When a groom sits down to write his wedding vows, it can be an overwhelming task. Because I had never been married before, I wasn’t even sure what I was fully getting myself into, so how could I just sit and write the biggest promises of my life? Despite how much I loved my bride, and how excited I was to get married, I had writer’s block. Because I just couldn’t put into words what my heart wanted to say, I opted to recite classic vows that were written hundreds of years ago. Although I don’t regret a thing from our wedding (other than not eating more food) I do think that if I had actually stopped, relaxed and been given a little bit of guidance, I would have loved to have written the vows I spoke to my bride that day. Hopefully the following ideas will make this process easier for you and give some structure to guide you through the process.
There is an uncommon perception of what a vow really means. I have always thought of wedding vows as just a list of promises that define marriage: a promise to love… a promise to be faithful… to serve… to be committed until the end of life. And don’t get me wrong- weddings vows should include all of those things. The definition of vow, however, opens up the door to include so much more. The word vow definitely means to promise, pledge and commit, but it also means to affirm and to make a proclamation. Using this three-part definition as a guide will be help to simplify the process for any guy trying to write the wedding vows for him to say on his wedding. Let’s break it down even more.
Affirm: You are getting married because you find your partner to be amazing. Start identifying what those traits are that you adore. What are the things you love the most about your bride? Write them down. What are the things about her that make you laugh? What are the things that you find most beautiful about her? What are her strengths? What is she bringing to your marriage? How does she complete your life? Write all of these things down. Intentionally take the time on your wedding day to build up your spouse and publicly affirm her.
Profess: To profess simply means to declare. Let the world stop spinning for just a moment, look her directly in the eyes, and simply tell her that you love her. Your wedding day is your opportunity to shout from the rooftops the depth of your love. In front of your family and closest friends declare to her that there is no other woman who holds your heart. Sure, you have told her this a million times before, but this moment will be engrained in her memory for the rest of your lives. It will be a moment that she will return to throughout your marriage and it will carry her through times that may be more difficult.
Promise: You will make no greater promise throughout your life than the covenant you will make to your wife on your wedding day. Don’t take this lightly. Promise carefully, and stick to promises that you can and intend to keep. I often hear people say things like “I promise to never go to bed angry” and “I promise to always laugh with you” and “I promise not to be selfish.” Great promises in concept, but those are promises you will likely break before the honeymoon is over. What lifelong promises can you commit to? Can you promise to love her unconditionally? Can you commit to sticking by her side through all of the ups and down that you will inevitably face? Will you serve her, and put her first? Will you stay faithful? Carefully think through what you want to promise to her, and then curate a list that will become the covenant you make with your bride.
Remember, you don’t have to be Shakespeare or Robert Frost to write your own vows. Don’t get discouraged by not sounding eloquent enough. Be yourself, and write honest words from your heart; that is all your bride really wants to hear anyway.