How to Write Wedding Vows: 8 Tips You Need
Thinking about writing your own 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 really 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, we’re here to help. Here are our top tips for writing—and delivering—your own wedding vows.
1. Take a trip down memory lane & take notes
This is the time where you reflect on what you love most about your partner and write it all out. Grab a notebook, pen, ask yourself these questions and write down the answers to get inspired.
- How did you feel when you first met?
- When did you know he or she was ‘the one’?
- Why did you decide to get married?
- How does he or she make you laugh
- What hard times you’ve gone through together?
- What challenges do you envision for your future?
- What do you want to accomplish together?
- How your life has gotten better since meeting your partner?
The list goes on and on. When writers block hits, keep these notes (and memories) close by. Speaking of notes, download our free Wedding Vow Template below to start writing now! Print as many copies as you need, even a set for your fiance’.
Download Your Free Wedding Vow Template
While traditional wedding vows are usually very structured, you don’t have to be quite as strict while writing your own. This outline is a great place to help you get started.
2. Agree on format and tone with your partner
Decide how you want your vows to come across. You should both be on the same page.
- Do you envision your wedding vows having humor?
- Will you write them separately or together?
- Will you share them with each other or keep them a secret until the wedding day?
Discuss with your fiance’ what tone you would like for your vows. There isn’t a tone that you must use, but it’s best if you agree on the type of message you’d like to express. Keep your vows brief; wedding vows are typically one to three minutes long.
3. Share Your Promises
“I vow to always love you… even during football season!” Now that is true love!
Think about the things you promise to always do for your spouse and write them out. Some can be broadly romantic, “I promise to always support you.” But the real magic comes out when you share the wedding vows that are unique to your love story. Your guests will love these light moments.
- “I vow to let you play video games on the weekends.”
- “I promise I will learn how to cook.”
4. Include a Defining Moment
You must have some awesome memories, stories or inside jokes together – your vows are the perfect place to relive one or two of those moments. Think of a story that defines your romance:
- How did you first meet?
- Did your love withstand hardship?
- Do you go to Cedar Point every year, ride every roller coaster 25 times in a row to show your commitment? (Bit of a stretch – but fun! lol)
If you decide to include a story in your vows, a great way to use it; start with the short story and then circle back to it at the end.
5. Revise, shorten, then shorten again
Even though the vows are one of the shining moments of your wedding ceremony, they don’t need to go on and on… and on. How long should they be? One to two minutes is the sweet spot. Practice out loud, set up a timer while you’re at it and see if you need to trim them down at all.
If there are more personal thoughts you want to share, write them in a separate letter you give to your spouse the morning of the wedding. Can’t have too many special moments
6. Don’t wait until the last minute.
Plan to have your vows written three weeks before your wedding. But you can start the note taking process as early as possible. Trust us: You’ll be thankful for the rehearsal when those wedding-day jitters kick in.
7. Write vows out neatly.
It might go without saying, but make sure you can read your vows when the time comes. Whether you use a vow journal, note cards or a piece of paper – make sure whatever you bring to the altar is your final copy. Don’t read off of anything where words are crossed out, notes are scribbled, paper is crunched up. Not only will you be photographed during your vows, but they will remain a keepsake for years to come.
8. Practice reading out loud.
The only way to make sure everything sounds perfect is to hear it out. That’s what maids of honors are for! Try reading them in the mirror, too. Reading your vows out loud will help you catch spots where the grammar might be off slightly or where you forgot to write a word and just to ensure that the story sounds cohesive.
Oh another pro tip – have a backup set of vows! We’re firm believers in backup plans!