Make the Most of Your Wedding Vows

Banish wedding day writer's block with these tips.

157094023(Photo: iStockphoto)

Like a scene from The Vow, you and your soon-to-be spouse have decided that in addition to “I do,” you want to use your own words at your wedding. Writer’s block? Here are some hints to help you recover:

Write already
One of the best ways to battle the block is to start writing. And, don’t worry about making your first draft perfect. Start with bullets: promises you want to make; favorite qualities; why life is better together; the reason you’re tying the knot; and wishes for your future. Chances are, once you begin, the words will start to flow. Tip: If you are more comfortable using a computer, type away! Just make sure it is password-protected so your honey doesn’t peek.

Think out loud
If something pops into your head that you love about him or her, or if you think of a promise you want to make, record it on your smart phone. Do this each time something comes to mind so when it comes time to write your vows, you’ll have a whole collection of your own words to listen to.

Get creative
Who didn’t melt when Uncle Jesse sang “Forever” to Becky during the “Full House” wedding or, when Unde Adebimpe serenades Rosemarie DeWitt in “Rachel Getting Married” with Neil Young’s “Unknown Legend”?  Maybe you aren’t as musically inclined as Jesse and The Rippers (honestly, who is?), but if you share a special song, poem, or religious passage, choose a few lines to incorporate into your vows.

Take a trip down memory lane
Sometimes it’s hard to remember all of the amazing times you’ve had when you’re under the pressure of writing it down for everyone to hear. Take some time to go through photos and cards you’ve given each other. There’s nothing like seeing shots of your favorite vacation, or reading your first Valentine’s Day card from him to inspire you.

Be yourself
This is not the time for florid language and bad Shakespeare imitations. Don’t worry about what other people will think, or about impressing guests with your extensive vocabulary. Instead, focus on what you want to say to your soulmate and take advantage of this opportunity to tell them how you feel.

It’s important that you feel at ease with your vows. Don’t worry about memorizing every word, but practice them before the wedding so you are comfortable. It will also help you to make sure the sentiments flow smoothly. Tip: Email the final version to yourself. Nearly everyone has a smart phone on hand, so if you forget the hard copy, you won’t be lost for words.

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