Adding Wow to your Vow
By Serena McGinnis
Congratulations lovely, you are engaged! You and your honey have set a date, chosen a venue and are currently crafting the guest list of your dreams. A guest list full of beloved family, ride or die friends and those zany co-workers that make work more bearable. Searching through weddings on social media you start to wonder-how can you make your wedding more personal?
You are imagining a wild reception at a gorgeously romantic venue. Everyone is dancing the night away and telling you how you beautiful you look. The "Aww’s" are heard all over the atmosphere and yes, you two are in the throws of having the wedding of the century... but wait... back that dream up. Let’s not forget the heart of the night. The ceremony. The love story in detail. Today I would like to focus on perhaps my favorite part of the wedding. Drumroll please...
These are the promises that only you and your love can make to each other. You can definitely use traditional vows and still accomplish a personal and romantic wedding-no judgements here. But if you have a moment, why not let us in on the reason we are all here?
Tell everyone your love-story. To begin the vow writing process, I want you to find a quiet spot, (preferably a spot away from your significant other) and have a pen and paper near by. There is a method I used when creating my vows last year. I call it "Past, Present and Future". Original huh? But let me tell you, there wasn't a dry eye in the house and people still mention my vows to this day.
Before you write a single word, I want you to close your eyes and think of when you first met. Maybe it was magical. Maybe it was silly. Maybe it was annoying. But there is a story. Now open your eyes and start to write a few tidbits from that meeting. Remember to include how it all made you feel-don't worry, these notes are just for you (for now). The past portion can cover where you were in your life when you met them. You want to take your guest through your Hero's Journey to finding the love of your life. Where you ready for love? Running from love? What about them? Were you both players not looking to be serious? Jot it down!
Now we are going to get into the meat (or in my case the tofu) of the sandwich. Think about how you feel currently about your honey dip. Think of how far you two have come since those early days. Mention the power ballad duets in the kitchen or maybe the way your heart still flutters when you hear their keys unlocking the condo door. Get a little personal about your growth as well. Weren't you a little selfish before they taught you to share your fries more? Weren't they a little possessive of the remote? Now you two are both sharing fries and remotes and on your way to a solid foundation for marriage. This is also the time to give thanks to your love for being on this fun adventure with you. Thank them for changing your life and loving you like only they can.
This part is the possibly the most important. A vow is after all a promise. So now that we have laughed and cried a little, it's time to cry even more! Your past was cute. Your present is cool. But now we need to imagine your future. If your end goal is "forever ever" then you need to paint a picture. This looks different for every couple so take your time. What can you promise your love? What can you guarantee? What will you at least "work on" or try? What will you remember? When times get a little wavy, what will be your center and true north? Wrap it all up in a bow for your love. This is a gift for them to hold on to and cherish. Think of only your love with this promise and your guests will feel as though you have let them in on a romantic secret.
So, as you go back to dreaming of your wedding, remember the heart. If you truly want to make your vows more personal, you need to capture the story of your love and the promises you are going to make to grow that love. There is of course no right or wrong way to write your vows, but follow these tips and I assure you are on your way to adding that "wow".