When it comes to heartfelt sentiments, there's nothing quite as romantic, personal or special as writing your own vows. Of course, it's also one of the hardest things to do. That's because telling the love of your life just how you feel about them is incredibly tricky. You want to describe exactly how in love you are, what it feels like to be walking through a dream with your eyes wide open and what promises you make your soul mate -- all in a few short minutes. It's overwhelming to say the least.
But it's also worth every tear, every sleepless night and every frustrated moment because this is your chance to tell your love story. It's your chance to give a voice to your feelings and tell the world all about your love, as you stare into your partner's eyes from start to kiss.
That's what makes it so special: the intimacy. The courage to stand up in front of your friends and family and expose every piece of your heart to them as you serenade the love of your life.
And to help you make this intimate moment one you never st op smiling about, here is our essential guide to writing your own wedding vows:
1. Make sure you say the words: "I love you!" Now you might think that's pretty obvious advice to be giving, but you'll be surprised... no, you'll be shocked at just how many couples forget to add those all-important words into their vows.
2. Acknowledge the journey that love takes you on. All marriages have ups and downs, good times and tricky rides, but being there for each other through it all is what makes this relationship the one. So tell your soul mate that. Tell them you'll be by their side forever, no matter what.
3. Actually make promises. Vows aren't just cute anecdotes—they are a promise and serious commitment that you’re making in front of a whole lot of witnesses. That doesn’t mean they have to be heavy though. “You can vow to not only stick by their side forever but to also be the one to kill spiders whenever they creep their way into your home,” says Dent.
4. Acknowledge all the people gathered for your wedding. They're all going to have an important role to play in your marriage, supporting you on your journey in more ways than you might realise, so tell them, thank them and mention the role they have had in your lives and that you hope they will continue to have.
5. Give yourself plenty of time to write yours -- and then rehearse it. As a general rule of thumb, we recommend writing your vows around a month before your big day so that you have plenty of time to perfect your speech and then rehearse it because, trust us, those wedding day jitters can take over.
6. Use the notes app on your phone to get all your thoughts down. Things you love about your fiancé, stories you remember, nuances that no one else knows about -- whatever it is that comes to mind, make a note of them and then revisit them when it comes to writing your vows. You'll find you have the foundations for real intimacy right there.
7. Accept you won't be able to get everything into your vows. As much as you'll want to say a thousand beautiful things, there will be too much to try and squeeze into a few minutes, so don't stress about it. Instead, speak from the heart, tell your soul mate how they make you feel, how excited you are to spend forever with them and live in the moment.
8. Laughter should never be underestimated. Yes, you want your vows to be personal, sentimental and romantic, but making your partner smile and laugh throughout your wedding - especially your ceremony - will not only live on in your memories, but become a foundation for your happily ever after.
9. Be sentimental with your vows. We say that because it can be hard for a lot of people to be worried about what other people think or worrying that what you're saying is cheesy. But here's the truth: your words cannot be cheesy or corny or clichéd if they're heartfelt. That's a promise.
10. Choose your most trusted friend as your guide. You want someone that will be honest, give good feedback, drop in some ideas and, most of all, great at keeping secrets. After all, someone like that is really going to help you deliver vows that you are proud of; vows that tell your soul mate exactly how you feel about them."
11. And last, but by no means least, keep your vows a secret from your partner. There will be times when this feels hard, you feel unsure about what you've written or you simply want to hear your fiancé's to make sure yours is on the same level of romantic, but try not. From our experience, your vows will be filled with emotion and have all the feels if you're sharing them for the first time.