You and your betrothed should have already discussed your wedding vows and decided to use prewritten vows or to write your own. Time is counting down and the big day is approaching fast - it's time to make your final arrangements and decisions about the vows so get together with the groom-to-be and discuss it over lunch - and don't forget your laptop.
Choosing the Right Words
If you're using traditional vows, decide on the version you both prefer or select a standard format that you both can personalize. If you've decided to write your own, are you each writing separately or will you write them together? If you still haven't finished writing or personalizing your vows, set a deadline for the very near future and stick to it.
Wedding Vows Checklist
Be sure you and your future husband have your vows ready by the agreed date. Print out copies and ask your maid of honor and best man to read over them for mistakes. Unless the vows are a surprise for the ceremony, read what your groom has written and hand him a copy of your vows.
Make any necessary changes and print out your final copy. Give one to the wedding officiant, one to your maid of honor or best man, tuck a copy into your wedding day bag, and keep a copy for practicing.
Practice, practice, and practice some more. Read your vows aloud, say them in front of a mirror, and recite them with your future husband. The more you practice, the easier it will be on your special day.
Read, Recite, or Repeat
Most traditional wedding vows are either answered with a simple, ‘I do,' or the bride and groom repeat the vows to one another after the officiant reads them. A lot of couples prefer to say or repeat the vows as they look into one another's eyes - it seems to have a lot more meaning than just ‘I do'.
If you've written your own vows, you still have a few different options when it comes time to make your promises.
- Memorization. Reciting your vows from memory is usually the ideal method, but not always the most realistic. Nervousness, emotions, and anxiousness can all make it easy to forget - you may want a cheat sheet just in case!
- Notes. It's okay to make yourself a few notes for your wedding vows. Keep it brief, on a small index card, and only glance at it as needed. Remember to keep eye contact with your new spouse, not your notes.
- Repeat it. You can also provide your officiant with a copy of the vows to read so you and your spouse can repeat them. This saves you from forgetting what to say and also allows you to concentrate on the meaning of the words you're promising rather than remembering their order.