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Of all the things that go into creating a wedding day–the guest list, the invitations, the sparklers for a celebratory send-off–the vows are the only things that actually make a marriage. Your vows are your chance to declare to your world the things that you will honor in your marriage, and the things that you will abide by for the rest of your life. What an amazing opportunity, y’all!

If you’ve decided to write personal wedding vows, we’d love to share our step-by-step process with you today. And BONUS! Sign up for our newsletter here to be sent nine of our favorite romantic and meaningful vow examples–a perfect jumping off point as you’re looking for inspiration!

P.S. Does this advice resonate with you? You’ll LOVE the Southern Weddings Planner!

Our Vows Booklet Set: the perfect place to record your vows for posterity, and read from during your ceremony!

Get inspired. As early as you’d like, start a repository of inspiration for your vows–virtual (like Google Docs) or physical (like a notebook). And remember, inspiration can be everywhere: weddings you attend; wedding magazines, blogs, or films; books you read; songs you hear; lines of scripture. If a sentiment, line, or phrase resonates with you, jot it down–don’t worry about editing at this point.

Mine your past. If you are lucky enough to have love letters (or emails or texts–this is the twenty-first century!) you’ve written each other over the years, break them out! They can be a great source of inspiration, and a wonderful way to include parts of your past in your future.

Set parameters. Decide whether you’ll jointly write one set of vows that you’ll both recite, or if you’ll each write individual vows. If you’re writing individual vows, consider setting up basic guidelines so they aren’t wildly different: perhaps they’ll both last 30 seconds or a minute, or they’ll both take the form of promises, or they’ll both include an anecdote from your past.

Start early. These are lifelong promises, not something to be jotted down the night before the wedding (or, God forbid, the morning of). About a month before the big day is a good time to sort your inspiration and begin a draft. Your groom might need a little prodding to get going–be gentle.

Write a draft. Block out a space of time when you don’t have other commitments or things weighing on your mind, and begin sifting through your inspiration. Pull out the best pieces, and begin forming them into a coherent whole. Add and subtract, write and rewrite until you’re happy with what you have.

Revisit your draft. Set your draft aside for a few days, then come back to it with fresh eyes. Make sure your words sound like YOU, not like what you think vows should sound like.

Try it out loud. Make sure the words and sentences flow well and that there aren’t any tongue twisters. Adjust awkward lines. Be sure to time yourself to make sure you’re not running too long. And when in doubt, cut it out: short and sweet is almost always preferable to directionless rambling. Pick the most important points and make them well.

Take it seriously. Personal vows can be funny and sweet and touching and, well, personal. But they’re also made up of the things you are vowing to abide by for the rest of your marriage. That is no small thing, and it deserves your time, attention, and seriousness.

Ensure a smooth delivery. Whether or not you plan to memorize your vows, make sure you write out at least two copies for your big day. Put one in our vows booklet set for posterity and for reading from during your ceremony, and give a back-up copy on an index card to your officiant or maid of honor.

Don’t forget to download our library of vow inspiration by signing up here!

emily Written with love by Emily

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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Introducing Best of the South!

by in News on

Back in December when we introduced our pretty new website to y’all, there was one part that was not quite ready for its close-up. We added a “Best of the South” button to our main navigation at that time, but up until now, it simply led to a splash page. Well, no more! Best of the South has launched, and we are pleased to make your introduction!

As y’all know, the South is comprised of many different subcultures, each with their own regional preferences, dialects and accents, vocab words, delicacies, and more. While the things that unite us are oh-so-strong (namely, a love for family and tradition!), with these pages, we wanted to celebrate the beautiful differences, too! After all, Southern gals are fiercely loyal to their locales, and there’s a reason you each chose to get married in a certain state: maybe it’s the one where you grew up, or your fiance attended school, or where your families live now. Whatever your reason is, it’s special, and we want to celebrate that!

So whether you’re tying the knot in Texas or Virginia, consider our Best of South pages your hub for all things state-specific. Choose your favorite and make it your home base for all the most helpful (and fun!) local info as you plan!

Each state’s beautiful header and footer were designed by the talented Joy Laforme. Jess from Magpie Paper Works delicately lettered the names (she did our logo, too!).

And yes, since so many have asked, West Virginia, Arkansas, and Oklahoma will be making their entrance soon! We needed a little more time to put the finishing touches on those three, but keep your eyes peeled for their debut.

In the meantime, we’d love to hear: Which state’s illustrations are your favorite? We had a hard time deciding in the office, but Nicole ultimately chose Florida, Lisa chose Louisiana, and I went with Mississippi!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] our new “Best of the South” pages–have you explored them yet? Read all about them here. Kristin shared her tenth hint for a happy marriage: eat dinner together. Find her advice and add […]

  2. avatar Dana reply

    the illustrations are so beautiful! I loved absolutely all of them!!

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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As I’ve confessed before, I have a soft spot for less-common flowers. I OF COURSE love a good peony as much as the next gal, but I’ve always prided myself on being able to recognize most flowers by sight (the result of years upon years of absorbing wedding magazines and Martha Stewart Living, as well as a general interest in gardening). However, I totally understand that most gals (and pretty much all guys) would return a blank stare when asked to describe an anemone, clematis, hellebore, freesia, or protea. And what, exactly, is the difference between a cabbage rose and a garden rose?

That’s why I’m in love with today’s sponsor, the Flowerwheel app! To put it simply (and in their words), “Do you love flowers? We do. We believe in helping you learn about the flowers you love.” Brilliant!

Flowerwheel has a library of more than 500 blooms, all beautifully and cleanly photographed so you can clearly see the difference between a hydrangea and a hyacinth.

Each flower’s entry contains detailed photos and a description, so you can easily see when your favorite blooms are available, as well as whether they’re hardy or fragile.

You can search by color or month, and save your favorites to share with your florist, your mom, or your friends!

Any other budding gardeners out there? Or brides who want to be informed, with ample info at their fingertips? This app’s for you! It’s available on the app store, and you can check out the Flowerwheel site for more information!

P.S. I just have to give a shout-out to Karin, the creator of Flowerwheel and the mastermind behind all of the gorgeous blooms in this post, as well as Annabella Charles, who provided all of the beautiful images!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Nicole reply

    What a fun app! I love when y’all highlight such useful things! :) PS – can you PLEASE tell me the script font you used in the post?? I have been looking everywhere for it!

  2. avatar Kristin reply

    Pure genius!! Where was this app when I got married?

  3. avatar Georgette reply

    This app is AWESOME!! What a great way to learn about flowers,but also to purely enjoy the beauty of them! I’m leaving here and going straight to the app store. Karen you are a Genius!!!

  4. avatar Stacy reply

    What an awesome app. How about showering some love on the Android users?!

    • avatar Flowerwheel reply

      Stacy: We are wokring on Android as well, but the code is different. We have had a lot of requests for it and decided it’s time to see what we could create (it’s only fair!). Thank you for the comment. We love feedback.

  5. avatar absolute events reply

    That is awesome!!! definitely a MUST for flower lovers iphone users!!!

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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