Thinking about writing your own vows? It's a wonderful thing to do however can be a lot more work than people realise, not to mention both being on the same page (argh pun!) and writing equally balanced vows. Imagine if you wrote a long beautiful love filled few paragraphs and your other half writes a 3 line "thank you for being you" poem. Of course, love isn't always equally balanced, sometimes you love each other the same and sometimes you don't, however on your wedding day you would probably like to be a bit similar in sentiment if you're both writing vows. So here's a guide you can share together to make sure it's a bit more equal and won't be a disaster on the day!
Share personal stories. Maybe not super personal or intimate but maybe little short stories about each other that you find endearing. They can be funny or sweet, and an insight into your partnership.
Make real promises. Vows most of the time when you use the standard ones are just read out and you don't really listen to what you're saying (or remember!) so use the chance with your own personal vows to make real promises that you know you can keep and that make a difference to your relationship.
Ask for support. You'll be reading your vows in front of your nearest and dearest, so it's the perfect opportunity to seek help and support with the stability of your marriage. I know that we think a marriage is just about two people, but it brings together multiple families and friends and it takes a village to help it survive!
Acknowledge your partner. Tell them you love them, you'll be there for them despite what life may throw at you, and you're there for the long haul ("in sickness and in health"). Focus on their good points (easy to do on your wedding day!) and why you love them. I know it sounds obvious but in the rush of the day it's easy to forget!
Make them laugh. Embrace sentimentality and laughter, the bigger the cheese the better the vow. It's not a day to be shy and reserved, especially if you're writing your own vows. Give time for laughs, smiles and tears. I've never heard self-written vows that didn't move me or make me laugh or cry. This doesn't mean pressure to write to make people feel something, it's inspiration to write from the heart.
Practice. Write down your thoughts long before the wedding so you can avoid writing the vows under duress. While you're planning the big day find the little moments that make you feel madly in love and pop them down into a notebook. Use inspiration from music or movies, and write down ideas as you have them. Then, closer to the time (but not the day before!!) start to put it all together. Practice reading it out loud or read it to someone close to you so they can give you insight. Then the day before the wedding pop the final draft onto a clean sheet of paper so it's ready for the next day.
Afterwards. You can get them framed or, as I've seen online, you can get the words written over your favourite wedding photo (perfect first anniversary gift which is paper). Or, pop them onto a keyring, mug or framed print to hang on the wall.