Mitch The Minister
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Writing your own vows?

First, relax.  This is not a test.  There are no grades.  Everyone passes. 
What can you say in your personal wedding vows without sounding like a Hallmark card?   I can give you some suggestions on where to start.  It's a 'once in a lifetime'  moment when you can say what's in your heart.  


Think about what you’d like to say.
Some ideas start with:
“What’s that one thing that you really love about your partner?
”What do they do that you love?”
“What do they do that drives you crazy?
“How do they make your feel when you’re with them?  
“What is it about your partner that makes your heart skip a beat? 
“What happened that moment when you realized that they were the ‘right’ person?”

Start with:  "Dear Wife:" 




 You may want to include a set of promises to one another.  Here are some ideas to help you write your wedding vows.  You may want to include some traditional words, but remember that these are your vows.  Say what‘s in your heart:
•To love, respect, accept, honor and cherish each other.
•To be honest and always faithful.
•To respect the individuality of each other.
•To be best friends.
•To be kind, trusting, honest, giving and understanding.
•To bring joy and laughter into the marriage.  Being silly at times is fun.

LOOK FOR INSPIRATION  
Your dream wedding vows require you to be inspired.  Look for ideas from inspirational words written in poetry, books, movies, etc. that touch your heart.  When something moves you, it expresses your own feelings.  Artfully write down the personal and special moments of your relationship.  Express them in a brief, simple and well-chosen manner to allow your wedding guests to understand their meaning.


FINAL WEDDING VOW TIPS  
When you have completed writing your wedding vows, you may want to share them with your wedding minister.  He (or she) may have helpful suggestions for you.  They are experienced at creating the perfect ceremony.  In addition, I always recommend to keep your vows to a limit of two index cards. That way you both will speak for approximately the same amount of time.

Make sure to have a copy of your wedding vows on an index card with you at your wedding ceremony.   Never try to memorize them.   You have too many other things going on to worry about this.  

Remember that your wedding vows are a public declaration of your commitment to one another so read them slowly, loudly and clearly.  Your wedding guests are there to witness your marriage ceremony and they should be able to hear your words.

I was interviewed for an article in New Jersey Bride Magazine about writing your own vows.

By Patricia Koch


You’ve fallen in love. Now try putting that magical connection into words to explain why you belong together forever. Original vows can be the centerpiece of an especially memorable ceremony. 

That’s why New Jersey couples—as many as 40 percent of them, according to officiants we spoke with—are writing their own.  If you’re game, here are some expert tips: Speak from your heart.  “When couples prefer personal sentiment to pre-packaged words, I suggest they tap into their feelings,  stay under fifty words, and avoid the words ‘honor’ and ‘obey,’” says Mitchell Maged – MitchTheMinister (201-410-6834). 

“I advise brides and grooms to write five or six sentences from their hearts to reflect the openness and permanence of their relationship,” adds Father Vince Corso (973-571-0053).
In her book, 1000 Best Secrets for your Perfect Wedding, New Jersey Bride contributing writer and author Sharon Naylor suggests using a love letter or diary entry that reflects “what you find most important in each other, in your partnership, in marriage, and in love universally.” There’s no right or wrong way. Couples have exchanged one set of vows, surprised each other with totally different vows, even had one speak traditional vows and the other original ones.

 In all cases, they were officially married. Don’t memorize. Spare your nerves and read your vows—or repeat them after an officiant. “Vows come at the emotional height of the ceremony, when you’re ready to explode,” Mitchell counsels. “So my couples write them on index cards to read when the time comes. I ask them to keep these vows secret from each other, so they’re fresh for the ceremony.” Stick with tradition. There’s nothing wrong with traditional vows; couples have been tying the knot with them for generations.

As Father Vince tells us, “Some couples feel connected to grandparents and parents by saying traditional ‘I dos.’ Old or new vows don’t measure a marriage. These couples have already pledged themselves to one another. This is simply the public proclamation of something that’s been in their hearts for a long time.”

 Even so, there’s something magical about phrasing your mutual love in your own words. When couples do, Mitchell claims, “It’s like I’m not really marrying them; they’re marrying each other. I always suggest they save their personal vows.  On their first anniversary, go out for a nice romantic dinner and re-read them to each other. It’s very romantic.”