person
Is he supportive? Handsome? Does he make you laugh? Does he make you want to be the best version of yourself? Think about all of these questions and be sure to mention how you feel about him – remember, wedding vows are SUPPOSED to be a little mushy!
- Don’t cheat with song lyrics
I hate when I go to a wedding where the bride and groom have “written their own vows”, and I get all excited to hear something cute and romantic – only to be read the lyrics of an Ed Sheeran song. Don’t let Ed write your wedding vows. Your fiancé doesn’t want to hear about how you’ll be “loving him until you’re seventy” – I’m sure you will, but say it in your OWN words.
- Don’t worry about being funny
It’s okay to be a little funny – but don’t go into it trying to crack a bunch of jokes. Fortunately Kyle and I had the right amount of funny with the majority of it being serious, but the last thing anyone expects when they come to your wedding is an open mic night. It’s okay to drop a line or two if it comes up naturally, but don’t force the funny.