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Writing your own vows
28 Oct, 2015

As a special way to make their wedding unique, some couples are attempting to write their own vows. If that is in your plans, here are some things to keep in mind as you consider this.

*This can be a huge undertaking.  It is like being an author/poet and public speaker at the same time.  Some people can pull it off and others can't.  Think about it clearly before you commit to making it an integral part of your ceremony.

*Make sure it's even possible.  Many churches don't allow personalized vows.  Couples are required to recite a specific and traditional set of vows.  Even officiants who OK the concept may want to have final approval of what you have chosen to say.

*Start early.  You may have learned to cram for finals in college, but this is not the time or place to just "jot down a few ideas the night before and wing it".

*Make sure that both of you are on the same page.  The bride may have something serious and somber in mind, while the groom is thinking funny and light.  Talk about the tone of the vows that will work for both of you.  Pick a common theme to guide you both.  Consider this - do you want to know what he/she will say before the ceremony or is it to be a surprise?

*Feel free to copy words or ideas from books or plays.  Quote a famous poet or author whose work resonates with you.

*Remember that you are speaking before a large audience.  Don't make the vows so personal that no one knows what you are talking about.  Your guests have been invited to witness your vows in order to make the marriage bond public.  If you have more material than works in the profession of vows, save it and use it for toasts during the reception.

*Don't go on and on.  Note how long it takes to say required vows and time yours accordingly.  One minute or so is usually enough.

*Practice, practice, practice. 

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Hi Marilyn, I am so grateful to you for the planning and work done for my daughter, Nyasha's wedding. I was totally impressed by your professionalism and efficiency with which you dealt with all the challenges we met along the way. Nothing was too much for you to do and your sincerity in doing so was admirable. I know that we could not have done it without you and we, the Largen family, are forever grateful for your services. Sandals Ochi was beautiful and with your input it was even more so. Everything turned out beautifully and I know that I can easily recommend you to anyone desirous of your expertise. Many many thanks to you.

 Larry & Denise Largen

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