Tears, laughs, and warm hearts, weddings are the time to celebrate love.
Whether this is your first or fourth marriage, writing your marriage vows can feel overwhelming, especially in the grand scheme of wedding planning!
So, How Do You Write Marriage Vows?
I hate to break it to you, but writing your vows has no secret recipe. Trust me, I get it – the process can be intimidating! But I think it’s essential for couples to understand your marriage vows don’t have to be cookie-cutter perfect; they just have to be perfect for you and your relationship.
With my first marriage in 1997, we went the traditional route with our vows. This year, in 2023, I had a second chance at love, where my now husband and I decided it was best for us to write our own. And let me tell you, despite being different, both were very special.
Every couple is unique, with their own amazing love story. And everyone has different preferences and tastes. So, I won’t show you the right way to write your own vows because, well…there is none.
However, I do like to remind my clients to keep a few essential guidelines in mind when planning and writing their vows. Here are my five top tips to get you started on writing the vows of your dreams.
1. Agree on the Ground Rules
So, first things first. As a couple, you need to discuss the ground rules with each other. Discuss the nitty gritty, like format, length, tone, time, and place.
For my wedding this year, my husband (and myself included) had a bit of anxiety about reading our personal vows in front of all of our wedding guests. So, we chose to read them to each other during the rehearsal in front of just our closest family and friends.
- Format: It’s important to discuss the kind of vows you want, whether they’re traditional marriage vows, religious vows, or writing your own.
- Length: Are you comfortable reading long vows, or would you rather keep it short and sweet?
- Tone: Humor, for instance, might resonate well with one of you but not necessarily with the other.
- Time & Place: Discuss with your partner when and where you want to read your vows. Feeling safe and comfortable, especially during a wedding where you’re the center of attention, is crucial to having a good time.
Just make sure to ask each other these questions before you spend the time writing them. These vows are for both of you; setting those ground rules will help set the atmosphere right.
2. Why You Choose Each Other (And Keep Choosing Each Other)
Of course, the “why” is very important when it comes down to relationships.
It’s no secret that marriages take a lot of work, and in difficult times, you need to be reminded of your why. Writing these in your vows is crucial because it’s a testament to recognizing your partner for who they truly are and why you love them.
Write down the things you love about them – their qualities, how they make you feel, memorable stories, and your future dreams.
3. Promises and Commitments
Your marriage vows aren’t just fluff and snuff; they should be filled with commitments and promises you make to your partner. Traditional vows are usually set with their standard promises, whereas writing your own allows personalization!
By customizing your promises using anecdotes and memories, you’re highlighting the uniqueness of your bond (And bringing smiles and laughs is always a plus!). For example, “I promise to be by your side and kill all the spiders that enter our home,” or in our case, “I promise always to make you a sandwich when I make one for myself.” Your vows can showcase your relationship’s unique personality while maintaining its serious and sentimental value.
Also, be sure to include elements like support, trust, respect, and love, as these form the foundation of a solid and enduring partnership. Examples include “I vow to be by your side through sickness and in health” and “I promise always to cherish you.”
Keep your vows concise, sincere, and realistic, ensuring that the promises you make are ones you genuinely intend to uphold throughout your marriage – these are real commitments you want to make with your partner!
4. Say, I Love You.
“You’d be surprised how many couples forget to say I love you in their wedding vows,” says author and wedding officiant Monique Honaman.
Three words, eight letters – saying I love you is a testament to being vulnerable with your partner. And your wedding day is one of the most vulnerable days of your life, making those three magic words a key component to any marriage vow.
Pour your heart out when writing your vows because embracing sentimentality is essential. There is no such thing as a corny vow. If the sentiment comes from the heart, it’s not cheesy – I can promise you that.
5. Don’t Try to Include Everything
As a final tip, I feel it’s important to note that no one is expecting your marriage vows to have everything. Many people feel overwhelmed because they feel like they need to share all the stories or mention every future dream they have as a couple. You don’t!
As long as you express your love and promises, your vows will mark your commitment to your future as a married couple.
It’s OK to Ask For Help!
Even with reading all the tips and tricks online, the writing process for wedding vows can be overlooked and scary.
That’s where I come in! As a wife, recent bride, and full-time writer, I have the tools and skillset to help you through this writing process.
Don’t hesitate to reach out; you can contact Copywriting For You to help bring your vows to the next level!