The trend these days is to have a wedding celebration that reflects the personalities of the two people involved. To this end, you may want to consider including vows that you have written yourself as part of the wedding ceremony. While the traditional vows may be beautifully written, that does not necessarily mean that they are the right ones for the two of you.
The first thing to think about is what you really want to say in your vows. While the deep affection you and your beloved have for each other is the reason you are entering into the honorable estate of holy matrimony, you might also want to include such concepts as friendship, hope, peace, respect, kindness, patience, loyalty, and a shared future. You might also want to include a passage about welcoming your new spouse into your family and becoming a part of theirs. Your desire to have a family of your own might be a part of the thoughts you express to each other as well. Look at some sample vows for inspiration.
The librarian at your local public library should be able to suggest some books for this purpose. If you are working with a wedding planner, he or she may be able to suggest some good sources of information as well. Reciting your vows is not like an exercise in public speaking in that it needs to last for a certain amount of minutes or have a specific word count. Use as many or as few words as you need to express the promises you are making to your spouse. This is your day and no one is going to think it amiss if your vows are wordy and flowing or brief and to the point. To that end, some couples find it helpful to try to write their vows together, while others would feel more comfortable working individually.
This is also a case where no one solution is inherently better than the other; people just need to determine what would work best for them. If you like the wording contained in traditional pre-written vows but want to add your own personal touch, ask the officiate you have chosen whether you can have a combination of the two at your wedding ceremony. In this way, you are not breaking with tradition by including the standard vows, but you are making the celebration of your wedding a more individual one by adding whatever thoughts you want to share with your chosen one and guests. If your goal is to have a wedding that is truly a reflection of your personalities, then writing your own vows is one way of ensuring that your wedding day will be as unique as the devotion the two of you feel for each other.
Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about this as well as wedding invitations at http://www.wedding-planning-plus.com