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Should We Write Our Own Wedding Vows?

Some people may experience writer's block as a result of the immense pressure of writing their own vows.
Sometimes, personal wedding vows will be read on a date other than the actual wedding day.
Some couples may be uncomfortable with speaking wedding vows aloud.
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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 14 September 2014
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Deciding whether to write your own wedding vows or stick to the classic repeating of traditional vows is sometimes a challenging decision. Some people prefer the classics, and in fact in some countries, like England, you may need to take the traditional vows, as these represent entering into a contract and must include specific contractual words. This doesn’t mean you can’t add other wedding vows or small speeches to the wedding ceremony, but you aren’t legally married unless the forms are duly followed.

In the US, most states don’t require a certain format for wedding vows. Both people signing the certificate of marriage completes the contract. This allows couples to be more freeform in what they promise to each other.

While it can be romantic if both members of a couple want to write their wedding vows, it may be that only one member of the couple is interested in diverting from the usual “have and holds” and et cetera. Sometimes wedding vows can be a source of great discontent because one person feels very uncomfortable writing, or speaking publicly about their personal feelings for the other person.

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While it would be ideal if all couples could agree on writing or not writing wedding vows, this is not always the case. In the interest of starting a marriage off on the right foot, if one person really expresses discomfort in writing his or her own vows, it might be worthwhile to defer to that person’s strong desire not to be embarrassed and forgo creative writing for another time. A compromise might be reached where couples agree to take private and personal wedding vows on a day other than the wedding. Of course agreeing to tell each other how much you are in love on a frequent basis is always a good way to start a marriage.

In some cases, one member of the couple merely feels slightly insecure about writing wedding vows because they’re not sure what to say. If one person really wants the vows to be personal, you might take advantage of the many books that feature examples of wedding vows. This can give the fiancé with writer’s block some suggestions about directions in writing, and some ideas about what he or she might like to say.

Some couples feel like they should write wedding vows since it’s now a popular choice. Simply because it’s popular doesn’t mean it has to be included in your wedding. Many still love the familiar promises and the age-old vows that link to weddings of the past and traditional weddings. You should not feel obligated to write wedding vows because that is what others have done.

You can alter some of the traditional words in wedding vows if they don’t feel appropriate to your way of thinking. For example, in some wedding vows, women still promise to obey their husbands. This may not fit with your ideas about equal standing in a marriage and can easily be omitted, provided your church permits the omission. Another alteration in the wedding ceremony that many couples like to make is the presentation of the married couple as “man and wife.” This can easily be changed to husband and wife to suggest equality.

What should be agreed upon when making decisions about wedding vows is that both partners will reflect caring and empathy. Insisting that someone write wedding vows when they really don’t want to may not be the best way of starting a marriage. If you look at traditional wedding vows, you will see some beautiful promises. Yes, they may not be the most original, but they are still serious statements about the hopes and vows you make upon starting your life together.

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cmsmith10
Post 3

@boathugger: This is a nice vow for someone who has been married before:

“I offer you not the “summer of my life” but the autumn, brisk and vibrant. I promise to be a companion worthy of your precious friendship. I pledge you compassion in good times and bad; encouragement in sickness and health. It is my intent that our life together will include our large circle of friends and loving families. We’ll cherish the memories of our individual pasts and create our new life as we go now together. “

medicchristy
Post 2

@boathugger: My best friend was in the same situation and she and her fiancée wrote their own vows. I asked her if she minded if I shared her vows with you. She was flattered. This is how their vows went:

“(Wife or Husband’s name), I promise to be a good and faithful (husband or wife) to you, and also a patient, loving (father or mother) to (children’s names), caring for them and providing for them as my own. I promise to be their strength and their emotional support, loving them with all my heart forever. “

At this time, they turned to the kids and repeated this:

“And now, (children’s names), do you promise to love and respect your parent’s new husband/wife? Do you promise to support their marriage and new family? “ They allowed the kids to say “we do”. It was awesome!

BoatHugger
Post 1

My sister has been married before and she is fixing to get re-married. They both have children from their previous marriages. They want to write their own vows but they want to include something regarding their children. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to incorporate that into their vows?

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