Wedding vows can be a tough proposition. On the one hand, you want to let your bride now special is, and you want to pledge your eternal love to her on the day you agree to spend your lives together. But on the other hand, you’re a guy. As the pinnacle of masculinity, every fiber of your being is telling you that you need to be tough, stoic, and macho. Getting all mushy and weepy, even on your wedding, doesn’t exactly fit in with all of that machismo, does it? Nothing during the wedding ceremony is more charged with powerful emotion than the reading of the wedding vows, and that’s especially true if you and your bride are going to write your own vows.
With that in mind, you may be thinking that you’d rather stick to the traditional wedding vows instead of doing your own. Writing your own vows without losing your manhood—or your mind, for that matter—is certainly tough, but like most things that are tough, they’re the most rewarding. Your wedding is a personal and intimate moment between you and your new wife, so it’s no wonder that so many couples are opting to write their own vows. Not every man is the second coming of Wordsworth, so to prevent you from tearing out your hair, we’ve got a bunch of tips to help your vows be classy, personal, but also masculine—all without losing your sanity!
Plan With Your Fiancée. If you and your bride are both doing personalized vows, it’s probably a good idea to talk beforehand about how you want to approach things. Get a game plan together so that you both have an idea regarding how long, and more importantly, how intimate you want to go. If she’s thinking about keeping things light and happy, then that’s going to make things easier on you when it comes to keeping your masculinity in check. And even if she wants to get really lovey-dovey up there in front of all of your family and friends, at least you’ll know in advance. Maybe you can even write your vows together, which will definitely help make your task much more manageable.
Make An Outline. Before you go diving headfirst into these vows, you’re going to want to outline what you really want to say. You could skip this, but you’ll drive yourself crazy doing extra drafts of your vows and making tons of corrections. You’re trying to preserved your sanity, remember? Make a list of what you think should go into your vows, things like how great you think she is, and how much fun you have together. Maybe you could try putting in a little inside joke to get a chuckle out of her, and of course you’ll want to talk about how much you’re going to enjoy spending your life with her. By roughly planning these things in advance, it’ll much easier to put everything together in your final draft.
“Remember, you’re writing your vows to tell your fiancée how much you love her, rather than to entertain your guests. Heartfelt vows will come off as much classier to your fiancée and guests than humorous ones.”
– Chris Easter, editor-in-chief of GroomsAdvice.com and author of “Be The Man”
What You Should Tell Her. There are plenty of things you can tell your bride in your vows, things that don’t sound too melodramatic yet still touch her heart. Talk about how much better your life has been since you’ve met. Talk about how you fell in love with her, or how much you miss her when you guys are apart. Where do you see the two of you in ten or twenty years? All of these things are appropriate to mention during your vows. And what shouldn’t you tell her? Anything that would embarrass her in front of everyone, and you should especially avoid anything sexual. The honeymoon will be the time for that, but your wedding is not that place to talk about how hot you think she is.
Practice Reading Your Vows Beforehand. There are two reasons you should practice. First of all, you’ll get a feel for how long these vows are going to be, and what things you can trim. Generally, your first draft tends to be too long and puffy, so it’s probably a good idea to do a little editing after your try reading your vows for the first time. They’ll flow better and they will be shorter. Weddings are long enough as it is, so you don’t need to be adding excessive stuff to your vows. The second reason you should practice is so that you can get an idea of how emotional you’re going to get during your vows. Stand in front of a mirror and watch yourself as you read. In truth, there’s no shame in getting a little emotional during your wedding day, but if preserving your manhood at all costs is that big of a priority, there’s no better way to gauge how manly you look than by watching yourself in the mirror.
In the end, you should just remember what your vows are really about. They’re about telling your new wife how much you love her, as well as letting her know how happy you are about the fact that the two of your are getting married. Just make sure your vows reflect that, and you’ll be able to keep both your manhood and your mind while turning out some great vows!