The days of repeating “to have and to hold from this day forward” at the alter seem to be over—modern couples are all about expressing their love for each other with custom vows they’ve written themselves.
But what if you’re not much of a wordsmith? What if you are finding it difficult to express how you feel about your future spouse? Luckily, a newly launched company called XO Juliet is here to save the day (and make you swoon) with their custom vow writing services.
We recently chatted with founder Alexis Dent to learn more about why she created XO Juliet, the services her company offers, and what make the perfect wedding vows.
How XO Juliet Began
Dent is at that age where all of her friends are starting to tie the knot, and in all of her attendance at these weddings, she started to take notice of something: traditional vows are on the decline.
“Everyone always wants to do custom vows, even friends who are very religious and have a religious component to their wedding. It’s become such a trend within the last 10 years,” she says. “After two of my friends in separate relationships asked for me to edit their vows and help write them, I thought, maybe there’s something here. Because I am a writer for a living, I thought it was a natural synergy.”
Using her background in marketing, she researched the concept of a professional vow writing service by sending out a big online survey for market research. What she found in her survey was pretty telling: there was a big gap in the wedding industry when it came to custom vows. Although there are a couple of other similar services, there wasn’t any company that was devoted to custom vow writing as their sole business.
So she set to work to create XO Juliet, which launched in September.
“I wanted to do something where I could be really devoted to helping couples nail that day and that moment so I kind of immersed myself in it,” Dent says.
What XO Juliet Offers
XO Juliet offers a few different services, including custom vow writing, maid of honor speech writing, best man speech writing, and even a service that helps you come up with a wedding hashtag.
“At XO Juliet we like to say that we are not only a vow writing service, but we are your public speaking concierge. We offer complete writing of vows to speeches for maid of honors, best men, and we’ve even done one for the mother of the bride. We also do coaching. If you have a speech you feel confident in but you want to see how it can be tweaked, we can help you with that,” Dent says.
Not only does Dent write the speeches and vows herself, but she also indicates where you should have pauses and intonations for maximum effect of the words.
The process is pretty simple: if you want to use XO Juliet’s services, you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire for the custom vows or speech. Then, you’ll have a conversation with a representative at XO Juliet (either by phone or Skype) so that they can get a good idea of what it is that you want to accomplish and get a sense of your style. A draft is delivered and revisions are made if necessary. Best of all, the services are completely anonymous.
Dent also makes it clear that her services are for everyone—no matter your religion, sexuality, gender, or race. XO Juliet is so serious about their commitment to inclusivity that they have a section devoted to it on their website’s front page.
“I think that love is love. I think the [wedding] industry can get so caught up in what’s traditional. I believe the world needs more love. I wanted to focus on something where love was the priority,” Dent says.
What Are the Best Kind of Vows?
In all of the wedding planning madness, you may lose focus on what’s most important: your commitment and love for your partner. Writing customized vows is a great way to get back to that central idea, and XO Juliet is there to help you write the best kind—honest and emotional.
“I think the vows are such an important part of the wedding because they’re the pinnacle of what makes your guests realize that your love story is grounded in love,” Dent says.
Although it may be an unexpected thing to do, Dent always encourages couples to be very real in their vows and include any setbacks, breakups, and pitfalls in their relationship. This makes the vows even more inspiring because everyone in attendance will know how the couple overcame hardships to get to where they are now.
Another important component of vows is to make the wedding guests feel something. Whether you want them to feel inspired, make them cry, or make them laugh, Dent encourages her clients to be specific on how they want their guests to feel when they read their vows.
Most importantly, she says, you want your vows to be well executed.
“Something I love about beautifully executed vows is that when vows are perfectly executed there’s nothing like it to make you walk away and believe in love. And I believe that’s why we’re on this earth,” Dent says. “You want everyone in attendance to feel something.”