That’s a great question and one that we’re often asked. Usually what’s behind that question is one of three impulses.
- Fear – Having concerns about not doing it “right” or not possessing the skills to make your own words into actual vows
- Overwhelm – Believing that it will take too long when you’re already busy with wedding planning
- Indifference – Thinking that traditional vows and self-authored vows are basically the same
Whichever rationale is shaking your desire to author your own wedding vows, we encourage you to read on before going with traditional vows.
Debunking the fear — Anyone can write their own vows. It does NOT take special expertise. In I Do! I Do! The Marriage Vow Workbook we take couples through straight-forward steps that guide them through the process of writing their vows. Take one step at a time and before you know it, you’ll have a complete draft of your own wedding vows.
Overcoming overwhelm — While there are plenty of things to do in planning your wedding (unless you elope), writing your vows doesn’t need to be complex. About four months before your wedding, we suggest setting aside one hour per week to work on your vows. Using The Marriage Vow Workbook you can read two chapters per month and complete the exercises within each chapter. If you write your vows without such a guidebook, check out our tips for writing your own wedding vows.
Banishing indifference — Traditional vows, though familiar, lack many of the benefits that you gain from writing your own wedding vows. Below is a table to highlight some of the differences between traditional vows and self-authored wedding vows. Read”�the benefits of writing your own wedding vows,” for a full list of great reasons to write your own vows.
Traditional Wedding Vows
- May or may not have personal significance
- Are often merely “pretty” words
- Used only on your wedding day
- Likely don’t enhance your relationship on an ongoing basis
Self-Written Wedding Vows
- Deeply meaningful to YOU
- Your unique intentions, desires, hopes, and dreams are written out as reminders of what the two of you want to create in your life together. No one has the exact relationship that you and your partner have.
- You wrote them, so they’re always within you, ready to use at any time.
- Simply going through the process of writing your vows can deepen your connection with your partner.
So there you have it. Writing your own wedding vows need not induce fear or overwhelm in your lives. We wrote I Do! I Do! The Marriage Vow Workbook from our own experience writing our vows for our May 30, 1999 wedding. We coach couples through the process of authoring their unique wedding vows (see sample wedding vows here). Writing your own wedding vows offers innumerable and lasting benefits that you’ll enjoy before, during, and long after your wedding day.
If you wrote your own vows or are planning to, we’d love to learn why you decided to go this route! Or, if you still have lingering doubts, post your question in the “comments” section.