Have to write vows or something else important and wondering where to start ? read this article for some help.
Some of us find it hard to tell people how we feel about them, our pen hovers over the card we are about to write and if this is to be read out at a special time , for example a wedding, we can struggle to say or write what we want to. Reading someone a personal vow or feeling is so special, this might happen at a baby naming, a vow renewal, an anniversary or 100th birthday, to name but a few occasions.
Having to write and read out something can really worry some people, maybe they haven’t had good experiences of this sort of thing in the past, maybe displaying their affection in such a public way just feels tricky.
So, lets take the mystery out of this a little, vows, for example are promises, simple, personal and individual. They mean a lot when they are your own words. As a nurse I once sat with a man who wanted help to write vow renewals for his partner.
“What do you want to say?” I ask
“I want him to know when he places his hand on mine, it always feels special, but that’s a bit naff, I still love him, he means everything to me”
“how about this…” “I promise to love you always, as I have until now, Every day, as you are still everything to me.
When you reach for me I promise to return the touch of your hand with my hand as this is symbol of our love, that belongs just to us and still feels so special to me ”
He was happy with this and complemented me on my writing, but I reminded him “Those are your words, I’ve just re arranged them a bit”. To be honest that’s the secret, use your words, play around with them to made them feel like something you would really say. Help can be at hand from Celebrants if you need a little assistance but usually your own words are what will make it so meaningful.
Vows don’t have to be super soppy, they can be practical things like “I promise to cook your favourite Thai food often” or “I promise to not binge watch TV we are both into, without you” sometimes these might be a little joke between you both.
Jacqui Harding from Ceremony By Design – Heart-led celebrant in Gloucestershire wrote an excellent piece recently about this very topic and I share a little of her wisdom here with you as she has some great top tips on offer.
So when thinking of vow or promise writing here are some tips..
- Say you love them
- Think about why you are grateful that they are in your life and tell them, for example I’m grateful that my husband always makes me a cuppa in the morning and if I’m going on a long car journey always checks the tyre pressures on the car and makes sure I have water in the windscreen washer. The thing you are grateful for can be big or small.
- Include something that you know will make them laugh
- Make promises, being specific can be good “I vow to always take the dog for his groom because I know you don’t like it” try to make at least one specific promise, although some general ones too is ok.
- Consider making a promise to support yourself. This can be specific I will continue to make time to be creative every week or I’ll ask for help when I need it.
- Words like always and never are quite hard to live up to so think carefully about including them
- Its generally more powerful if you can keep your vows secret from one another so that the first time you hear them is on the day but that’s your call. Remember although your vows are witnessed they are being made to each other.
Hope this helps you think about the writing of your vows.
Want a personal service to support you? Contact me and we can discuss how I can help. Good Luck with your vow writing Tina @CamomileCeremonies
Full Article on Vamp up those Vows, by Jacqui Harding can be found in The Celebrant International Journal of Celebrants and Ceremonies. issue eight June 2021.