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Tips, Tricks & Quips
Posted by Cayla Capri
Vows ’i Do’ It My Way
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One size fits all is a pure unadulterated myth, which is why many modern duos are assuming the custom-made vow. But if a blank sheet of paper erases all your candy-coated memories, and getting tongue tied is a public speaking certainty, you may need a just a bit of help speaking from the heart. A step-by-step guide’s not a bad start.
watch your mouth!
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Before getting all purple on that unsuspecting page, take a moment to contemplate language. Flowery prose, when tackled by the likes of a Blake or a Keats, is pretty moving. But anyone not currently employed as a Romantic poet should steer clear of formalities, as sincerity rests at stake. Instead, veer into the vernacular, staying within the range of your everyday vocabulary for a natural, yet elegant speech. A chatty proclamation might seem modern, but unless you’re simply punctuating a sentimental thought with something cutely colloquial (like, “thanks for marrying me”), please leave the out-and-out slang for the reception. We’re trying to find a happy medium here.
spontaneity reigns
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Don’t start by divvying up turn-ons, anecdotes, and die-hard promises into separate columns. This is a classic rookie mistake sure to give you premature writer’s block. Instead, try free-writing, or stream-of-consciousness, whereby you basically just go for it, jotting down everything that comes to mind, and not stopping even when you draw blank. It may read like a lot of nonsense, but most likely, somewhere between the grocery list and the “I have nothing to write, I have nothing to write” chanting, there will lie a few choice words about hubby so genuine in their spontaneity that you may just choke up.
Another likely method for instigating those elusive creative juices is to strike up a gush-session with a veritable star-struck girlfriend. Tape-recorder on hand, try a little Q&A to get the ball rolling, and you two will be spilling secrets in no time, her memories triggering yours and vice versa. Playing it back post girl-talk, you’ll be able to pick up on instinctive word choice and tone when fawning, which you can later churn into proper vows.
the interlude
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Take a break from all the exhaustive creative-writing exercises and gossiping to hang with your man. Do something playful, re-igniting first-date flurries, and thereby instigating that just-gotta-gush feeling. This way, the next time you put pen to pad you’ll feel dangerously uninhibited.
a method to the madness
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You now have permission to organize those thoughts spawned during the free-write. Designate one page for his loveliest qualities, and the stories that exemplify them, and another for the promises you aim to keep. Of course, short and sweet is what you’re striving for, so start sacrificing the waste: anything you’re too embarrassed to reveal publically and anything that just doesn’t sound like you. Merge together all redundancies you may have scribbled in blind passion. Remember that without fail, an anecdote or recounting of a love-related epiphany will marshal innermost feelings better than any laundry list of attributes. Implementing comic relief or something that projects your uniqueness as a couple will entertain the audience and well you two with pride. However, you do want to appear comfortable and confident in your partnership, so don’t force anything.
devotion made easy
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A most undemanding breakdown: Express what it is you’ve always wanted from a partner (friendship; adventure), and how you found it in . Cap it off with a simple vow to forever reciprocate that love, music, excitement, whatever, in return. If you’re still over the word count, compare and contrast your notes with the fiancé’s, highlighting ideas that overlap for more cohesive, concise readings.
Finally, read your vows allowed, checking for tongue twisters or awkward hiccups in flow and phrasing. This is the best and frankly only way to ensure a natural-sounding speech.