If you’ve already ignored the best advice you can get, which is to avoid marriage, you probably ignored the second-best piece of advice you can get, which is to let someone else do the talking on your “big” day (which is the same size as any other day), because you will be brain-dead. That’s right, your brain will be dead. (Go to the courthouse, you morons is tied for second-best piece of advice, and works on a similar principle).
Based on reputable calculations, my brain might actually be reincarnated by next week when I’m expected to say the vows I have not yet written. Fingers crossed!
Maybe your wedding isn’t for another year, maybe you’re reading this after a breakup to nurse your greatest fear—being alone forever—or maybe you fell asleep at work and your fat forehead brought you to this particular page. Whatever your motivation, I offer these easy steps to writing the best wedding vows ever, a list I have chosen to write instead of penning notes of divine promise to the person I’m yoking myself to for eternity.
ADMIT THAT IT’S DELUSIONAL TO THINK YOU COULD WRITE ANYTHING ACCURATE ABOUT LOVE, OR FAMILY, OR THE IDEA OF “FOREVER”.This is a good first step. Admit that not only will nothing you write be quite right, some of it will be downright wrong. In every case, it will be one hundred percent delusional.
TAKE A CUE FROM YOUR NIGHTMARES.Had any vow nightmares? They can be an incredible source of inspiration when approached correctly. In most of mine, I cannot speak. In others, I haven’t been able to memorize anything, so I’m fumbling with an unreadable shred of notebook paper. In still others, I am so behind on writing my vows that I’m hiding behind a tree finishing them as the ceremony starts. My nightmares haven’t been very helpful content-wise, but yours might be: keep that notebook open by your bed and let your dreams do the rest.
GET DRUNK.Self explanatory.
STOP GETTING DRUNK.More complicated than previous step, but vital. You will need to find a few consecutive sober moments to really pry out your best complete sentences.
ASK FOR ADVICE.This is a trick step. Definitely do not ask someone else what your wedding vows should say. Are you not in love with this person? Do you not know them inside-and-out, including all the best ways to make them cry in front of family and friends on the “most important” day of your joint-bank-accounted lives? Ignore the noise. Focus on the tear-jerking anecdotes.
USE TEAR-JERKING ANECDOTES ONLY.Stick to things that will make everyone cry. No one gives two thin, useless shits what candy bar your beloved likes to eat or about that time you took a road trip together and discovered everything, or about how you like to sit on the couch or whatever bullshit you do when no one’s watching. It’s all about the tears.
GOOGLE IT.The way you solve 99 percent of your problems is the way you should solve this one, too.
JUST WRITE DOWN HOW MUCH YOU LOVE X PERSON.Just kidding! This is another trick step. Writing down how much you love someone will never work. Too straightforward.
HAVE SOMEONE ELSE WRITE YOUR VOWS.Is it really that crazy? Contact me; I’ll arrange something really thoughtful. (SEE: STOP GETTING DRUNK)
Any writer will tell you that reading helps you unlock a world of possibilities when it comes to writing your own pieces, in this case vows. If you are religious, read the traditional vows and see if anything resonates with you. There is no harm in using this to inspire the words you use or the promises you hope to make in your vows. If you have bridal magazines around, you can flip through them to see the words that pop out for you and if your partner has a favourite author or movie they love, you can use some language from there to really personalise it for them.
Visit memory lane
While you are in the note phase, take some time to think back to how you first felt when you met your partner and what it was about them that was so attractive to you. It could be the way they had a ready smile, or that they always took the time to see how you were doing, or knew when you were having a bad day without you having to communicate it and knew how to make you feel better. These are the things about your relationship that are unique and putting them into your vows will make them unlike any others.
With your notes on hand and some promises in mind, you can start writing. Don’t be fixated on getting it right the first time. Because you have allowed enough time, (you followed tip one didn’t you?) you will have the ability to revisit this draft and make changes until it flows the way you want to. You can write your vows in a narrative style, starting with when you first met, when you fell in love and what you hope for your future together, or you can express your love, tell your partner what you love the most about them, make your promises and finish off with your broad vow.
Read them out loud
It might feel like practicing for a school assessment all over again, but there are a lot of benefits to physically reading your vows out. It will give you an idea on how much time it will take to deliver them and also help you to gauge the flow of what you have written. If you can’t wrap your tongue around a particular sentence, or it doesn’t sound quite right, you will know right away and can make the changes you need to.
Good luck, and happy planning!