Updated: Jul 23, 2020
Wedding vows are extremely personal, special words that represent the unity and commitment between you and your spouse. Deciding to write your own wedding vows is a great way to truly personalize your wedding because your own feelings and memories allow your guests to really see the unconditional love between you and your spouse. While this is a meaningful and heartfelt decision, it can also be challenging and scary because you may not know how to write a vow or where to even begin in the first place. Here are some ideas and inspiration that we have put together in order to make writing vows as simple as possible.
1. Say “I love you” – Even though this seems like a no-brainer, it is surprising how many couples forget to say these three words in their vows
2. Don’t be afraid to add humor! Making your partner smile or laugh at your wedding will serve you well.
3. Don’t promise perfection because things will inevitably get tough as some point. Avoid using words like “always” or “never”. Instead, share how you know you will get through the hard times, through the thick and the thin.
4. Layout exactly what you are promising. It is also key to remember why you are promising whatever it is you are promising to your partner. You can state this in your vows as well.
5. Say whatever is in your heart, don’t worry about anything sounding cliché or cheesy. If what your saying is really how you feel, then it is not cheesy!
6. Although you are writing your own vows to make them original and unique, it is always a good idea to insert some traditional sentences. Using “…Until death do us part…” or “…As long as we both shall live…” signifies that all the promises you are making are forever.
The trick to getting the inspiration you need to write your vows is to read lots of examples. There are many types as traditional, personalized, and traditional wedding vows from various religions. Read through the examples and see what clicks with you, then you can use the ones you love as a jump start or as a structure outline.
JP REYNOLDS’ SUGGESTED STRUCTURE
If you’re still having a tough time finding an outline you like, or you just like having steps to follow (like me), JP Reynolds, a celebrity officiant, counselor and author, wrote “How To Write Your Vows: Giving Voice To What Is Deep In Your Heart” and in it, shared a suggested outline:
1. Start off with a memory of when you first met or a story where you realized your partner “The One”
2. Tell them what you appreciate and value about them
3. Express your gratitude for the memories they have given you
4. State what you are promising to do/to be for them
5. Finally, be sure to insert “I take you as my husband/wife” at some point in your vows. This is what turns your words of love into a vow
1. Don’t wait until the last minute. These are the words you are going to remember for the rest of your life so you will want to be well prepared.
2. Start by making a list of memories, sentences or even words that remind you of your partner. Write down how you felt when you first met, what made you want to get married, how your partner has changed you for the better, or what you see in your future with your partner. Let the creative juices FLOW!
3. Turn that list into words by following the outline of your choosing – or don’t follow an outline at all! This is your wedding vow and you can make it as unique as you want
4. MAKE LOTS OF DRAFTS AND EDITS! After you write out your first draft, read it over several times and see what needs to be added/removed.
5. Read them out loud. See if the words flow when you say them. It is also helpful to have a close friend, perhaps someone in the wedding party such as a bridesmaid or groomsman, listen to your vow and suggest edits.
6. After you have made your final draft, have a fresh copy to have with you at the wedding. You can ask the officiant to hold your copy for you until you are ready! Don’t try and memorize it, your mind will be so busy leading up to and on your wedding that and you don’t want to forget the words during the ceremony.