You know how you feel about your wife-to-be, your favorite girl, and your best friend. Sometimes, you don’t even have to use words to tell her how you really feel about her. Your wedding day is not one of those times. On your wedding day, you’ll have to stand at the altar and recite sacred vows that sum up the entirety of your feelings about her. Even better: everyone you’ve ever known will be there to witness it.
Should you open your entire heart to the person you love or hold back some things that you only feel comfortable sharing in public? Should you tell a funny story or even dare try to crack a joke? Should you feel like a failure if she doesn’t cry? Even a Pulitzer-Prize winning writer would quake in his loungewear at the challenge of knowing the right words to say in such a heavy moment.
Maybe you don’t want to ask your fiancé what she’d like to hear in your vows because you’d rather surprise her. Luckily for you, we’ve talked to several interesting women about what they’d like to hear in their vows. You might be surprised what they have to say about what you should say.
Honesty Is The Best Policy
Kait Barry, a performing aerialist who lives in Los Angeles, Calif. with her husband Carlos Gonzales in a circus styled wedding, says the most important part of any vows is honesty. You shouldn’t write some sappy love poem that sounds like it was written on the back of a Starbucks napkin by a failed poet hipster. Talk about what makes you work as a couple.
“My husband and I threw in a lot of personal references,” Barry says. “I love to eat pizza in the morning, noon and night. We’re huge, huge Walking Dead fans and we never miss an episode and sometimes when we do performances, we do zombie performances. So everyone at our wedding knew we’re huge zombies fans and expected that.”
Don’t Worry About Bad Language
Part of showing yourself to the person you love also requires you to do the same with the people in attendance. That’s why Barry said she wasn’t afraid to use a few four-letter words.
“I put the F-word in my vows and everyone laughed,” Barry says. “Everyone knows I’m pretty foul-mouthed so that didn’t shock them. They’d be more shocked if I didn’t put the F-word in my vows.”
A Vow Is A Promise
Jasmine Ellis, a comedian from Austin, Tex., says the vows should also be just what the word implies.
“What I would want my husband to vow is to stick it out with me through anything which I know is super cliches and sick,” Ellis says. “I want them to vow to take care of themselves.”
Becoming someone’s husband isn’t the end goal. Ellis says she wants her husband’s vows to tell her that he’s “never going to stop trying to win me.”
“Give me compliments completely unsolicited like you did in the beginning,” she says.
Don’t Be Afraid Of Humor
DoJane R. LeBlanc, a copywriter and creative writer from Denton, Tex., says grooms shouldn’t be afraid to poke a little fun at the whole pomp and circumstance of wedding vows or even at his bride.
“A lot of people think a groom poking fun at his bride to be might not be a good idea but to me, I think it would be kind of fun as long as they are limits,” LeBlanc says. “When I say my vows, I hope I would get a laugh or two because that’s always my goal when I speak to a crowd. They should know the other person well enough to know what they think is funny and what would piss them off… I would just encourage them to be authentic.”
Short Is Sweet
Lori Petterson of College Park, Ma. says part of being authentic requires being short and to the point. She and her husband Dennis decided to have a quick wedding and a separate ceremony for family and friends. Her husband got stuck in traffic on the way to the second wedding and her mother got pulled over for speeding. So by the time everyone made it to the wedding and they got to exchange their vows, they didn’t waste any time. So you shouldn’t either.
“When we got to the vows, we did the regular ‘Do you take this man’ stuff and at the end, the woman marrying us said, ‘Do you have anything to add?’” Petterson says. “And I said, ‘Nah, I’m good’ and Dennis said, ‘Ditto.’”