To write or not to write? That is the question. Interestingly, although public speaking is often cited as the biggest fear among all adults – experts say between 74 percent and 90 percent suffer from fear of speaking in public – many couples are very comfortable writing and reciting their own vows. Maybe that’s because despite the audience, the focus is on speaking to just one person – your life mate.
If you’ve decided to write your own vows, we have a few tips to make sure they make the impression you’re aiming for:
• Do your homework: read examples of vows on the Internet and elsewhere to learn what “works” and what doesn’t and to get an idea of the length and tone you like.
• Collaborate: Talk to your fiancé about the tone of your vows – funny, romantic, serious? Will you keep them secret from each other or work on them together? Do you want them to have any similar elements or promises?
• Walk down memory lane: Write down any events in your relationship you want to include, as well as any other memories.
• Be prepared to write… and write and write. Develop a few drafts to see which one you like the most, then focus on refining that one.
• Be critical: Read it out loud and get rid of anything that sounds too “corny” or clichéd.
• Limit the time: Keep your vows to no more than a couple minutes – or less – if possible so you don’t sound like you’re rambling.
Above all, be relaxed; writing vows is about the promises you’re making, not perfect wording. Focus on the meaning and be sincere in your promises, and your vows could turn out to be the most memorable part of your day.