New Orleans is a romantic, creative city and everything about your wedding here should be unique – including your vows. You don’t need to be a poet to write something beautiful to recite to your future spouse – just tap into your heart and be real. (Please note: vows for Catholic weddings are prescribed by the church. Although there are options, you may want to consult with your priest). Here are some tips for writing your own vows.
1. Agree on a tone
Do you want your guests to laugh? Cry? A little of both? Should your vows play off each other or be a complete surprise to your future spouse? Discuss this ahead of time to avoid any awkwardness at the altar.
2. Do research for inspiration
Aren’t you lucky you live in the Internet age when all you have to do is Google “sample wedding vows”? Do some research to find what you like and what you don’t and use it as a starting point. Look for quotes and song lyrics that could have been written about your relationship.
3. Reflect on your love
How did you feel when you first met? When did you know he or she was the one? What made you fall in love? Think about the challenges you've faced together, what you hope to accomplish together, and what you love most about the person you're going to marry.
4. Come up with some promises (they’re called vows for a reason)
Love, honoring and cherishing is cool, but try to include some promises that are more personal like, "I promise to always go with you to Jazz Fest even though I hate the crowds."
5. Keep it short, sweet and unique
Try to keep your vows under two minutes. If you have more to say than that, put it in letter form and share it with your spouse later. Avoid sappy clichés but don’t be afraid to be too mushy. If there’s one day to wear your heart on your sleeve, this is it.
Practice your vows outloud before your wedding day. It’s the best way to catch tongue twisters and sentences that go on and on. Then, bring your vows with you on a piece of paper or note card in case you get nervous and forget what you want to say.