Scene: Local Starbucks
[Couple and Bride's Aunt Fay meet, place their order and watch their drinks being made]
AUNT: I love the salted caramel mocha Frappuccino.
GROOM: For me, it's hot chocolate.
BRIDE: Hot chocolate is mine too.
BRIDE: Thank you for spending time with us this morning, Aunty Fay.
GROOM: I have to admit, it feels really good to get together with someone who understands the stress of planning a wedding.
AUNT: Oh don’t mention it, honey. And who would understand your stress if I don’t? I have planned plenty weddings in my day. I planned my own too.
BRIDE: I don’t know Aunty Fay, planning a wedding seems pretty scary to me.
AUNT: Why dear? Planning your wedding is supposed to be fun. You are in charge of the most memorable and romantic day of your life. Tell me, what particularly scares you?
We'd Like Vows That Are Well-Written & Meaningful.
BRIDE: You know Aunt Fay, everything else is quite under control. Right now I just don’t know what to do about the vows? I want them to be well-written and meaningful. I am so freaked out.
GROOM: I tried getting one of my friends to do it. He’s a great writer and wrote a few but for some reason, I didn’t like what he wrote.
GROOM: They were good vows, but they just didn’t feel right for us, they didn’t match our vibe. So now we are totally lost.
AUNT: You know, I have attended a lot of weddings and let me tell you, the best written and most meaningful vows from your hearts. This is why me and your uncle wrote our own vows; to have them personalized.
BRIDE: Really? That sounds great.
Writing Your Vows Is Way Easier Than You Think.
GROOM: But we are amateurs. How could we know where to start writing vows? It sounds like a tall order to me and I --
AUNT: (interrupting) Look sweetie, writing your own vows is easier than you think –you learn a few things and jump right into it and it will start writing by itself for you; this is a cool traditional writing technique.
BRIDE: We don’t even know WHERE to find the useful information!
AUNT: Dear you worry too much. I know this is a daunting task but good old Aunt Fay is here, right? When I wrote my wedding vows I did a lot of research for guidelines and got tips from books and from online. You can do the same.
[They get their drinks, find a table and sit down]
GROOM: Sounds like a good idea; we’ll do that too. Right now I want this deeeeelicious hot chocolate. Yum.
AUNT: Nothing makes a better beverage than chocolate---
BRIDE: Speaking of beverages we still haven’t told the caterer about the timings.
GROOM: Relax, hon. I’ll do that as soon as we have the whole schedule set. We haven’t even finalized the lengths of the performances yet.
(Bride takes notepad out of her purse and jots some things down)
BRIDE; Well, in order to finish the schedule we need to know exactly how much time each thing will take. Aunt Fay. How long should we make the vows?
AUNT: The answer to that is the same for the length of anything in your ceremony: the song, the reading, the unity candle, etc.
What Is The Best Length For Vows?
AUNT: I remember I once went to a wedding, a beautiful young couple in Los Angeles. Everything was so fancy; we would have had a great time if it wasn’t for the hour-long song and the half-hour vows. I’m exaggerating of course (deep sigh).
BRIDE: Oh my God, you didn’t have a good time because what? The vows were too long?
AUNT: I suppose yes. Everybody loves a ceremony that keeps moving and this young couple kept the vows going and going and going like it had no end. Many were beautiful but even beautiful has its limits. You can have the most beautiful poem but if it goes on and on and on it’s not liked even though it's beautiful.We would have loved the vows if they were shorter. No one likes a bore, dear.
BRIDE: So, all I have to do is make sure nothing is too long?
AUNT: Well yeah but don’t worry about length when you’re writing; just be spontaneous and creative. You can trim them and make them fit later. You can ask also your officiant to assist you and guide you.
GROOM: That sounds easy enough, we can do that. But I am still worried about writing my own vows.
Are There Different Kinds Of Vows?
BRIDE: That reminds me, too. Aunty, what kind of vows are there? Are they only traditional or are there other kinds or types of vows?
AUNT: Well it largely depends on what feels most real for you. The most real and useful vows for me were my “vows to myself”. They worked great for me but your Uncle didn’t like them (laughs) - he’s such a classicist.
BRIDE: Uh, hmm, what’s a ‘vow to myself'?
AUNT: Glad you’re interested, Sweetie. The traditional vow is a promise you make to your loved one. But, what I did was to make promises to myself rather than to your Uncle.
GROOM: I feel confused, why would you make a promise to yourself on your wedding day when your spouse is in front of you and it's about you two?
AUNT: Because dear, the promise I made to myself was about your uncle, just worded differently. Instead of saying “I promise you I will love you forever”, I said “I promise to myself to always do the best I know to cherish the love we have.”
BRIDE: B-but what difference does that make? You are ultimately talking about loving him which sounds the same.
AUNT: It makes a big difference because this promise is mine, for me and it stands strong in me in the way that the traditional doesn't. It's my self-dignity and because of it I will always stand by it. This is my value and a value is not dependent on my husband’s behavior. Even if I were to feel upset about something he said or did, it wouldn't affect my personal value. This kind of vow is based on how I want to live my life. It's not an obligation outward. It's an intention, a promise inside of me to me. If he’s would not be in my life, I’d still have this value. Is this making sense?
GROOM: Yes. Wow, it sounds like the best kind of vow to have for a marriage relationship; each person strong in their own values no matter what the other person says or does. I like that. Alot!
AUNT: Yes. And my vows to myself contnue to be practical and powerful in my life. I love that I took the time back then to write these values, these vow promises to myself. Another way of saying it is that I’m cherishing the love we have from the inside out, quite a strong form of Love.
But What If I'm Not The Writer Type?
BRIDE: I’m seeing that too, now, but how do we write these if I'm not the writer type?.
AUNT: You may not be the writer type but you do know yourself and the spouse you want to be and that's all this is. I suggest you start by writing down all the things you want to stay strong in or want to start being strong in, inside of yourself, in your marriage; in life, really. Think of a time when you felt impatient. Remember? Well, now you can make a vow to yourself to do your best to be patient. You could even give it more details and how you want to respond to them. You're not promising to be perfect. You're promising to do your best. It's your intention to do your best. An intention is the direction you see yourself going in. Do you get the idea?
BRIDE: I can do that.
GROOM: That a very positive way to live.
AUNT: Yes. All you have to do, then, is to think of a positive way of wording any shortcoming or weakness. Make it a statement of how you see yourself being patient and remembering to take the time to listen to him or whatever.
BRIDE: This is interesting. Would this be a 'vow to myself'? “I vow to always do my best to be patient and to listen to you no matter what comes up.”
AUNT: That’s exactly it! That’s a vow to yourself. Continue to play with this idea and it will get clearer and easier. You got the right idea. Keep going.
BRIDE& GROOM (in unintentional unison): Thank you, Aunty Fay, for spending time with us this morning.
AUNTY: You’re very welcome. My pleasure.