How to Write Your Own Wedding Vows
Your ceremony is the part of the day where things actually become “official”. More couples are opting for a short and sweet ceremony that only lasts 30 minutes at most. Meaning you’re just covering the basics, with only a touch of personalization or storytelling involved.
Writing your own vows may seem intimidating (what are words?!) but it’s a great way to personalize your ceremony and add that intentional touch making your wedding day about your love for each other.
We’ve witnessed our share of ceremonies, and after hearing them all, we have a few tips for writing your vows.
How to write your vows
Take your time
Don’t sit down the night before and try to craft your message. Your nerves, last minute details, and pressure won’t exactly help you! Start thinking about this during the entire course of planning your wedding. Keep a note in your phone where you can braindump throughout the year, and then compile a month before into a cohesive, simplified version.
Keep track of the little things that make you love your partner, maybe it’s making you coffee, or making you laugh when you’re having a bad day. Whatever it is, write it down!
Write down the moments when you’re excited to get married to your partner! What are you feeling, why are you so excited. What are you most excited about after the wedding is over?
Little by you’ll have an entire document filled with snippets that you can include in your vows.
Add in a love quote
Sometimes words can be hard to find, so leave it to the experts and include some of your favourite love quotes, or any kind of words, poems, etc. that resonate with you and your partner.
Follow a formula
The best vows we’ve heard, are ones that follow a formula. And when we say formula, we mean a very broad outline that you can personalize.
Start by saying a story, or why you love them or when you fell in love with them.
“Never in my life did I think….. I knew from the moment I met you…… “
Then tell a story about why you love them, the moment you knew you were going to marry them etc.
Then you make your promises or vows. These are a list of things you want to promise your partner.
Pro Tip: your marriage commissioner, officiant or pastor (aka whoever is marrying you) should have a list of vows you can choose from. Pick the ones that feel good to you.
If they don’t have any examples for you, or a family member or friend is performing the ceremony, then start by brain dumping what you think the most important aspects of a marriage are. From there, you can start to build what those vows will look like. You can even talk to your parents, friends or anyone else that's married. What did they promise? What resonates with you that you can also include?
Keep it short and sweet
This isn’t something that needs to take up half the ceremony, in reality, it will only take a few minutes for each of you.
It’s important to note that while you’re going to want to promise the moon and the entire world, it’s just not possible. Keep these short and sweet, and try to only pick a handful. It can be tempting to just keep going on and on and reciting every promise you can think of, but keep in mind that you have a lifetime to continue making promises to each other.
Forget about anyone else
If you're anything like me, the thought of standing in front of my entire family and friends and professing my undying love isn't exactly something I'm excited for. Just remember that this is about YOU and your PARTNER! Everyone else doesn't matter, and when you finally get to the end of that aisle, it's just the two of you. So write for them, and forget about everyone else!
Say it out loud!
Practice this before your ceremony! Ask a friend to listen, read it to your parents or grandparents, or your dog. Just say it out loud! You may change some words, the flow might not make sense, or you'll get choked up. Now you can refine, re-write, or at least know that this is the part that makes you cry every time. There's no such thing as being overprepared! And in reality, your wedding day is so full of emotion, no amount of rehearsing is going to take that emotion away.
One last tip:
One of my favorite hacks is to stalk wedding videographers. Oftentimes they will overlay sound bites with the video footage allowing you to hear what others have written as part of their vows or in letters to each other. I’m not saying copy someone else’s word for word, but figure out which ones resonate with you, what parts you’re nodding your head to, or crying about because it sounds like you and your partner! Use that as inspiration!