with Relationship Speaker/Author/Coach...
Writing Your "Personal Promises"
Consult these helpful tips before you put pen to paper. Looking for ways to personalize your wedding ceremony? Consider incorporating your own carefully chosen words into this momentous occasion, and build the foundation for a life-long relationship.
Writing your own "Personal Promises" is definitely an ambitious undertaking. Not only must you determine the perfect words to say, but those words must be rehearsed and recited in front of your closest family and friends on a day that will be one of the most important of your life.
Relax and take a deep breath. We know it's intimidating... but imagine penning your own personal promises with thoughts from the heart. That incentive will make the task worthwhile.
By the way, this is one of the favorite parts of the ceremony for your guests. They love it when you take the initiative to share a little of yourself with them. Adding a little humor is always enjoyed too.
NEVER try to memorize them. It's important that you are familiar with when you will be saying. Once you send your personal promises to me (separately, so your partner won't see them), I will put them on cards and hand them to you when it's time to read them during the ceremony.
Before Starting Your Wedding Vows...
Establish an Estimated Length - Your guests will find it odd and even comical if one rambles for 5 minutes while the other says 10 words. Talk about this with your partner to establish a similar timeframe for each of you. Usually one or two minutes is good, however, whatever you agree upon is okay. Overly lengthy personal promises may lose your audience and will only increase the potential for error.
Review Them With Friends or Family - Read your personal promises to a trusted friend, not to each other. Save them as a surprise to your partner during the ceremony. I suggest that you become familiar with the words you will say by reading them to yourself in front of a mirror.
Have a Cheat Sheet - DO NOT plan to memorize them. To avoid a potentially awkward scene at the wedding ceremony, always READ what is on the card. If the nerves kick in when the big moment arrives, pause, take a couple of breathes and proceed. If you are prone to get emotional - no problem - just pause, take a couple of breathes and proceed.
Personal Promises - What to Say? - Suffering from a case of writer's block? To get you started, here are some useful ideas and resources to spark your creativity. First, visit a Hallmark Card store. Take a look at some of those tall, slim "romantic" cards. Find one that says what you would like to say, buy it and use those words with a few of your own. Or, call me and I can help you get started.
Consult Your Past - Time for a trip down memory lane. Start jotting down the details of special firsts in your relationship - first meeting, first date, first kiss, first "I love you," etc. What qualities made you fall in love in the first place? Are there special milestones in your relationship that that have helped bring you here today?
What characteristics does he/she bring out in you? How does he/she make you a better person? Don't forget that marriage should be about being two whole, individual people coming together in a beautiful union, not about relying on that person to make your life complete.
Envision the Future - What challenges and achievements do you foresee in the future, and how do you expect to meet those things together?
Choose Words That are Meaningful to You - Compile your notes, memories, and reflections, and begin turning words into sentences, and finally sentences into personal promises. Consult your thesaurus for the perfect expressions to reflect your thoughts. Some words to get you started: love, trust, support, strength, encourage, respect, cherish, admire, value, commit, pledge, and promise. Try to avoid beginning each sentence with, "I promise."
If you need further help, give Larry James a call.
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