Why would a guide discuss DON’Ts rather than DOs? Because a list of what shouldn’t be done immediately defines boundaries – warning us of the inhospitable, keeping us away from edges of cliffs. Since the writing of wedding vows is uncharted territory to many, below is the gist of DON’Ts for couples wishing to explore it.
What NOT to DO
Don’t wing it. Despite your desire to be spontaneous, resist the urge to deliver extemporaneous vows to your bride or groom. Nervousness, especially compounded by unpreparedness, can cause your mind to go blank – putting the most important part of your wedding ceremony at heinous risk
Don’t wait till the last minute. Even heartfelt vows need time to be organized into a coherent whole. Much more so when it “isn’t” your “thing”. Set aside time to write your thoughts down. Allow sufficient time to think about what you feel, and how you want to say it. With any luck, you’ll come up with something you would want to rewrite only once. You may not get it right the first time, so don’t waste any.
Don’t be someone you’re not. Don’t try to bring the house down if you’re not Eddie Murphy. And don’t try to make everyone cry if you aren’t Nicholas Sparks. Allow the best parts of your personality to shine through, and let them do the talking.
Don’t try to impress anyone. While witty and cleverly written vows could impress an audience, it shouldn’t be your goal. Otherwise, you would be writing for the audience and not for your spouse. Aim for a beaming bride or groom, not laughing guests.
Don’t cover everything. It’s not the Constitution, it’s a love letter to your bride or groom. There will be lots of things you’d like to say to them on this day; dozens of promises you’d like to make, to last the rest of your lives – don’t.
What you need to say can be summed up in a handful of thoughtful verses. And this is where traditional wedding vows act as a good guide – they cover all bases, without being tedious. You want something your partner can grasp and take with them always – much like they could a bouquet, as against an entire flower garden.