New York became the sixth state in the United States to legalize same-sex marriage last week. I couldn’t be happier for my gay friends — it’s about time! This historic vote makes me think of my own marriage and one of the most important parts of the day– the vows.
Jay and I wrote our own vows when we got married in Puerto Rico because we wanted our ceremony to be very personal. I’m Catholic and Jay’s Jewish so we blended a bit of both backgrounds into the ceremony along with poems that really spoke to us.
The producer in me knew I should get to work on the vows early. I visited several wedding websites and took a trip to the bookstore to see what I could find out about writing a marriage ceremony script. I write scripts at work all the time – so I tackled this task in a similar way. Research, research, research.
Here’s a list of things to remember when writing your own vows:
1. Be Yourself: As you plan your wedding you will learn that it’s actually not all about you! Your family, friends and other guests will come first in a lot of circumstances. You’re throwing the biggest party of your life – you want to make sure they have a good time! But when it comes to the vows be true to yourself – make it all about you and your partner. If something doesn’t feel right – don’t do it or say it.
2. Be Sincere: Authenticity is key when writing your vows. Make sure you really are able to say exactly what you feel. Sometimes that’s tough – so seek out songs or poems that may say exactly what you mean.
3. Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute: As a journalist I work well on deadlines but I realize not everyone does. But this is one task you shouldn’t leave until the last second. Keep a notebook with you so you can write down song lyrics you hear or ideas you get wherever you are at the time.
4. Throw in Some Tradition: Not only will this make your mother happy but there’s a reason they have stood the test of time. It’s a nice gesture to give a little nod to tradition somewhere in the ceremony. Maybe a candle ceremony or the glass breaking ritual – or both!
5. Have Fun: This is all about you and your partner – it shouldn’t feel like homework. If you’re not into it – don’t do it. There are plenty of pre-written vows to choose from that will get your point across. It will be amazing no matter what you choose to do with your vows.
There is a structure you should follow when writing your vows and these books will help you with that. But the really important stuff is in what readings you choose and what words you decide to use when you officially join forces with the love of your life.