Where do I start with the DIY vows....Any suggestions?
You can Google "vows" and copy some of the content in already existing vows.. That's what I did to start out, then I basically went through the things that I love about FI, what our life together will mean, etc.. what things I promise to do/uphold, how I feel about him, etc. HTH!
I did not google vows, but I structured mine much the same way - what I appreciate about him, why I am looking forward to our life together, and what I promise to do for him
We wrote ours together...I had my list of things and he did and then, between the two of us, we wrote "mutual" vows. Here's what we came up with...
I pledge to be your loving friend and partner in marriage, sharing all of the triumphs and challenges that life may bring. I declare to love, honor, respect and appreciate you every day. I pledge to consciously renew our marriage, continuing to grow as an individual, so that our partnership will always be strengthened. I promise to communicate with you patiently, expressing myself openly, while respecting your individuality and cherishing your uniqueness. I will look to my own contribution in a difficult situation rather then cast judgment on you, making amends when I have been wrong and offering forgiveness when I have been wronged. I will speak with integrity and live my life with dignity. I will not make assumptions. If I do not understand something, I will ask. I pledge to be honest with you and remain emotionally available to you. I commit to the friendship upon which our love is based and to live with acceptance rather than criticism of you. I will support you in a definitive manner by encouraging your dreams and goals, celebrating your accomplishments and supporting you in your endeavors. I will honor your trust in me and put our family first before any outside influences. I will build a home with you that will be a happy and safe place that provides us refuge from the world at large. I will greet you with a kiss and a smile and make time to laugh with you each day. We will be imperfect, but with God's help and our commitment to love I will support you without reservation, comfort you with compassion and stand by your side without condition through all joys and sorrows, all the days of my life.
These are a little longer than the average, typical marriage vows, but we really took this very seriously and wanted to include everything that mattered to us and our relationship. So we didn't mind that they were longer. We definitely wanted the emphasis of our wedding day to be upon the ceremony and more specifically, the vows. We read them to eachother, so we didn't need to stress about memorizing them.
I posted the first draft of our entire ceremony, which we wrote ourselves (with lots of help from Google) and had our friend officiate. You can read that post here: