So, you want to write your vows yourself. Then what? Well it can be a little overwhelming at first so here are some tips on how to make the process easy, and less intimidating.
1. Buy a Pastoral Wedding Book
Sounds weird huh? Well trust me. A family friend let us borrow a copy of this book, and it was so helpful in collecting our thoughts. The book is a script basically for pastors on how to direct a wedding, but it includes several different types of ceremonies, so there are lots of different examples of vows included. This was the jumping ground for us.
2. Collect your must haves.
Ben and I did not keep our vows a secret from each other, some people may choose to do differently, but for us we wanted them to be about the same length and to mirror each other if that makes sense. So we spent time making a list of what we wanted to make sure to include, and then went from there.
3. Just start writing. Write from your heart.
I just sat down one day and wrote out a whole page. I included verses about being a godly wife, and helper to Ben, and rambled a lot. But I was able to then take that and cut out, tweak, and rearrange what I had until it was what I was looking for.
4. Have a your pastor look over them.
You will want to have someone, like your pastor, to scan over what you have written. You do not want to get to the altar and realize you mentioned nothing about caring for your husband in sickness and in health or something that later one will be important to you.
5. Do not wait until the last minute.
This is so important. Just like a good blog post, you need time to sit on your vows. Write, and re write. Edit, and re edit. So make sure you start writing your vows several months before the actual wedding day. If you wait until the last minute your vows may not be all that you want them to be, so save yourself from this and start early!
Here are our vows, maybe they can be some type of inspiration to you. We spent a lot of time working on these, and I would not change that. This is my promise to Ben, and his promise to me...promises are a big deal. So we treated them as such!
Rachel, today, I leave my father and mother to become one with you and to commit to you all that I am – emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Today, I am choosing you to be my bride over every other woman in the world, and I will forever treasure you as a precious gift from God, my best friend and encourager. I will sacrificially lay down my rights and ambitions for you, and I will love you with a love only Christ himself could place within me, just as Christ loved the church. I will live with you in an understanding way, honor you, and cherish you in the presence or absence of romantic feelings.
I will strive to make our marriage the purest picture of the Gospel that I can, through the Lord’s Spirit within me. I will pray for the Lord to give me discernment to act and react always in His Spirit and not my flesh. I embrace my responsibility to protect you, to be your biggest defender, to value your desires and thoughts, to encourage you, to lead you and our family spiritually, to provide vision for our family, and to scripturally manage our finances. I will diligently seek to fulfill those responsibilities through all of life’s joys and blessings and darkest tests and trials.
Every bit of me, all that I am, is yours until death should part us. Because God has given you to me as a temporary gift, I promise to strive to be the best steward of you that I can. When death does part us, I pray that I may be able to present you to our Heavenly Father purer and holier than on the day we met.
Benjamin, Today, I will leave my father and mother and cleave to you and I will become one with you. I will be submissive to you in the fear of the Lord, out of my love, respect, and total trust in you. I will depend fully on the Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit to fill me with all the love I need to be your completion, your wife.
I will daily support you and uplift you by word and deed, and I will put more emphasis on what you are than what you are not. I will stand beside you through the storms, darkness and trials, and I will rejoice with you in the blessings and celebrations the Lord will gracious give to us.
I will diligently seek to respond to you in love as I would to our Heavenly Father. I will always comfort you and encourage you. I will pray for you and push you to Christ in everything. I will always honor you as the head of our household as Christ is the Head of the church. I will strive to keep our communication open and honest and trust the Lord to give me a humble and forgiving heart. I will strive to make our marriage a picture of the Gospel in every way through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Benjamin, I desire to be a crown to your head, to bring honor to your name, and bring you good and not harm all the days of my life. I commit to love you with a love only Christ himself could place within my heart. I will forever treasure you as God’s gift to me, whose value is immeasurable.
Happy Writing! :)
Check out my sweet sponsor this month! Jenni, of Frankly My Dear!