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Nothing else is more heartfelt and intimate than the vows you make to your intended at your wedding ceremony — this is where you pledge, with your closest family and friends as witnesses, to commit to each other until death do us part. Plenty of marriages are now ditching the traditional vows for unique, if sometimes quirky, expressions of personal promise to each other.
You want your vows to be memorable and honest; these are words that illustrate who you and your spouse-to-be really are and will be in the future. Writing them is no walk in the park but fret not! Here are some points to remember when crafting your ideal wedding vow.
1. Speak from the heart
It doesn't have to be complicated — start with anything about him or her which makes your heart skip a beat. If nothing comes to mind immediately, things like 'he always puts the toilet seat down after use' or 'the sight of her dimples when she smiles' can inspire you to think about what each other's best qualities are.
How about fond memories that you share with your spouse-to-be? A funny story of how you met, or even a first date gone wrong. Difficult times and obstacles that you triumphed at each other's sides, or activities the both of you enjoy. These are the moments which have shaped your relationship and can help you envision your future together.
2. Make promises you won't break
This does not have to be a grand declaration and is certainly no bucket list. Focus on the simple things that you can surely accomplish. Promises like never leaving a room angry after an argument or gifting your wife with her favourite bouquet of flowers on every wedding anniversary without fail are more meaningful than grandiose articulations ever will be. Meredith and Derek from Grey's Anatomy do it best with theirs: "To love each other, even when we hate each other. No running ever; nobody walks out no matter what happens. Take care when old, senile and smelly."
3. Try a theme, quote or something funny
Write an unconventional wedding vow by incorporating an interesting theme. Have an obssession with The Walking Dead? Try zombie-themed vows: "But the truest fact is that as long as they stick together, connected to each other, the zombies of life, real and imagined, apathetic and disastrous, cannot harm them."
Pick a memorable quote from your favourite read. If you fancy classic literature reads, Charlotte Bronte in Jane Eyre is a perfect choice for you: "Every atom of your flesh is as dear to me as my own: in pain and sickness it would still be dear."
Pun-tastic wedding vows are also sure to have your audience doubling over in laughter: "When he proposed to me, I found it very engaging."
4. Give your vows a heart-melting finish
Some couples end their vows with high-fives and grins, but try a sweet pinky-swear or secret handshake. How about a short dance where you shimmy your way up and down the altar, or a twirl-and-dip complete with a kiss? These may seem silly, but it is definitely one way to spice up your wedding vows!