6 Ultimate Tricks to Writing Your Wedding Vows
Updated: Aug 18, 2020
Many modern couples are opting to bypass conventional vows by shifting to non-traditional pledges. Unlike traditional wedding vows, modern couples still vow to stand by their partner in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, but there is a focus on personalization, to ensure your vows are reflective of you and your relationship and relatable to your guests. Here are some tips to help you write the vow for your big day.
P I C K A S T Y L E
While you may want to keep your vows a secret from your partner, start by discussing how long you each think your vows should last, as well as which vow structure works best for the both of you. Traditionally, there are three main ways to structure your vows:
“I Do” Vows - Answering questions from your officiant with an “I Do,” “I Promise,” or “I Will”
Repetitive Vows - Repeating vows after your officiant with "for richer and for poorer," "till death do us part," etc.
Original Vows – Writing and reciting your own unique vows, specific to you and your partner
To achieve a cohesive style, decide if you'd like your vows to be funny, sentimental, or a mixture of both. Are you including inside jokes that are sure to make you laugh, or are you keeping things easy for your guests to follow? Talk these details through to ensure your vows compliment each other!
C R E A T E A N O U T L I N E
Once you've decided which vow style you're most comfortable with, create an outline of your wedding vows to help you express all that you'd like to celebrate about your partner, while also being concise and staying on track. Write a list of things you absolutely must tell your partner while standing at the altar but know that it's impossible to include everything you love about them in the span of one to two minutes.
Outlining your wedding vows guarantees that you're able to include all the things you want to promise your future spouse, without rambling and repeating yourself. Use the following touchpoints to help you build your outline:
Make sure to say "I love you"
Highlight your favorite traits about your partner and share your favorite memories
Make promises about what your life will look like together
Acknowledge the support you'll need from others
Go for laughter and don't worry about being cheesy
Practice reading out loud and allow time to laugh or tear up without interrupting your flow
G E T I N S P I R E D
We know from experience that attempting to express all your emotions in such a short time can be nerve-wracking. It's just natural to feel anxious about how to say all that there is to love and celebrate. And thankfully, you can gather inspiration from your favorite books, songs, poems, and even YouTube videos of real couples exchanging vows. You can also check some examples of wedding vows here!
Reflect on what makes each line stand out to you, and think of ways to convey the feeling behind their wording, tailored to your experiences with your partner. For instance, take note of phrases that resonate with you and expand on them to be specific to your experiences with your partner. On the other hand, if you and your partner are both movie enthusiasts and love a particular film or series, you can also include famous/relatable quotes from them in your wedding vows as a subtle nod that your partner is sure to appreciate.
I N C L U D E P E R S O N A L S T O R I E S
Talk about your love story in your vows. Share personal stories and unforgettable memories with your partner and guests, that you feel have had a meaningful impact on your relationship. Whether it's an example of characteristics you love most about your partner, or a funny story from your first date, sharing relatable anecdotes will make your vows unique to you and your partner and will provide your guests insight into your love story.
Also, don’t be afraid to make promises to your partner in your wedding vows. Tell them how much they mean to you, promise to join your lives as one, and describe to them what that looks like. Promise to grow with one another, to share everything you have, and to spend the rest of your life loving and cherishing them. Most importantly, don’t forget to say I love you and to let your partner know how they have helped make you a better version of yourself.
While you want to make your wedding vows as personal as possible, remember that your vows are a public declaration of love and that you don't want to overshare in front of all of your family and friends. The goal is to share enough with your guests that they relate to your relationship and leave knowing more about your love story but not enough that you're uncomfortable greeting your aunts at your reception.
E D I T A N D S H O R T E N
Editing is an essential step in writing your vows. Read your vows out loud once they've been completed to ensure that you haven't unknowingly exposed any private information or shared personal details that your partner would have preferred to keep private. As you read your vows, take note of the overall style and tone; is it cohesive? Are your vows humorous or sentimental? Would you feel confident reading this in front of those closest to you? Take note and make adjustments as you feel necessary.
Make sure that your wedding vows are realistic and that they describe the life that you want to live with your partner. Don't make outlandish promises that you can't fulfill and don’t use words like “always” and “never” as it denotes perfection, and we all know that no relationship is perfect 100% of the time.
P R A C T I C E A N D S P E A K F R O M T H E H E A R T
Delivering your wedding vows can be nerve-wracking, especially if public speaking is not your forte. Therefore, dedicating time to practice reciting your vows is essential. Memorization is not mandatory, but practicing your vows is a great way to reduce anxiousness, especially ahead of your wedding ceremony.
Read your vows out loud and in a tone that you think is fitting and allow yourself time to laugh or tear up without interrupting your flow. Try rehearsing in front of a mirror while imagining yourself as your partner and attempt to make eye contact with your partner while looking down at your vows only as needed.
Most importantly, speak from your heart. Highlight your most important promises to your partner with emphasis and intonation, so that they not only hear your words but feel the emotion behind them. Lastly, keep your vow a secret from your partner if at all possible. Trust us, while they may think they want to know, nothing beats the surprise and emotion behind hearing your vows for the first time, so keep the surprise as long as you can!