'I vow to fiercely love you in all of your forms, now and forever. I promise to never forget this is a once in a lifetime love. And to always know in the deepest part of my soul that no matter what challenges might carry us apart, we will always find our way back to each other.'
Do you remember when Leo read his vows to Paige in the art gallery and it makes you so sad because they're so powerful and everything in your body feels all the feels because you just hope that her memory comes back to remember that that spunk of a man is her husband?
It's clear I'm a die-hard romantic, hopelessly in love with the grandiose of love in romance movies. What can you take from this example of The Vow and my proud confession of watching too many sappy movies? That beautiful vows are an emotion-wielding sword and with the right words, you can absolutely slay on your wedding day.
If I'm to give you the full picture, here's what Paiges read to Leo from the back of her Cafe Mnemonic menu:
'I vow to help you love life, to always hold you with tenderness and to have the patience that love demands, to speak when words are needed and to share the silence when they are not, to agree to disagree on red velvet cake, and to live within the warmth of your heart and always call it home.'
The writers of The Vow slayed, to say the least.
In another article I've written, What to say when you don’t know what to say: Writing personalised vows, I covered what are the minimum requirements as outlined in subsection 45(2) of The Marriage Act 1961. No need to repeat myself, you get it.
The words that follow the minimum requirements, well that's entirely up to you. Maybe you're a wordsmith who will create a love letter from the heart, maybe you're a kidder that loves to highlight all the fun times. There's no rhyme or reason to it.
If you're the kind who may need a helping hand on where to start, rest assured I have some tips and prompts for you. Remember, your vows are what you want them to be and more than a list of promises.
Ok, I'll repeat myself on the first tip because it truly is my number one.
Agree on a word limit: If you're writing 150 words and your partner bare their soul to you in 600 words, it's going to be noticeable. Find a middle ground.
It's perfectly fine to not get them right the first time: Take the time to draft your vows and if you have 5, 10, 50 revisions that's ok. Build on them and slowly they'll come to life.
Give yourself some space to write: Remove yourself from distractions like phones and allow your mind to concentrate on what you want to say. Rather than doing this for 2 or more hours, maybe start with 15-30 minute chunks.
Practice with a friend or family member: Another set of ears may do the world of good to provide constructive feedback. Pick someone who knows you both well.
Sense check: If you're dropping gags and in-jokes make sure you balance it with sincerity and an extra sprinkle of heartfeltness.
Talk to your celebrant: Surprisingly I hear a lot of vows, go figure! We're here to help you get the words on paper or simply get you started.
Think about the following to start a sentence...
The reasons why I love you are
My favourite thing(s) about you is(are)
You've taught me to
Because of you
Without you I
Today I promise to
Our future will hold
I value your
I love that
I look forward to
I'm grateful for
By your side, I will
With you by my side, I/we can
And if you so wish...
If you're wanting more inspiration I'll be the first to recommend a rom-com or an all-out lovefest of a movie. If that doesn't suit you, Google examples because Google has all the answers... BUT if you're going to copy something try and personalise it.
For now, I'll leave you with the vows of one of my favourite TV couples, Meredith & Derek:
'To love each other, even when we hate each other. No running—ever. Nobody walks out no matter what happens. Take care when old, senile, smelly. This is forever.'