Photo: Allyson Magda Photography
Theoretically, penning heartfelt, humorous, and endearing wedding vows shouldn't be a difficult task. However, expressing exactly how you feel about your hubby is not a simple feat, especially when many of your closest friends and family members watching. If you wish to do away with traditional wedding vows and customize your covenants, by all means do so; many couples may find drafting personalized vows a manner of genuinely expressing their emotions towards their significant other, while also making promises that are vital to the marriage. But putting pen to paper and crafting such a speech can strike fear into the hearts of even the most articulate brides. Sharon Naylor, author of Your Special Wedding Vows and Your Wedding, Your Way, and Annie Lee, founder of New York City-based wedding planning company Daughter of Design, offer their expertise on unexpected ways to personalize your vows.
1. Incorporate Comedy
Your wedding vows represent your lifelong commitment to your partner, but they need not be entirely serious. "Inside jokes are always a nice touch as are comic reliefs. Just make sure they are appropriate to say in front of Nana," Lee advises brides.
2. Tap Into Your Inner Storyteller
"If you need some help getting started try talking about the past, the present, and the future. What life was like before you met, how your life changed when you met," Lee recommends. "Sprinkle in small case-in-point stories which always are the ones that draw people into your love story."
3. Use a Song Lyric or Two
You may not Grammy winner, but you can certainly use the words of musical masterminds to describe how your partner makes you feel. "A great song carries so much meaning. It's been written by a stellar songwriter, and the song may have a ton of meaning to you," Naylor states. "It may be part of your love story. So quoting that song is a fabulous way to personalize your vows, and it's a springboard to your thoughts about your partner."
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4. Let Literary Greats Speak for You
If you find it difficult to express yourself through written word, allow your favorite authors to do so on your behalf. "Use a quote or passage from a book. If a brilliant writer has perfectly captured your emotions, whether or not that quote or line has been a big part of your love story, build it into your vows," Naylor suggests.
5. Make Vows Multilingual
Your wedding vows should express a union of yourself with your significant other, and your blending native languages is a wonderful way to demonstrate this harmony. "If your partner is multi-lingual, research a phrase to include in his/her native language (and have a fluent friend coach you on correct pronunciation, so that your heartfelt effort doesn't turn into an embarrassment). Families and guests will appreciate your thinking of this, as will your partner," Naylor proposes.