Part A: In General
Part B: How To Write Your Own Wedding Vows
PART A: IN GENERAL
Q: If we want to start from scratch and gather information writing our own vows ourselves, where can we find this info?
A: There is so much information about writing vows We understand that you can feel overwhelmed and don't know where to start. You want to have it simple. And we, too, want it simple for you. And of course, this article and our questions are a part of all the information too. We hope our questions and comments will be helpful for you.
Q: How long should vows be?
A: This is a question about the length of something in a wedding ceremony and the answer is similar to any question about the length of something in a wedding ceremony like the length of the ceremony itself, length of a singer or musician’s performance, length of a reading, etc.
A: In general, it’s best not to have the length of anything in the ceremony such that it would make people stir or otherwise takes their attention away from the ceremony itself. A wedding is about the couple’s wedding and marriage and is not about a song, a performance or reading as such. A wedding ceremony get’s everyone’s attention and needs to keep it; every part must keep moving. The length of vows is one of these parts. I suggest that initially, you write your vows freely without thinking about length. Then, when done, see how it feels to you. You may also want your officiant to comment on the length.
Q: Is there a best TYPE of vow?
A: Yes. Traditionally, vows are promises to the spouse to be (“I promise to always love you.”). There is also a modern way of vows which is not a promise to the spouse. Rather, it’s a promise to one’s self (“I vow to be true to the love I'm feeling right now inside of me for you.”). The latter vow is inside the person making the vows as an agreement with themselves. I call this a ”Vows to Oneself”. The vow maker is promising him/herself. Her/his integrity is to follow through because of themselves, not the other person. Vows to Oneself are stronger by far and more reliable than the traditional way because no matter what changes may occur in the spouse’s life, it doesn’t affect the Vow to Oneself. A Vow to Oneself is not conditioned on the spouse. Examples: From a book singer Kenny Loggins wrote, here are 4 of his “Vows to Oneself”:
“As I look into your eyes I reaffirm my vow to stay committed and true to this love that I am feeling.
”I vow to be vigilant so that nothing comes between us inside of me.
“I vow to seek refuge inside of me for the things that I fundamentally need.
“I vow to learn what I need to learn in order to be the best partner for you.
PART B: HOW TO WRITE VOWS
How do each of you want to write your vows? What would be best for each of you to write your vows (note: you can each do it differently –you don’t have to do it the same way. And there is no right or wrong good or bad with any of this). For this section, you may want to have a conversation about the questions. You may want to jot some ideas down. Here are a few questions:
Would you like to write your vows by alone physically or with your partner in the physical space with you? You each can decide this for yourselves and you don't have to do it the same way.
Would you like to write your vows by yourselves and interact with each other as you do this?
Is there another combination that you can think of that would be better for you yet?
Do you want your vows to be a secret from your partner until during the ceremony? Again, there’s no right or wrong and a reminder to not take any of this personally.
Some couples will do them alone but may run a few vows past their partner so they can hear out loud how it will sound (what it feels like).
Some will use their partner for one or two vows that they may have a question about (e.g., “Honey, does this sound clear to you?” or “Does this make sense?” or your partner may say may offer: “What do you mean by that?” or “What are you trying to say?”).
Since you are each best friends, each other’s feedback can be fantastically helpful.
Summary: Talk about your vows together and how to best support each other.
By the way, vow writing is not a competition. Your vows could be serious from beginning to end. Their vows could be similar but have a funny part in it. So what if the guests laugh on one of yours and not theirs. Does it matter? You can discuss this too.