For most couples, there are tons of things on their wedding checklists. Caterers, flowers, dress fittings, dance lessons…the list goes on. But I have a feeling that the one thing you would like to outsource is the one thing that can’t be done by anyone but the bride or groom. The VOWS.
Modern weddings often include a more personalized approach to the vows rather than the “repeat after me” stock versions that have been used in every romantic comedy for as long as anyone can remember. Times are changing, and I think it’s wonderful!
However, a nervous, stressed out couple is not part of a successful wedding, and I’m always trying to relieve as much pressure as possible on the big day. Especially when it comes to the biggest moment of your life, making intimate, life-long promises to your partner in front of all your friends and family. Yeah, it’s the stuff of nightmares.
So, I’m always happy to help my couples write their own vows. It’s simple. Each of you just fill out a form, and I send back a draft for you to edit to your liking. It’s as easy as that. I’ve helped dozens of couples check this item off their to-do lists, and the best part is that I love doing it. Writing has always been my thing, and it is so fun to get to jump inside your head and put your feelings down on paper – in a way that is natural to you, sentimental yet honest, and with a little humor thrown in for good measure.
I remember one groom in particular that said “I don’t know how, but you wrote this exactly how I would say it!” Well, that’s my job, and I won’t stop until you say it’s right. (It really doesn’t take much tweaking – I promise!)
One of my most enjoyable vow writing experiences was for a young couple who wanted me to hike with them on a 3 day, 17 mile loop in Glacier National Park. Unfortunately, I was already booked for that date, but we made a compromise – I would marry them here in Bozeman and write their vows for them to say on their elopement adventure. Cool.
And then when I read the stories that the groom shared with me about how they met, why he was in love, memories they shared, I realized that I had a duty to make these vows as over-the-top as their wilderness wedding trek would be. It was something he said, “you’re my Tigger and I’m your Pooh” that made me stop and think. Because a grown man doesn’t just randomly mention those lovable characters – there was deeper meaning in that reference.
He talked about how he took her to see the secret “Grove of Titans”, ancient redwood trees in the middle of nowhere, how they had a picnic at the beach, and a few other aspects of their courtship. So I got to thinking and remembered how there was a little map in the cover of the Winnie the Pooh books – marking their homes and the places they had adventures.
And so I wrote these vows for him:
When I asked you to marry me, I realized that what I was really asking you was to go on an adventure. A journey to build a partnership and lifelong friendship. And to get there we have to go through the Hundred Acre Wood, just like Tigger and Pooh. Along the way we will experience all the wonders life has to offer, and grow into our best selves throughout this adventure of marriage.
We started at the Six Pine Trees, also known as The Grove of Titans, where we left the road behind and surrounded ourselves in the magic of an old growth forest. Just like a curious bear and bouncy tiger we played in the earthy grove, and I was excited to share your energy and passion for life. Immersed in the landscape of everlasting renewal, we instinctively hoped that our relationship would be like the ancient trees that have continuously seen sunrise and sunset, time and time again.
Sometimes the path to marriage has led us to the Area with Big Stones and Rocks, and I can’t imagine facing it with anyone but you. You have an amazing ability to comfort others and bring out the positive in any situation. When roadblocks appear, the universe always shows the way like moonlight illuminating the route before us in that sacred forest. You are someone who recognizes when circumstances seem to align perfectly and find greater meaning in those special moments, and I love you for that.
Which brings us to a Nice Place for Picnics. This is the place where I realized I was truly in love with you, camping at the beach one night with a group of friends, and it is the place that I always want to return. It’s a timeless place where we keep the conversation going all night, and climb to great heights, just to see what that experience could bring. In this place, I know you are as enamored with the natural world as I am, and it makes me warm from the inside out. A bear in a sunny meadow on a lazy afternoon.
Sabrena, on our wedding day, I promise to do everything in my power to nurture and nourish the partnership we have created in life. I promise to provide support and my undivided attention when you need me. I promise to always be near to shed light on a dreary day. I promise to provide the strongest, rock solid, fulfilling partnership I can. You are a genuinely caring, lively, joyous light in my life, and you are truly a blessing for which I will forever be grateful.
And like Tigger and Pooh, I know we will continue to find ourselves immersed in outdoor adventures in that Hundred Acre Wood, climbing trees, having picnics, finding spectacular wonders, hand in hand on the path of marriage.
Now this is certainly over the top, and most couples don’t really want to say this much in front of a crowd, but these two were off in the wild, proclaiming their love on the top of a mountain, so I thought they deserved vows to match. But this is just one example of many – each one is unique and special.
Oh, and I’ll let you take FULL credit in front of your friends and family, so you look like a pro – it’s your day after all! So if you’re not sure about writing your own vows, I will make sure we create something that is just right for you. No more. No less. In your own words.
“Love is taking a few steps backward, maybe even more…to give way to the happiness of the person you love.” —Winnie-the-Pooh