Phrase of the day:
This is so hard. Have I mentioned that this is hard?
Guess what we’re doing?
Writing our vows. You know, doing just the most important part of wedding planning, in my humble opinion. Or not-so-humble opinion.
This process has, I think, been the hardest part of this whole wedding planning experience, and also the part with the most pressure. We have to represent ourselves and say it all in a way that other people will understand. And while a wedding is not a show – I think most of us can agree on that – you also have to keep in mind that there will be people watching and yes, I do want to bring a tear to an eye. Not the most important part of the whole thing, but I want our vows to be meaningful and moving – first to us, but also to the people who are at our wedding to see the transformation from two separate people to one little family.
No pressure, no pressure.
So all this time, we’ve been sort of talking about how we should write our vows soon. We’ve been collecting sites with vows on them, looking at examples, taking snippets from here and there. We spent a day by the lake doing a little exercise for our vows, writing down what we loved about the other person, and then writing down what we wanted to promise or bring into the marriage ourselves.
This was all well and good. And then we sat down together to try to put all of these ideas and phrases and all of this love into a coherent paragraph or two.
And that conversation ended with both of us yelling at each other. Because of course we had different ways of doing it – we’re very different people, even though we have the same goals for our relationship and our marriage, and we approach writing and editing from very different places. So my surprising lesson was that before we could write our vows, we had to figure out how people do that in the first place.
Surprisingly, I haven’t been able to find much information on this. I have found lots of peoples’ vows that they have written, places where people said, “we wrote our vows together,” but no one is really talking about how they did that. Did one of them sit down and write them? Did they pass something back and forth? Did they do it together?
We are far from done, but here is what we have done:
- The exercise mentioned above.
- We sat down together and read out loud phrases we each liked individually – if we both liked them, we put them into one Word document.
- We went through the document and made everything we really liked bold.
- Turtle spent some time on her own writing some things – her own words, not just these other peoples’ words – and then we went through it all again, bolding and discussing.
- We realized that we just couldn’t collaborate in real time without getting frustrated with each other about the process. And trust me, it’s extra frustrating when you’re arguing about how to say you love each other.
- We each sat down at the same time in the same room with our own computers with the same document, and are writing our vows.
It turns out that I had been thinking all along that we were going to have the same vows. Part of this is is because we want to have a Quaker marriage certificate/Ketubah. Basically, we want a big, beautiful piece of paper with a pretty picture on it and our vows written at the top, and then to have everyone at our wedding sign to say they were there and that they support our marriage. It’ll be something like a combination of these, English only (no Hebrew), and with lots of lines for signing:
Today, though, was the first time we talked about possibly not having the same vows. Our ketubah/certificate/big-pretty-thing could have sort of a combination of our vows and cover all the major things we’re trying to say to each other. So now we get to each write our own vows and figure out how to put them all together! Fun!
But seriously, how would you go about this process? And do you ask people to edit your vows? Doesn’t that seem a little personal? And now that we’re each writing our own, do we share them? Are they secret? Someone please answer my questions and fix everything for me!
“This only feels like the most important thing that will ever be written or read.” – Turtle