When the thought of writing our own vows came up, I looked at my fiancee to see a terrified look come to his face. To be honest I probably had a similar expression. I love being with people, with family, but sometimes being the center of attention doesn’t make me the most comfortable (I know, odd for an only child). So the idea of finding the right words and speaking them aloud felt like far too much. And if I’m a bit shy at times, you haven’t met my social anxiety bearing husband.
So we personalized our vows by combining a few excerpts from the officiant, along with some quotes and sayings we found that we loved. Including a Dr. Seuss quote that Rob is still happy we had in there. It was beautiful, it was meaningful, and at the end of the day it was us.
That was 6 years ago. And today I can honestly say I feel differently about it. Not about what we did, or what other couples choose to do, but about how I didn’t allow myself to be open to the idea. I shut it down immediately, I let fear stop me, hold me back, feed me a line of BS about not being a good writer, or that I’d look like a fool.
Fast forward to now being involved in the wedding industry, writing this blog, encouraging a wedding space of inclusion and wholeheartedness. It would be crazy if those things didn’t change my view. And I’m so grateful that they have.
So I write this not to convince you to write vows if you really don’t want to but encourage you to find what’s important to you as you navigate this wedding (and life) journey and go for it! To not be hindered by expectations, tradition or normality and just do you.
On my own journey towards openness I’ve come across a few ways to give yourself some freedom in pursuing what you love. I’m going to apply them to vow writing here but they can be used towards anything.
IN THE MOMENT
We all look back and wish we could have done some things differently. But we often don’t cherish the here and now. I don’t regret not writing our vows because at the time it was not our mindset to do so. But if it means something to you then don’t hesitate in doing it. Embrace this time and space for the joy that it is. Without stress, fear and worry. Celebrate that commitment in any way that works for you.
If the thought of writing your own words makes you queasy, borrow the words from someone else. Find a song, poem or quote that expresses how you feel better than you think your words will.
SLOW IT DOWN
If speaking in front of a crowd is not your style then take a few moments privately to share what this day means to you. Speak a few words that you’ve put together at your first look, in a card to read as you each get ready, or at night when you’re snuggled in bed after a long love filled day. It really does go by so fast, and finding time to speak words of love slows it down just a bit. Doing so reminds you why you’re here, what this day is all about, and focuses you in on enjoying this day to it’s fullest.
COMMUNITY FEEDS CONNECTION
It’s hard to go through change alone. And while getting married might not feel like such a big change if you’ve been together awhile, planning a wedding certainly is. Finding a group of people in the same situation as you with often the same fears and vulnerabilities as you is one of the biggest blessings of the internet. I am grateful for this community that holds space to share those feelings.
Lately I’ve been toying around with holding a vow writing workshop is because I want to create a space for couples who are on the fence about it. I’d love to know if any of this resonates with you or someone you know about the vow writing process.
You love the idea but don’t know where to start?
You want to feel comfortable and confident in how you express yourself?
Maybe you need to get your partner on board with the idea because their fears are bigger than yours?
Would you find this information online or would a class be helpful?
Would you pay for a workshop like this?
I’d love to have your feedback if these questions are worth answering. And as always thanks for reading this!