Have you decided to write your own vows for your wedding? It’s an incredibly special sentiment on what will be a BIG day in your life. The nice thing about writing your own vows is that it allows you to customize them and say exactly what you want instead of relying on other vows that don’t quite get it 100% right. But what if you know what you want to say, but don’t know how to say it? Don’t worry! You don’t have to be a professional writer to write your own vows; all you need is a little help and inspiration. First read these tips and then if you’re ready to get to writing, download my free Vow Writing Planner for a more comprehensive look at walking you step by step through brainstorming, writing, and perfecting your personalized vows.
Talk About It
First things first, you and your partner need to be on the same page. Not saying that you have to agree on the same introductory sentences, five bullet points, and throw an “I love you” in there, but you should have a chat about expectations and what you want your vows to look like. What will the tone be? Do you want to keep it light and with a little humor or more serious and full of emotion? Is there anything you want to keep private and not mention in your vows? Discuss these things before you put pen to paper so that you will already have an idea of where to start.
You also don’t want your vows to be a competition and have your guests taking sides on whose were better. Not to mention, you wouldn’t want your vows to be 2 minutes while you partner talks for 10 minutes. Chat about how long you want to keep them to. Do you want to say the same promises to each other or create your own? There are lots of possibilities when it comes to actually writing your vows, but being on the same page is a great start.
Love: it’s the most popular topic of all time. Look for inspiration in some classic songs, your favorite books or movies, and even other’s vows. Poetry is a great inspiration, too. Read traditional vows as well as more modern ones, and take mental notes on what sticks with you. Even if you just find a phrase or an idea that you like, use it as a starting point when writing your own.
Give Yourself Time
You’ll want plenty of time to write and rewrite and rewrite again so start early! These are words that you and your partner will remember forever and it’s not something you’ll want to procrastinate and take lightly. You are also promising some very big things in front of witnesses, and you want to be sure that you mean everything that you say. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all things wedding planning and forget about writing your vows until a few weeks before the big day, but reading your vows is probably the most important part of the ceremony and you’ll want to put lots of thought and sincerity into those words.
Start thinking of ideas and begin writing at least a few weeks, if not a couple months, before the big day. If you are stuck and don’t know where to start, my free Vow Writing Planner (download HERE!) will help you with everything from reflecting back on your relationship to writing your final draft!
Write A Few Drafts
As I mentioned earlier, you will probably want to go over your first draft and edit it a few times in order to get it right. Write your first draft and then let it sit for a few days or even a week. Then, come back to it and revise what you’ve said or add things you may have forgotten. Take another week break and then edit again. I recommend doing at least 3 drafts in total to make sure you’ve got everything in that you want to say. Be careful about doing more – you also don’t want to work it to death and overthink it! Keep it simple, but put lots of thought into your vows.
Just because your friends and family will be witnessing you read your vows to your partner doesn’t mean you should care more about what they think than what your partner thinks. After all, you are marrying him/her and not everyone else! Be sincere and take pride in every word that you say. Your vows carry a lot of weight, and your whole marriage will be built on these promises. Don’t worry about how your words will come across to others; they are for you and your partner alone.
Actually Make Promises
It’s easy to get caught up in the reflecting of your relationship that your vows end up sounding more like a story or love letter, but don’t forget to actually incorporate some promises you’d like to make to your partner. Through these words, you are vowing to love each other for better or for worse, and that’s super serious! Although, not all vows have to be that weighty or heavy. You can always mix some serious vows with some light-hearted ones to express all of your feelings to each other.
Practice Reading Out Loud
This might be a no brainer, but reading your vows aloud many times will help you get the words out of your head to hear how it sounds. You might catch spots where you are missing a word or where the sentence structure sounds off, and you’ll be glad that you found it beforehand instead of slipping up in front of everyone because of a silly mistake! If you want a second opinion, choose a trusted family member or member of your bridal party to read them to and ask for their feedback (but make sure they can keep them secret!).
Make a Clean Copy
Please oh please don’t write your vows on a piece of paper and take it out, all crumpled and possibly stained to read during your ceremony. It’s obviously more about what is on the piece of paper than the paper itself, but buying a nice notebook to write your vows in or at least typing them up on a neatly folded paper definitely can’t hurt! Don’t forget that your photographer and videographer will be capturing every moment and you might not want to pull out that napkin or crumpled piece of paper knowing that it will be in your wedding photos for years to come. When you’ve finished writing and are ready to print or copy them, don’t forget to give them to your maid of honor, best man, or officiate the night before your wedding for safekeeping.
Writing your wedding vows doesn’t have to be a challenging process! And with these tips, you’re off to a good start – however, if you want a more thorough step-by-step guide on successfully writing your own vows, be sure to download my totally free Vow Writing Planner. You’ll have those vows written and perfected in no time!
Where are you finding inspiration for your vows? Drop your ideas in the comments to help other couples looking for ideas!