Writing your wedding vows can be one of the most challenging parts of wedding planning for many brides and grooms. Writing might not come naturally to you, or perhaps you’re just held back by not knowing where to start? That’s why we’re sharing our best tips to help you put pen to paper (or fingertips to keys!), so you can write your vows with confidence.
For simplicity’s sake, we’ve broken it down into three main steps: Before you write, the writing process and practising. Don’t worry – we’re with you every step of the way!
Before you write
A little planning will go a long way in making your vows read seamlessly. It’s a good idea to discuss vows with your partner first – there’s every chance they need some help with this too! The three main things to agree on are the tone, length and format. Let’s take a closer look:
Your vows will seem more heartfelt if the tone is true to your relationship and your personality. For instance, if a sense of humour is a central part of your relationship, having very poignant vows may not feel right to you.
It’s also lovely if you echo the tone of each other to a degree. If your vows are light and humorous, but your partner’s vows are intense, the ceremony may not flow as well.
It’s important to use your own words, rather than those of others. Your guests (and your partner) want to hear you speak. It’s quite popular for people to write the first part of their vows, and then complete them with the words of traditional vows.
Vows don’t usually exceed two minutes. That is plenty of time to cover the six essential points – think ‘short and sweet’. But don’t feel you need to time yourself to the second – as long as you are authentic, it will be perfect.
Think of your wedding vows as six small parts, and this will make them much easier to work through. You can put your own twist on them of course (and we hope you do!) but it helps to work with an outline.
- A declaration of love and who they are to you
- Nathan, I love you. You are my best friend and my biggest cheerleader.
- Say why you love them
- You are spontaneous, yet dependable, supportive, yet have a wicked sense of humour. You make life more interesting, every day!
- Declare that you do love them
- From the moment you first held my hand, I knew I wanted you to have my heart forever.
- Make a promise about how you will be as a husband or wife
- I vow to respect you, laugh with you and support you just as you have always supported me. I vow to do everything possible to make you happy and build a wonderful life together.
- Say what you look forward to doing with them in the future
- I look forward to sharing every one of life’s adventures with you as my partner.
- Make a promise you will always be there, good times and bad
- I will celebrate your highs and support you in harder times. I will tell you I love you every morning and every night. I will be there for you always.
You should decide as a couple if you will be sharing your vows with each other, or with anyone else before the ceremony. Of course, you can keep them a secret too! If you are not sharing them with each other but would like to see how they read together, your celebrant will be able to review them and give you feedback.
The writing process
Before you start writing the vows, take a few notes to point you in the right direction. After all – no-one gets everything right on the first try!
Here are some memories and feelings to consider while you’re brainstorming:
- How you felt when you met
- What made you fall in love with them and how that felt
- The point you knew you wanted to spend your life with them
- Difficult times you endured together and how you supported each other
- Your common goals or dreams for the future
- What you respect and admire most about them
- How they have improved your life
- The foundation of your relationship or what makes it special
- What you miss when they aren’t around
Now it’s time to write down some ideas for the promises you want to make to your partner. After all, you are vowing to abide by these for the duration of your marriage and life together.
It’s a good idea to include at least two promises. One should be broad in scope and others can be more specific and personal.
- I promise to always stand by your side.
- I will send you to work every morning with a coffee and a kiss. I will tell you I love you every day.
From your notes, you can create a full draft of your vows to tie it all together, following the outline we mentioned earlier.
Once your draft is complete, read through it and keep your eye out for a few things you may want to leave out, such as:
- Inside jokes that your guests may not understand
- Embarrassing comments that you might regret in a few years to come
- Clichés because these are someone else’s words and your vows will sound incredible if you are more specific
It’s crucial to read your vows out loud several times to see if any phrasing sounds awkward. You may not realise that reading in your head and reading out loud can sound entirely different. The easier it is for you to read out loud when you’re practising, the easier it will be for you to read clearly and confidently at your ceremony. Yay!
Once you’ve phrased everything just how you want, create a clean and legible copy. This is important because:
- It will be easy for you to read
- It looks beautiful in photos
- If you’re too emotional to speak, your officiant may need to take over for you
Start the process early! You won’t be able to think clearly if you’re feeling rushed.
If you’re still a little unsure about how your vows should sound, try searching online for some examples. Remember that it’s good to be personal and unique though, so use the vows of others for inspiration and then make it sound like you. But above all, don’t stress – we know you’ve got this!
Written by K. Cooper for Bridalosophy
Leave a comment
Comments will be approved before showing up.