Choosing Your Words Wisely: Writing Your Own Vows vs. Using Traditional Ones

We have talked quite a lot on this here bloggy-thing about the components of a solid wedding. We have spoken even more about the importance of selecting the right wedding band for you, and your manly finger. This may be, in some small part, due to the fact that we sell tungsten wedding bands for your awesomely solid wedding needs. Or, it may just be a coincidence, I don't know. I'm no brain surgeon .

And yet, for all the deep discussion and well-meaning advice we have shared so far, we have yet to tackle what may be THE most important piece of your wedding ceremony: The wedding vows. Yes, more important than who stands beside you and your spouse-to-be, or even who stands before you to officiate. Even more important than the dress, the tux, or even... Man, this hurts to say... But yes, even more important than Titanium wedding rings. Your vows are the core of the entire ceremony, which itself, is the core of the entire wedding.

Without you and your beloved becoming lovingly (and legally) betrothed, the whole event is little more than a fancy-dress party for you and yours to get drunk at. And while there is absolutely nothing wrong with a drunken shindig, that isn't what you're after this time, right? Right. So sit back for a moment, and answer a few quick questions for me. By the time we're done, I promise, you'll know whether it's time to crack out a pen and notebook, and start putting thoughts to paper.

Let's dance.

QUESTION 1: Do You Have the Time, Good Sir?

This one is simple, yet crucial to the decision to write your own vows. While I'm not going to tell you to spend weeks writing an epic sonnet of love and devotion to your future spouse, you (and they) do need to spend more than five minutes whipping up a draft on your cell phones. Writing your own vows is about pouring out your own personal feelings, in your own words, as a promise to your mate of what your future together will be. One good page should be enough, maybe just a few good paragraphs. That is still going to take a few hours, possibly spread out over a few days. If you and/or they won't have that kind of time available between now and the big day, maybe skip writing your own vows. The traditional ones have been around in one form or another since 1549, having stood the test of time. It's OK to go the traditional route. Many have before you.

QUESTION 2: How Hot Is That Spotlight?

Were you the outspoken kid back in high school? Did you shine your brightest when it was time to give a speech or presentation? Did you get involved with any extracurricular activities that involved public speaking? Do I ask way too many questions when trying to make a point?

See, you don't just have to write your vows, dear bro: You have to read them, out loud, in front of all your friends and family (or at least the ones you invited). And, while you mean every single word on that page, that doesn't magically mean it will be easy to say in front of actual people. It's one thing to repeat the words given to you by an experienced officiant; it is a whole different world to belt out a self-prepared set of words, even if you've practiced them alone in front of your bathroom mirror. If you, (or your future spouse), has any discomfort speaking in public, it may be in your best interest to go the traditional route.

QUESTION 3: Who's Got Your Back, Bro?

So maybe you have the time to handle the task at hand, and can be as fearless as a Roman gladiator staring down a lion when it comes time to read your heartfelt creation... but do you have the chops to put what you feel in your manly heart into actual coherent words? Better yet, do you have someone in your circle who can read over what you come up with, and help you make sense of your inane ramblings?

Let me make one thing clear: Writing isn't easy. Seriously. Do you have any idea how many beers I go through cranking one of these blog posts out? I ask, because I lost count... And need another. Be right back.

I'm kidding, of course, but only a little. Transforming your thoughts into something meaningful can be taxing for even the most gifted of writers, and frustratingly hard for the rest of us. No matter how skilled you, (or your future spouse), are with the written word, there is no resource better than a good friend that can help you make it all sound good. Trust me, if your best effort sounds like the ramblings of a toddler on a sugar-high, you may want to go the traditional route.

… So, how'd you do?

You think you have the time, the guts and the skills to write your own vows? Yeah?

I knew I liked you, you awesome slice of brovolone cheese. Now for the advice part:

Just. Speak. From. The. Heart.

Yes, it is that simple. If you are the funny guy, sprinkle in a couple cheesy jokes. Make promises that are relevant to your lives together. Touch on the things that mean the most to you and your spouse. No matter what advice column you read, it all ends up the same: Only you know what is in your heart. So pour it out. Your spouse deserves nothing less.

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