Wednesday, May 5, 2010

DreamGroup's Wedding Tip of the Week

Writing your own vows...

This can be one of the most romantic and personal parts of your wedding but once you’ve started to write you may begin to think its not as easy as it looks! If that’s the case...don’t worry, the tips below will help you put together your perfectly personal and memorable wedding vows in just a few easy steps!

#1: What’s the Plan?:

You need to make sure you and your fiancé are both on the same page: Are you each going to write your own, or will you write them together? Will you show them to each other before the ceremony or save them as a surprise? If you're feeling shy, opt to write your vows together and even recite the exact same promises. If there's more you wish to say, privately, say it in the cards you exchange on the day of your wedding or even on your honeymoon.

#2: Create an Outline:

An outline can help to establish a structure that you both stick to. For example, start off with a couple sentences about how great your fiancé is and what you love about them, then add a few sentences about how you feel about yourselves as a couple, and then a couple more sentences about what you’re vowing to each other.

#3: Discuss the Tone:

What overall tone do you want your vows to give off? Humorous and Touching? Poetic and Mushy? Straight forward and No-Nonsense? It's up to the both of you. The most important thing is that your vows ring true and are an expression of how you feel and who you are.

#4: Set a Time Limit:

Decide how long you want your vows to be… No more than 2 minutes each is suggested. The idea is to declare your love not put him/her and the entire crowd to sleep! You have the rest of your lives to share with your husband or wife to be how much you love them!

Before your start writing…

To help you think of what sentiments to include, take turns answering this list of helpful questions. When you're done, look through your answers for the phrases that best capture your intended message and incorporate them into the structure of your vows.

1. What did you think when you first saw him/her?

You didn't want to go out to “that club” on that rainy night three years ago, but are now grateful your friends called you a sissy pants and coerced you in to joining them!

2. When did you realize you were in love?

Be specific. Was it when he brought you your favorite soup and trashy magazines that time you were laid up in bed? Don't underestimate the power of humor.

3. What do you have now that you didn't have before you met?

Focus on the heart and head, not material possessions. Has she taught you to appreciate beauty differently? Has he helped you learn to savor creating a home-cooked meal?

4. How has your view of the world changed?

Life has likely gotten better since the two of you joined forces, so tell everyone about it. Think about the new things you've tried with your mate. What have you experienced together that you never would have on your own?

5. What do you miss most when you're apart?

This will probably be something mundane but powerful. Perhaps the way he comes in and gives you a goodbye kiss before leaving for work in the morning makes your heart melt. Or the way she puts out your "lucky coffee mug" for your morning coffee before bed?

6. Where do you see yourselves in 10 years? 20 years? 40 years?

Be sure to include more than "Happily married in a big house with a white picket fence." What are your long-term hopes, dreams, and goals?

7. Is there a line from a movie, song, or poem that sums up exactly how you feel?

It's okay to borrow a line, as long as it's not too much of a cliché. Please don’t use “You complete me.” It’s so done!

8. Do parts of the traditional vows resonate with you?

Maybe you're not so keen about the "obey" part, but can you really go wrong with "love, honor, and cherish? Make them your own.

9. Can you think of a funny or touching experience that puts your partner in a new light?

The way he acts like a big brother to your little sister or helped your grandmother with the big move to the home last year.

10. Is there a harrowing experience that strengthened your bond?

When a close loved one passed on he gave you all the time you needed to ‘get it together’.

11. What goals and values do you both have?

Stating your common bond may just expose your inner Wordsworth. These ties -- whether they are a true love of wine or your shared faith – this is a great way to illustrate why you are so perfect for one another.

12. What about him/her inspires you? What do you most respect about your partner?

It may be his/her dedication to charity work or his ability to remain calm and in control no matter what is going on around you.

13. What promise can you make to reveal your personal devotion to your future spouse?

Here's an opportunity to really personalize your vows. Many couples pledge their endless love and devotion, but how many can promise to take the dog out in the morning, even after a long night of work or partying?

14. How will you grow and change together?

You probably know what your goals are, at least short term… Think about the steps the two of you will need to take together to reach those goals.

15. What metaphor (or simile) might best capture your love?

Think of something that describes or defines your love. Is your love as strong as a castle? Or is it peaceful like a mountain stream?

16. Why are you entering into this bond of marriage?

Think about why marrying your fiancé is so important. You may be surprised how the answer leads you to the perfect words of expressing your affection.

17. What will keep your marriage strong?

Find the bedrock of your relationship. What makes your relationship tick? Is it your resilience? Your shared sense of humor?

18. What are you most looking forward to about married life?

The wedding is just the beginning. What makes you excited about your future together?

19. What do you expect out of married life?

Defining your expectations will help you make and keep your promises. Think about your dreams, and what you’ll have to vow to do to make them come true.

20. What words do you associate with "love"?

Make a list of romantic terms so you can avoid overusing "love" -- too many repetitions dilute its power.

Okay, now that you've set the ground rules and answered the questions above you should have a solid foundation of ideas to draw from. So...pick up that pen or sit yourself down in front of the computer and start writing!

Good Luck!

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