I Vow To Write Some Bloody Good Vows
Now I might probably definitely be alone here, but whenever I’m in a long-term relationship I begin to wonder what my other half might write about me in their vows. So if any ex-boyfriends are reading this, that’s why you may have caught me looking contemplatively at you from time to time.
And that’s because it’s a commonly held belief that our partner’s vows will hold the absolute truth as to what they really think about us - but just the nice stuff, obviously. And men, who whether rightly or wrongly are known for being a bit schtüm about their feelings, often surprise us when it comes to the vows. Suddenly, when they can find it hard to admit their emotions to just us, they’re standing up in front of a room full of people and declaring how deeply they love us. And it’s really nice to hear.
As much as we want vows to rival the works of Keats and Wordsworth to be said to us, we also have to match the score. So where exactly do you find the inspiration to write the most meaningful things you will ever say to the person you are choosing to marry?
Well, here’s a little guide to all things vows:
Firstly, if you’re having a religious ceremony then you don’t need to think about writing your own vows as the ceremony follows a traditional theistic format. So your guide is slightly shorter: just repeat after the priest and sign off with that sweet “I do”. If you’re not having a religious wedding then you can opt for the standard vows pre-selected by your registrar or you can choose to personalise them by writing your own.
We can find inspiration for writing our vows anywhere - we really can. Anything that makes you feel sentimental or nostalgic is a good place to start. So whether there’s a poem which reminds you of your partner, song lyrics that sum up how you feel, or a quote from a film that says it far better than you ever could, these are your tools to writing the perfect vows. If you and your partner love a particular film then quoting what the protagonist says would be a meaningful way to convey your message, whilst also making your vows enjoyable for your guests. Making your family and friends feel uncomfortable by going OTT with the romantic affirmations could possibly ruin the desired effect.
And then make sure you’ve decided on the tone that you want to strike. Do you want your vows to be comical and light-hearted, or do you want them to be a serious declaration of your feelings? Vowing to watch endless repeats of Game of Thrones with your partner, even though you hate it, can hold as much gravity as someone else vowing to love their partner until the end of time. One of our gorgeous real weddings from Helen & Justin featured Meat Loaf vows (the singer, not the dinner idea), which we love as it's clearly something super personal. Every relationship is different, and everyone has a different way of demonstrating how they feel, so make sure your vows are a true reflection of how you love your partner.
The main part of a vow is to make a promise, as fundamentally that’s what a vow is. Just as with the traditional vows where you promise to love your significant other in sickness and in health, for better for worse, for richer for poorer. These don’t have to be the exact promises that you make, but you do have to make some. So even if it’s just promising to love them, and keep on loving them, for the rest of time that’s good enough! And your vows don’t have to be very long either, something lasting around two minutes is the perfect amount of time to say what needs to be said without losing anyone’s interest along the way. And then you can breathe a sigh of relief because you’re married, you’re a Mrs, and you’re about to be showered in kisses. Rhymes make good vows too… just not that one.
To kickstart your vow writing, we’ve put together some of our favourite quotes that would fit perfectly into your vows:
- “And I’d choose you; in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I’d find you and I’d choose you.”—The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White
- “I didn’t fall in love with you. I walked into love with you, with my eyes wide open, choosing to take every step along the way. I do believe in fate and destiny, but I also believe we are only fated to do the things that we’d choose anyway.”—The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White
- “I vow to help you love life, to always hold you with tenderness and to have the patience that love demands, to speak when words are needed and to share the silence when they are not, to agree to disagree on red velvet cake, and to live within the warmth of your heart and always call it home.”—The Vow
- "If every word I said could make you laugh, I'd talk forever. I ask the sky just what we had, it shone forever. If the song I sing to you could fill your heart with joy, I'd sing forever. I've been so happy loving you." Forever by The Beach Boys
- "I could make you happy, make your dreams come true. Nothing that I wouldn't do. Go to the ends of the Earth for you, to make you feel my love." Make You Feel My Love by Bob Dylan