The vows are one of the main wedding traditions and in my opinion, one of the best. Some choose to use classic vows, when others prefer to write their own for each other. I feel like in recent decades, it has become more important to make weddings personalized.
They have transformed from an official but mostly standardized event of commitment, to a customized festival of love that not only shows off the newly-married couple, but also reveals some part of each partner’s life and each other’s role in their lives. LGBTQ+ weddings have a tendency to be even more personalized, which makes sense! You can consider it as their way to show their pride, and share a bit of their experience with family and friends.
So it is not so surprising that when it comes to vows, the same personalization applies. People write very personalized vows to each other. And while some do it easily, others spend a lot of time and might need some extra help. This is the exact time when you should find help if you need it.
Before starting writing a lesbian wedding vow:
Breath in, breath out. With all of the wedding preparation, which may be pretty stressful in itself, writing a wedding vow can be a challenge. Strong and true feelings sometimes are really hard to put into words. Before starting, just calm down. Distract yourself from all life’s problems, and go somewhere that feels safe and comfortable for you.
Bring some memories back – go through the gallery on your phone, or take something material that reminds you of your partner (it might be a movie theater ticket, or a sweet little note she wrote to you months ago).
If you always had a hard time writing essays and letters, just start by writing anything that you want to include in your vow – something personal that might make her laugh or might make her heart skip a beat.
Example of vow structure:
Appeal to a dearly loved one. Just say how happy you are that this day has finally come, how excited you are, or even that you feel a little bit nervous. Share some genuine feelings about the moment.
Who is she to you? What does she mean to you? She is not just your fiancé; you both have a lot of history. Many would say that their partner is their friend, companion, inspiration. Maybe she was your life-changer. Say something about it.
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Look back. Recall something about the beginning of your relationship. What was your first thought about her? Did you think she was really loud? Or maybe you liked the shoes she was wearing when you first met her. Love is in the details.
The relationship is about growing together. What have you learned from her? It might be learning to express yourself or learning how to cook. Give your dearest one a compliment. She had had a skill that she shared with you, with or without her knowing it.
Going through it all together. Tell just a little bit about your ups and downs. It is important to realize and show that the relationship is not always perfect, and life is not necessary a candy land. Supporting each other and working on mutual understanding is a major aspect of relationships. You can show this by saying something like, “you give me strength” or “I feel safe with you”.
Love is about accepting anything and everything about your partner. Every person is unique. Why did you fall in love with this particular person? Does she have a cute habit? Maybe she talks in her sleep. Or maybe she likes to eat ice cream with ketchup. It will be touching if you add something special about her, something that not everyone knows, maybe something a little bit silly. (but not too embarrassing!)
Look forward. What are your dreams for the future that you will spend with your one and only? Do you want to get a rescue dog? Are you dreaming of having a house with a hammock in the backyard? Feel free to share something as big or small as you want.
The promises and vows themselves. Promise to be there for her no matter what, to cherish her uniqueness, to respect and support her interests. Vow to do your best so she will feel safe, heard, loved, and wanted.
You can add a quote to spice up your vows. It might be from shared memory, your favorite book, movie, or TV show. Sometimes it is hard to find the right words, so a quote can help to express your thoughts.
Most couples have nicknames for each other, whether they like it or not. Obviously, it is not the best idea to use an annoying nickname. However, if your partner likes it when you call them a cute name, it will add some sweetness to your vow.
If you still have something that you want to say, but it does not fit anywhere in the structure that you chose, just add it starting with, “There is also something else you should know”. It might not sound perfectly structured but, in my opinion, it is better when you say what you want. It is better to be real and sincere, because it is impossible to be perfect.
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Show that you are ready for such commitment – show it with your words.
Do not read everything from the paper. Make eye contact with your love while saying your vow.
You can use the phrase, “in front of our families and friends …” to show your pride, to show that you do not want to hide her and your love, to show that you even want to brag a little.
Ask someone to read your vow to you so you can hear how it will sound. Sometimes you concentrate so much while writing and editing that you just don’t notice some part that you might not like the sound of when it is read aloud.
Also, it is alright to ask your friends or a specialist for help to structure your vow, to make it less wordy, or more pleasant-sounding.
How to make sure you speak your vow well
Do not be afraid to get too emotional. It is one of the greatest (if not the greatest) moments of your life! There is nothing embarrassing about having emotions. However, getting too anxious because of this speaking is not good. If it happens in the middle of your vow and you would like to finish it, do not panic, and just try one of the calming techniques. There are many of them, and most of them are pretty easy to do. If you know one that works for you, that is great. If not, read ahead for some suggestions to relax:
- do breathing techniques. One of the most popular ones is called “4-7-8”. The point of it is to take control of your heart rate through breathing. To do this, close your mouth and breathe in through your nose for a count of 4. Do not count out loud! Count to yourself. Then hold the air in your lungs for 7 seconds. Then open your mouth and exhale through your mouth for a count of 8. Repeat until your heart rate slows down.
- do the 5-4-3-2-1 coping technique. It is pretty easy to remember what you need to do: find 5 things you can see around you, 4 things you can feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and one thing you can taste (you will need to have gum prepared for this one). This way you can bring your mind back to the world. This exercise is most effective after doing the 4-7-8 breathing, because when your breath is fast, it will be harder to do this. After doing these two exercises, the calming effect is more effective.
If you have a feeling that this might happen, then warn your partner. I am sure she will be the one who can best help you! In the end, remember that she is the one you are telling your vow to, not everyone else. Make her your main focus – make your lady your priority!
The most important thing
I wish you luck with writing your vow, and with the whole ceremony that is waiting for you. Marriage is a critical part of most people’s lives. Even though people usually spend a lot of money, time, and effort on preparing for the wedding, in the end many of those details are not that crucial. The flowers on the table during the ceremony will not make you happy for the rest of your life. Neither will the cake, dress, music, nor the invitation cards. Your partner, however, will!
Do not get me wrong! I think that weddings are important and they worth spending some money, time, and effort for them. You and your partner should just not get too stressed and overwhelmed by everything. Sometimes it is better to take it a little bit easier and just enjoy the moment.
Your wedding will be a great memory! Not because of the best local wedding photographer (even though a good photographer is important, or even a couple of them), but because of the memories of this special day the two of you will have.
So do not be afraid to improvise a little with your vows if you forget any part. Add some jokes in it if you feel like it! Even if the only person who gets the joke is your partner, everyone else is confused, and you will feel a little awkward, it is not the end of life. Do you know what it really is? It is a great, funny story from your wedding that you will be telling in 10-20 years.
All in all, I hope you find at least something helpful here. I wish you all the best!