SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE -- Alicia Ostarello had just finished her master’s in Creative Writing at San Francisco State University when she started to realize her degree might have more real-life application than she had thought.
Many of her friends were getting married and wanted vows that would break away from the traditional “in sickness and in health” scripts. But most of them didn't feel especially skilled in writing, and had no clue where to start. It wasn’t long before Ostarello became their ghostwriter.
“People would call me the night before their wedding and be like, ‘Oh my god, I'm supposed to write my own vows, I don't know what to do,’” Ostarello said. “And I'm like, ‘Dude, we have 12 hours and I’m three beers in — but okay, I guess let’s go to town.’”
Ostarello was a frequent wedding guest and began to notice a few particularly glaring issues among speeches and vows. Some lacked a theme, others avoided any clear structure. At the time, she was unemployed and had recently reconnected with her childhood friend, Angie Sommer, who was also unemployed. Sommer describes herself as an “engineer by trade but a writer at heart.” In 2010, they co-founded Vow Muse, a ghostwriting service for wedding-related writing.