1. Start with a nice clean piece of paper (lavender is good, but any kind will work).
Down the left side of the page, write the numbers 1-10. Now – without stopping to think about it, fill in this page!
Write down the first 10 things that come to mind in response to this sentence: “I love (my partner’s name) because . . . “ Set this piece of paper aside.
2. Now – how about YOU?
What do YOU bring to this union? What promises will you make?
Take another sheet of paper, and write ‘em down – don’t worry about spelling, grammar, or anything else at this point. Just write down 4-5 things you want to promise this very special person with whom you want to spend your life.
•Do you promise to be there in bad times as well as good?
•Do you promise to be faithful with your body as well as with your mind and heart?
•Do you promise to support your partner even when he/she isn’t perfect?
•Do you promise to share all your resources? Some?
•What about if he/she gets sick? What about if you have a serious fight? You get the idea . . . what are you promising in this union?
3. Think about the language you will use to claim your partner and name your relationship. When you introduce your beloved, what words will you use? Husband? Wife? Spouse? Partner for Life?
What energy does each of these have for you? If you don’t like one for some reason, throw it out. . . but before you start writing you vows, decide . . . what language will you use? This is a decision you need to make together . . . so start early, and give this as much time as it takes.
4. OK, after you’ve done steps 1-3, and you’ve got at least two pages of writing and one decision made – set it all aside. Do something else, preferably with your partner, and preferably fun.
Like Christmas trees, weddings get too much “stuff” hung on them, Make yours beautiful, by stepping aside from the stress for a day or two. Go out and remember WHY you love . . . go and play.
5. Done that?
Now it’s time to make a BIG DECISION. Are each of you going to write your own vow, or do the two of you want to say the same thing? You don’t have to, you know – some of the most beautiful ceremonies I’ve celebrated had each partner saying something different . . .
But here’s a trick: If you’re each creating your own unique vow, why not insert a sentence at the end symbolizing the fact that you come together as unique individuals, and, without surrendering your individuality, you are creating a beautiful, shared union.