Reading your vows during your wedding ceremony will be one of the most intimate and possibly even scariest moments of your life. It's a time when you're standing in front of the person you love, committing your plan to spend forever with them — in front of all of your closest friends and family members. It's a moment of laughs, tears, and an urgent request to find tissues so that your mascara doesn't run and stain your veil. So when you're sitting down to figure out what you want to say, here are six things to know before you write your wedding vows.
1. You don't have to make them perfect.
Don't bog yourself down with a desire to make your vows sound absolutely perfect. You may run out of words, ideas, and time. Instead, focus on getting a draft done and then revise that draft until your wedding day arrives.
2. You can add in humor.
Your vows don't have to be all mushy, all the time. You can add bits of humor throughout to get your guests laughing.
3. Your vows don't have to be very long.
Try to keep your vows under two minutes. That's the perfect amount of time to keep your guests' attention and also a long enough time to say what you want to say — without rambling or repeating yourself. Keep it as concise as possible.
4. Start writing as early as possible.
The sooner you start, the more time you'll have to brainstorm what you'd like to say. If you wait for the night before your wedding, you may be suffocated by nerves that you can't seem to string together a sentence.
5. Try writing them as a letter.
If you're having trouble starting, try opening up a card or take a piece of paper and write your vows down as if you were writing them as a letter to the person you're marrying.
6. Pick your words wisely.
It's always best to skip the clichés and instead use specific details that define your relationship with the person you're marrying. That way, it will feel very personalized and geared towards showcasing your true passion, commitment, and connection.
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Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates.