Wedding vows serve as an intimate moment during the ceremony where the couple expresses their love, promise and commitment to one another. We’ve probably all been to weddings where the couple promises to have and to hold from this day forward although, these days, many couples are choosing to forgo the traditional vows in favour of writing their own.
Thinking about writing your wedding vows? It’s a tremendous undertaking, summing up your love, dreams, and promises to your partner in a few short minutes.
Overwhelming as it can be, it’s well worth it: It’s a chance to tell your story, give guests a peek into what makes your relationship tick, and share meaningful words with the person you love.
It’s also intimate. After all, you’re baring your heart to the love of your life, and you’re doing so in front of your family and closest friends. If you’re up for the challenge, check here. From examples and advice to sources of inspiration, here is everything you need to know to write your wedding vows.
Read Examples For Inspiration
Start by reading traditional, by-the-book vows from your religion if you practice a certain faith, and others as well, to see what strikes a chord with you. Incorporate these samples into the original words you write or simply use them as a jumping-off point.
Once you’ve found a few you love, consider what it is about the style that draws you to those vows in particular.
Agree On Format And Tone With Your Partner
Decide how you want your vows to come across. Do you envision them as humorous? Poetic and romantic? Go over the logistics too. Will you write them separately or together?
Will they be completely different or will you make the same promises to each other as you would with traditional vows? Some couples do a little of each. Finally, will you share them or keep them a secret until the wedding day?
Jot Down Notes About Your Relationship
Take some time to reflect on your partner. Think about how you felt when you first met, what made you fall in love and when you knew you wanted to spend the rest of your lives together. Write it all out to get your creative gears turning.
Ask yourself certain questions and think about things like why you decided to get married, what hard times you’ve gone through together, what you’ve supported each other through, what challenges you envision for your future, what you want to accomplish together, what makes your relationship tick.
What you thought when you first saw your partner when you realized you were in love, what you respect most about your partner, how your life has gotten better since meeting your partner, what inspires you about your partner, what you miss most about them when you’re apart and so on.
Come Up With Promises
They’re called vows for a reason, so the promises are the most important part. Include promises that are broad in scope (like, “I promise I’ll always be there to support you,” for instance), as well as ones that are very specific to the two of you (like, “I promise I’ll always let you watch Game of Thrones on Sundays.”)
Include A Story About Your Love
Everyone loves to hear about how two people in love first met. Were you out grocery shopping at midnight? Did a friend set you up on a blind date? Or, perhaps you worked together for a year before romance sparked.
No matter what your love story is, here’s a quick tip for how to write wedding vows even if your friends and family have already heard it, this is the perfect place to retell it.
Shorten Your Vows
Your vows are important, but that doesn’t mean they should drag on. When you say something meaningful, you shouldn’t have to say it over and over—so pick the most important points and make them.
If yours are running longer than two minutes, make some edits. Put some of the more personal thoughts in a letter or gift to your partner on the morning of your wedding and save any guest-related topics for your toasts.
Now that you have your first draft, it’s time to make edits. Borrow from nonreligious poetry and books, and even from romantic movies, but don’t let someone else’s words overpower your own.
You want your vows to sound like you and relate to your relationship, and that won’t happen if every word is borrowed from other sources. And if you find yourself relying on cliché phrases (you know, those sayings that have been used over and over so many times they no longer sound genuine) to get your point across, try coming up with a specific example from your relationship that has a similar message.
For example, instead of saying, “Love is blind,” you might say, “You’ll always be the most beautiful person to me, whether you’re in sweatpants or dressed to the nines.”