Use my questionnaire as a starting point
Let’s face it, I am going to be the third person in your relationship in the months up to your ceremony and at the heart of your special day.
In order to get to know you, I will send you a questionnaire.
Some of the questions may seem a bit random, but really it is a basis for me to start getting to know you…. and may give a little kick start into reminding you what you really love about your partner and why they are special to you.
Let your marriage vows evolve organically
Top tip: don’t fill out the questionnaire together.
- Why not answer the questionnaire separately, truthfully and without influence.
- No matter how long you have known each other, I bet there is a little something that you don’t know, that is revealed by your answers!
- After all, we are always changing; relationships are always evolving.
- Be inspired by the honesty of discovery.
Then read your answers to each other.
- Start a brainstorm document and write down what you feel as your partner reads out their answers to you.
- Let your vows evolve organically.
Photo Toni Bonet at Palacete La Najarra, Alumecar
Inspirational quotes and lyrics as wedding vows
But how can you find the right words?! I know what you’re thinking:
- You don’t want to say what everyone else says
- You want to avoid platitudes and clichés
- You don’t want to sound cheesy or trite
- And you’ve got writer’s block! Aaaagh!
Here is where social media can be amazing at inspiring you.
Head off to your favourite search engine and type in the key phrase “inspirational quotes” or hashtag #inspirationalquotes
Copy and paste any wording that resonates with you into your brainstorm document….
Remember, you are still just looking for a starting point.
Your own actual wording will come later.
Then have a play with Pinterest and Instagram.
They have some great inspiring words combined with visuals. This can be really helpful if you like to work from an image.
Lyrics taken from the real wedding videos of the singers Dan and Shay
Photos as wedding vow inspiration
So you’ve now got a brainstorm document onto which you have spilled your feelings and inspirational quotes.
To pull all of this together into something really personal, it is a great help to see the person you are writing about…. So go and get some photos!
- Photos of the early days of your relationship, of when you first met.
- Photos of a memorable holiday or special occasion like your engagement.
- And that one special photo of your partner that you love; you know the one that always makes you smile when you see it.
Have you got a song that is special to the both of you? That too can evoke beautiful memories and will definitely put you in the mood for writing.
Now you are ready to “speak to your partner”.
You are ready to write your vows.
Put on “your song” to get into the vow-writing mood
Heartfelt promises rather than perfect vows
Heads up! No one expects you to write poetry.
- You are not writing for an audience.
- You are writing words of commitment to the person you love most in this world.
- You are making them your own personal promises.
In fact if nobody else in the world ever hears your vows except for your partner (and your celebrant!) then that is OK.
Basically it’s your day, you are speaking personally to each other…. but if you do have guests and witnesses, don’t be so cryptic that your family and friends can’t follow you!
Perfect elopement photo by Doncel y Alcoba in the Albaicin, Granada
Brainstorm then edit your vows
- Start by blurting out everything, then organise it a bit so it has a beginning, a middle and an ending.
- Now boil it down! Edit, edit, edit so what you’re left with is the essential essence of what you want to say.
- That’s it! Job done!
And do you know what? Your vows will be amazing. Your wedding will be amazing. You will be amazing. The look on your partner’s face when you speak your vows will be amazing.
You’re nearly wed! Yay! Go you!!!
About the author: Debbie Skyrme, “Celebrant Spain”, is an award winning bilingual Celebrant officiating weddings, elopements and vow renewal ceremonies in the Spanish sunshine