Tips for Writing Your Own Wedding Vows
How can you possibly put into words (concise words at that) just how you feel about your significant other? Then read those intimate words out loud in front of all of your friends and family? It may sound like a lot of pressure, especially for those not in tune with public speaking, but we’ve got some tips to ease the process.
Writing your own vows is a process that should be openly discussed between you and your fiancé before starting the writing process. First and foremost, you both must agree you want to write and read your vows aloud inside the beautiful chapel. Lucky for you the historic chapel allows for open airflow and a stunning setting, where just about anything you say will match the ambiance ceremony.
Don’t lose track of why you are writing these vows to begin with. You met a wonderful man, THE ONE, and are about to make an everlasting commitment to love and cherish one another through the good times and the bad. That promise is not taken lightly, and you’ll need to use words to adequately express it.
The thing about writing your own vows, as overwhelming as it may seem, is there are tools out there to help guide you through the process. We are here to share a few tips for writing your wedding vows and hope you find joy in the process. After all, any excuse to gush over your dream boat of a future hubby is sure to bring a beaming smile to your face!
Discuss the Tone of Your Wedding Vows
Before you dive deep into pouring out the most sentimental words you have ever placed on paper, be sure to connect with your significant other and discuss the tone and format they will be using when writing his vows. Maybe he’s planning to go more quirky and funny style, keeping it lighthearted while you were envisioning a more sentimental and serious route. While both styles are perfect in their own right, you want to have a common tone and style in your writing. You are not changing the mood of the room in a complete opposite emotional setting.
To keep the length, writing style, and flow of the vows, it is a good idea to select a generic vow template to follow. Here are some ideas for how you may want to format your vows:
- What was your first impression of your significant other?
- Share a funny or favorite memory you have with your partner.
- Share the moment you realized you are in love with your significant other.
- What are the top three traits you adore or admire about your partner?
- List two or three promises you plan to make and keep.
- Lastly, share something you are looking forward to sharing with them in the future.
Using the same writing template will ensure the flow is consistent between your two vows and that the timing will be cohesive.
Brainstorming is the Best Tool you Have
You wouldn’t ride a bike before having training wheels attached to it first, would you? The same goes for writing. You need to first have an idea of what your feeling. The first step in any writing process is to brainstorm. Do not worry about sentence structure, punctuation or even forming complete thoughts. Simply grab a sheet of paper and pen and begin jotting down anything that comes to mind when you think about your future hubby. It could be his adorable smile that can pick you up from any mood the moment it stretches across his sweet face or a few words that pop into mind when you think of his name. The brainstorming process allows you to write down all the emotions, thoughts, and memories you have with your fiancé without any plan of where those words may be heading. Then review, select your favorite parts, revise, and work to compile into a structured, beautiful wedding vow.
Here are a few brainstorming session starters:
- When and where did you first meet?
- Your favorite personality traits they have.
- How do they inspire and challenge you?
- What is the most cherished memory you have together?
- Things that make them unique and perfect for you.
- What do you envision your future like together?
- What do you value most about your relationship together?
Often, the most memorable vows are a mixture of playful and humorous touch of seriousness. To get in the best headspace to begin writing, visit your favorite place, you two enjoy spending time together. This will help you feel connected to those memories you have made there and will often tug on your emotions, in turn giving you the fuel to the fire you need.
Practice Reading Aloud
Grab your most trusted gal pal and read your vows aloud to her. This will serve to edit your vows, and build up your confidence in public speaking if it is not your forte. Additionally, as you read aloud, you begin to hear how certain sentences sound and flow together. You may realize you need to edit again and switch out a few keywords here and there. Keep in mind how you feel as you read aloud your words. If something does not feel right, adjust to feel more comfortable. Be sure to keep your words genuine and natural. You do not need to throw in fancy, fluffy words that you otherwise would not use. After all, this is your future husband you are speaking to. He wants to feel your genuine and raw emotion. Avoid cliché lines. These can help steer you in the right direction, but consider rewording them to sound more like you!
Once you have finalized your first draft, and read your vows aloud to a trusted friend, set them aside for a couple of days. Revisit your vows with a fresh set of eyes. You’ll be surprised how many edits you might catch. Lastly, you will want to consider how long it takes you to read your vows. You do not want to be rambling on and lose the attention of your guests. Typically, a two-minute max is an ideal time limit to adhere to.
Give Yourself Time and Be Authentically Yourself!
Weddings take an immense amount of time to plan. Do not procrastinate on your vows and attempt hammering them out days before the big day. Begin your vows a couple months before your wedding. You will want to take your time to brainstorm, review, and revise a few times before the final draft. About two to three weeks from your wedding day, you want to have your final vows written and feeling confident, poised, and at ease when reading them aloud. Do not continue to make changes and second guess yourself. Anything you have taken the time to put together is going to sentimental between you and your love. Stay true to who you are in your words and what the pure meaning of marriage means to you and your future husband. Take a deep breath and read your vows slow and clear. This is a sacred time for you two, and it shouldn’t be rushed. If you become teary-eyed and choked up, take a moment to breathe, and collect yourself before continuing to read your vows. You’ve got this! Just relax and know you are looking at your person—the love of your life, and in that moment, it is just the two of you.
Keep your handwritten vows and frame them for years to come. Each anniversary read your vows to one another aloud and reflect on the never-ending growth, infinite love, and challenges you both have faced and overcome as a couple. Never stop communicating and never stop writing “vows” to one another. Marriage is an ever-changing and ever-growing commitment you will share for the rest of your lives. Promise to chose one another every single day and cherish that promise.
Photos by Hartstein Wedding Photography