Writing Your Own Vows Part 2: How-To Tips

So you’ve read last February’s blog about writing your own vows and overcoming stage fright, and now you and your fiancé have decided that this is what you both would like to do. Your ceremony is fast-approaching, but suddenly you have a case of writer’s block.

Get Inspired

If you are finding yourself staring at a blank screen, try these things to get the sparks going:

  • Head space: Hit a bucket of balls, cast a line, walk the beach, or stare into a hot fire with a cold beer. Clear the clutter out of your head to make room for thoughts of your fiancé. Remember back to the first time you met. What was it that got your attention? What did you see that made you think, “This might be the one?” This person deserves the best spouse you can be, so what things do you promise to do to be that? Think about your fiancé’s needs and desires; are they things you can address?
  • Heart space: As you got to know each other, how did love grow? How do you feel now? What traits do your friends say describe you? Are you loyal, strong, and protective? Could you translate those words into promises? For example, can you say “I promise to put you above all others, support you in everything you do, and protect your heart from hurt where ever and whenever I can?”
  • Lifelines: Dial a friend. Ask the friends who know you best to describe what they see when you are together. What dynamics between you do they observe? Do they love being with the two of you because they see you having fun, being considerate, experiencing happiness like never before? What can you do to keep that going for years to come?
  • A Muse: You can find inspiration in many things: movies, lyrics, and books to name a few. Watch a movie and pick out lines that give you a place to start. “You make me want to be a better man,” from the movie As Good as it Gets is a good example. Listen to a song that express how you feel. How about, “I want to grow old with you” from the Wedding Singer? Books, even kid’s books, can offer insights. Winnie the Pooh wisely said to Piglet, “A day spent with you is my favorite day. So today is my new favorite day.” Lastly, what better muse is there than your fiancé? Do quiet every-day things together, and as you do, think about what it is about your partner that you love and respect? What do you hope your future together will be? What is your part in making that happen?
  • Humor: It’s okay to lighten the mood with humor. Bring a smile to your beloved’s lips, perhaps even a chuckle. The earlier example of the song from the Wedding Singer is sweet, funny, and endearing. It has lyrics in it that say, “I want to make you smile whenever you’re sad, carry you around when your arthritis is bad…” Or perhaps there is something your fiancé is always asking you to do that you struggle with such as loading the dishwasher. For a little levity at a serious moment, vow to be better at putting the dishes in the machine!

Ask an Expert

Most likely, your Justice of the Peace has gotten to know you by the time you are writing your vows. Set up a time to brainstorm about wedding vows that are unique to your relationship. What does the JP see in you as a couple that is worth mentioning? An objective perspective may be all that’s needed to start the wheels turning.


Read Part One in our Writing Your Own Vows series: Overcoming Stage Fright

Find your perfect JP at findaJP.com

Cindy Dumont is a Justice of the Peace in North Hampton, New Hampshire.

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