Writing personal wedding vows is one of the loveliest things you can do for your other half. Standing face to face, ready to commit to a lifetime together: your unique vows are the perfect moment to declare how you really feel. When written from the heart, they truly are a gift to one another.
That said – writing personal vows can be preeeettty stressful. You know how you feel, and yet when it comes to writing it down – writers block hits. If you’re struggling to come up with the words to express how you feel, worry not. In this article we cover our top tips to get your vows out of your head and heart and onto the page. Let’s begin…
Agree on the general vibe
This may seem like an obvious point, but you’d be surprised how many couples forget to align on the tone of their vows. Before you get started on your vow-writing process, first make sure that you and your beau are totally on the same page about the general vibe you’re going for. Will they be funny? Romantic? Traditional? Religious? There’s no right or wrong answer, it just has to be right for you as a couple.
Top tip: it’s definitely a good idea to discuss upfront how much you’re prepared to ‘share’ about your history together. Some people might prefer to keep personal memories private, so just make sure you agree on what you’re going to do before the day to avoid any embarrassment.
Be clear on the rules
All too often couples forget to check in with their officiant to see if there are any rules about things you have to say in your vows. This is particularly important if you are getting married in a religious location. In fact, some places may not even allow personal vows at all, so you definitely want to be clear on this before you get started.
Some officiants will ask to see your vows before the day to make sure that they include any essential elements. To avoid any last minute stress, remember to do get clear on the rules early on in your vow-writing process.
If you’re having a free spirited elopement, you can forget all about the rules and do exactly what you want – which is precisely why we love them so much!
Take a walk down memory lane
Ok, so you’ve discussed a general vibe, and you know of any non-negotiables that you have to include. Now comes the fun task of figuring out what to actually say in your personal vows.
To kickstart this process, take some time to think about your relationship and the story you’ve shared together. Think about how you met, what drew you to one another, where you first said “I love you”, or where you knew that this was ‘The One’.
Reflect on all the moments that led you to this incredible day, and package those memories up into a love story.
Talk about where you’re going
After looking back, it’s time to look forward.
Think about all the things you are excited about for the future. What are you excited to accomplish together? What do you imagine for your future? And what journey through life are you most excited to take with your future husband or wife?
No matter what you imagine your future love story holds in store, now’s the perfect time to share your feelings with your partner and let them know you’ll always be by their side.
Research other literary sources for inspiration
Songs, poems, books and historical quotes are great sources of inspiration for your vows. You are free to borrow (steal) from other sources however you please – so go crazy! You can even take other sources as a starting point from which to build on with your own words.
It’s always a great idea to draw on sources that mean something to you as a couple for this process. Perhaps a quote from ‘your song’, or quotes from a movie that you love. Whatever you choose, get inspired and wise from the greats who’ve come before us and incorporate them into your own personal vows.
Create some promises
Don’t forget that your vows are promises you’re making to one another.
A good idea is to incorporate some high level promises as well as some very specific ones. So, at a high level you might promise to love and support your partner, and stand by them through the good and bad. But your specific promises can be entirely personal to you. Perhaps you promise to support your other half when their favourite football team loses a game, or to bring them their favorite juice when they have a hangover.
Whatever you decide, make it ring true to the cute little quirks you share together and you can’t go wrong.
Don’t forget I love you
This seems like it’s an obvious one, but it’s often forgotten! Even if you think it goes without saying, don’t forget to add these three golden words into your vows. Of all days, this is one where you should say them loud and proud.
Edit it down
You should aim to have your vows last for a minute or so.
60 seconds huh?
Sounds like it’s not a lot, but you’d be surprised how long it feels when you’re up there saying it.
So when you have your first draft done, take time to edit down. Then edit it down again. This is not only a good technique for sharpening up your vows, but it’ll also force you to cut through the faff and think about what you really want to include.
Pro tip: If you have things that you need to take out of your vows but still want to share with your partner, write them down and gift your partner a letter for the morning of your wedding.
Say it out loud
Even the most beautifully crafted vows can sound iffy if you read them like a robot. So practise, practise, practise before the day.
You don’t need to memorise the vows off by heart, but rehearse saying them so that your eyes aren’t glued to the paper in front of you when the time comes to say them. Remember, your vows are a beautiful gift to your partner. You want to be able to enjoy saying them. So rehearse several times (preferably in front of a couple of people) before the day so that you’re totally comfortable when the magic moment arrives.
Above all, after you’ve read all these tips, take the time to make sure your vows reflect you who are as a couple. There are no rules. Do and say what feels right for you and they will be absolutely perfect!
Connection is what it’s all about. Feel free to reach out to us with any comments or questions you might have, even if it’s only to say hello. If it wasn’t for our beautiful community, this place just wouldn’t feel the same.