Etiquette + Advice Wedding planning

Tips to writing your own wedding vows

By Buhlebekosi Sibanda

Vows are more of a verbal contract sealed by ‘I Do’, that outlines a summary of what you are signing into by agreeing to marriage. Therefore, checking what lines others have used on the internet won’t cut it. By that, you will be telling a lie or something you don’t mean which isn’t an ideal way to start a marriage. With the help of Dorcas and Vuyisile Mbele, a couple who wrote their vows and after having attended a couple of weddings as a magazine, noting a lot of unrealistic lines stolen from the internet, we have compiled ways to help you write your authentic vows.

Be yourself

You should try to write or speak in a way that feels natural to you. Use the language that you are comfortable with and most importantly the language or diction that your partner will understand. In as much as you will be staying true to yourself, take it seriously and remember it is not a stand-up comedy, less formality, and jokes. “Keep it realistic, cute and light” Dorcas advised.

Be on the same page

Since vows are a secret, it’s crucial you spend time and agree on certain ideas, themes, and styles. Be on the same page because your partner might dredge with depths of their souls for deep words only to respond with two-second unrealistic promises. Vuyisile emphasized how you should be also sure to be on the same page with your officiant on the expectations in terms of vows if you are following a certain tradition or religion. “Maybe you are not even allowed to write your vows or you have to mix up yours with the traditional ones,” he said. So, checking with the officiant is a must.

Practice makes perfect

Vuyisile and Dorcas both advise you to draft the vows weeks before the big day to give room for changes and corrections. Also practice reading them for confidence because yes, you might be nervous sharing all those emotions in public, jitter out feelings that might surprise you. According to Vuyisile, Dorcas was a bit nervous at first, “She sounded a bit shaken along the first lines but she gained her vroom back. I can’t imagine her reaction if she hadn’t practiced at all.” Don’t try memorizing you will mess it up. Reading what you would have written is expected and perfect. It will serve you from mixing up stuff, freezing, and going vague or off-script.

Don’t forget to say ‘I love you’

Sometimes, the words ‘I love you’, without specifics on what you love about someone, especially in the public, sounds shallow and insincere. You can express love for your partner by going deeper into your favorite characteristics them. Then surely seal the deal with ‘I love you. We noted that in as much as it seems like an obvious line, many do forget to mention it.

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