The Green Wedding Chronicles: Putting it in Writing

the first old fashioned letter he wrote me :)

the first letter he wrote me – yes, he photographed it before sending it (to show he was actually writing an old-fashioned note, aww!).

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” ~William Wordsworth

And as we near the three-weeks-to-go mark til the wedding, my fiance and I have started chatting about something neither of us has gotten around to yet but definitely plan on doing…writing our vows.

Finding the Words

Funny when two writers are about to get married – you think, ah, they’ll have that done right away, no problem!  Not so fast, y’all. We both talked the other night about how we want to say something special during the ceremony, but every time we try, it’s come across cheesy. For I’ve written so much in my journal, on my blog (often under the guise of creative writing prompts, heehee), and we’ve both shared so much to each other about how we feel, that to sum up these three years and talk about why and how and what we promise is almost, well, daunting.  That and bringing in a woman who can write tons and tons of pages in one sitting with a man who is a perfectionist as a writer? Quite a recipe.

Tools of the Trade

If you go on Pinterest and type in “wedding vows”, you’re guaranteed to find the following suggestions:

  1. The beautiful quote from the movie The Vow (which I love, but I’m not quoting a movie)

  2. Roy Croft’s “I love you not only for what you are…” poem (beautiful, but very overused/cliche)

  3. First Corinthians. (aw hell no!).

It kind of cracked me up how many sites there are on writing your own vows, yet a great percentage of them were suggesting that you borrow others’ vows or lift quotations from poems, movies, bible verses, etc.  To me, that’s a reading. Writing your own vows is just that: your OWN words. Coming from your heart, not someone else’s.  I love a good reading at a wedding, trust me (Carver comes to mind), but for the vows I make to my husband, they will be thought of by me and me alone.

So with that, I was thrilled to discover The Knot’s article, 12 Tips to Writing Your Own Vows, which instead of telling you WHAT to write, instead gives you suggestions on structure, logistics, and brainstorming, including my very favorite tip, the “vow date” where you get together with your partner to get the creative juices flowing:

“When it’s time to come up with the actual content of your vows, go out to dinner or set aside an evening at home to brainstorm. Talk about your relationship and what marriage means to each of you. Discuss what you expect from each other and the relationship. What are you most looking forward to about married life? Why did you decide to get married? What hard times have you gone through together? What have you supported each other through? What challenges do you envision in your future? What do you want to accomplish together? What makes your relationship tick? Answering these questions will help you make and keep your promises, and talking about your bond may expose your inner Wordsworth and help you come up with phrases and stories you can incorporate into your vows.”

When I shared this with my sweetheart, he loved it as much as I did! So we decided that on one of our last nights in Melbourne will be a romantic dinner/vow date. It’s a lovely way to come together before the big day and just talk about where we’ve been and where we are headed…and get our minds all warmed up for what we want to say to each other when we take the leap on the twenty-second of May. Then hey, we have a fifteen hour flight home, which is a perfect time for…yep, you guessed it…

And I know this man here that I’m marrying? He’s worth all the drafts it takes.

Don’t marry the person you think you can live with; marry only the individual you think you can’t live without. ~James C. Dobson



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