Your Wedding Vows the Way Poets Do
by: Chris Simeral
Let’s face it, not many of us have the
kind of skills or experience to write truly poetic
wedding vows. Or do we? Here’s the truth:
Even if you don’t know Dylan Thomas from
Bob Dylan, and you’re pretty sure T.S. Elliot
was that guy who wrote the words to Andrew Lloyd
Weber’s “Cats,” all is not lost!
In fact, there are ways to learn to write the
words you want. With four simple steps, you can
take what you feel in your heart and make it come
out as sweetly as any Shakespearian sonnet.
Step 1: Decide on a theme
Finding a theme should arguably be the easiest
part of writing poetry for your wedding vows.
But you don’t want to be stuck with something
trite or cliché, even though the theme
of romantic love is probably the oldest known
for poetry. There are lots of ways to avoid writing
the same old “roses are red, violets are
blue” type of poem. One trick the pros use
is to envision what a newspaper article about
your relationship would say. Would it discuss
how and where you met? How your relationship has
stayed strong, even during the hard times? What
your love has meant to one another? Since newspaper
articles get right to the point, this exercise
can help you pick out an overriding theme for
Step 2: Allow time for reverie
No, not “revelry” (hopefully that
will be what your wedding day is all about), but
reverie – a quiet time devoted to a kind
of dreamy meditation. Try some tricks for allowing
yourself time to truly think about your poem --
and not just those things that allow you to “act
like a poet.” Go for a walk alone, listen
to instrumental music, or simply shut the door
to a room in your house and ask not to be disturbed.
The most important thing to remember with any
of these methods is that you don’t let other
people interrupt your time.
Step 3: Choose your topic
Theme, as discussed above, is the driving idea
behind your poem. The topic, however, is the specific
vehicle you use to express the theme. While finding
the theme should be the easiest part of writing
a poem for your wedding, finding a topic that
isn’t hackneyed and trite can be a challenge.
For instance, love is your theme, but the beauty
of your betrothed’s eyes may be the topic.
You are using the example of her eyes as the symbol
for your love. The key is to find something new.
There’s something that makes your chosen
one special, be it appearance, wit, or style.
That’s the topic you want to choose. Poets
use tools like automatic writing, journals, or
“dream work” to come up with topics
for their prose. (These tools are all discussed
in detail in the home-study course I put together
for couples personalizing their wedding vows –
visit http://www.WeddingVowToolkit.com for more
info.) But anything that allows you to spark your
creativity can suffice if you’re short on
Step 4: Pick Your Style
As many different poems as there are, there are
almost an equal number of styles in which they
are written. There are traditional forms, modern,
post modern, and many more. You can work on fitting
your rough draft poem into one of these many forms,
or you can go with no form at all. The benefit
of working on an art form is that there are no
hard and fast rules on what the end product must
look like. Perhaps you’d like to try your
hand at penning your vows in the form of a Shakespearean
sonnet. Or, to go a completely different route,
maybe “experimental” is right up your
alley. No matter what you choose, just make sure
it fits your style. After all, personalizing your
wedding vows means just that – they should
be personal, not forced to fit into a style that
just isn’t “you.”
Chris Simeral is the creator of The Ultimate
Wedding Vow Toolkit, the wedding-coordinator-approved
home-study course for couples personalizing or
renewing their wedding vows. Learn more at http://www.WeddingVowToolkit.com.
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