Katie Reeve, Celebrant > Planning  > How To Write Wedding Vows
How To Write Wedding Vows

How To Write Wedding Vows

Worried about writing your own wedding vows? You shouldn’t be! Amid frantic wedding planning, the last thing you want is to be concerned about writing wedding vows. Writing memorable wedding vows can actually be a fun, creative, and moving experience. It can be cathartic, reflective, clarifying, and gratitude-inducing, as well as help you focus on the future.

Although it can be challenging to begin writing vows for your soul mate, with a few resources, anyone can craft sincere and tailored wedding vows.

Traditional Wedding Vows

You are free to choose wedding vows that align with your faith. You could go for entirely secular vows or pick a blended approach. Many traditional wedding vows tend to be religious in nature. These are the traditional vows you will have heard in romantic movies and subconsciously associate with fairy-tale romance.

A benefit of religious wedding vows, like the traditional Christian marriage vow, is that it allows you to simply pop your name into well-established promises that have been successfully used for centuries. This can save the stress of coming up with something yourself. You can also add brief or lengthier religious scripture to your wedding vows if you choose.

Modern Wedding Vows

More modern secular wedding vows have the advantage of allowing you to write something especially tailored to your partner from your heart. They are more personal and unique and enable you to weave in the specifics of your relationship; your stories, significant milestones, and goals. They leave room for stamping your own outlook, values, and lessons you’ve learned over the vow exchange, making your wedding truly one of a kind.

Writing Personal Wedding Vows

Writing personal wedding vows means you can express how you truly feel about your partner and give your total commitment to the future. Individual vows mean more, are more memorable, and ensure your beloved feels listened to and wholeheartedly loved. They can give voice to our personal stories.

If you need a little guidance turning your personal story into meaningful, soul-tingling vows, I can help you write wedding vows step-by-step, provide you with wedding vow examples, help you with wedding vow structure and give you a wedding vow template to help you get started. You are not alone!

Together, we can go through your emotional journey and write some stellar vows in no time. As your story-telling wedding officiant, I’m in the perfect position to help you embed your memorable moments and craft your narrative into a perfect promise.

Things to Consider

  • Will you each have the same vows?
  • Will you write your vows together?
  • If you are writing your own vows, will you reveal them to each other before the big day?
  • The overall length of your vows.
  • The vibe you want your vows to have; serious, sentimental, optimistic, honest, or with a sprinkling of humour.
  • Are you opting for a traditional wedding or a more modern one? You’ll want to have vows that fit in with your wedding style.

What Not to Have in Your Wedding Vows

  • Don’t promise the impossible! Keep it honest.
  • Don’t reveal too much. Share your heart but don’t dwell on the minutiae of everyday life.
  • The obedient and faithful wife idea is embedded in traditional Christian marriage vows, and while it’s always a good idea to include what a loyal partner you are, these days, the obedient part is often omitted. Even where religious wedding vows are favoured, the “promise to obey and serve” part is frequently left out as it’s seen as a sexist expectation and out of place in today’s society.
  • It’s probably a good idea not to include inside jokes, as these will fall flat with your wedding guests, and you don’t want big ol’ tumbleweeds ruining your wedding day!
  • Keep saucy bedroom antics to yourself! Nana really doesn’t need to know about your private times!

Tips for Writing Your Own Wedding Vows

Have a read through our wedding vow tips to help you craft some romantic wedding vows for your special person. Sometimes the hardest bit is simply getting started. These tips should get you to the jumping-off point and into creative waters. Feel free to get in touch for more practical advice and assistance.

Pre-nuptial Vow Agreement

Agree with your partner on the length and style of vows beforehand. You don’t want one person’s vows to be brief and hilarious and their partners to be long and serious. If you aren’t going to be reading each other’s vows before the wedding ceremony, you want to be on the same page at least.

Amorous Architecture

Take note of the wedding vow structure. If you want to go your own way completely, you needn’t adhere to a strict format to write your wedding vows, but it can help to look at tried and tested formulas first.

Check out Some Samples

Browse sample wedding vows. You can find ideas of what style you want to go for and what you don’t want in your own vows. Browsing examples can also give you a bit of a confidence boost and help clarify what you want in your own vows.

Most Memorable Moments

Dust off the memory box and shuffle through those old photos, cinema tickets you kept, or karaoke slips from your unforgettable duets! Any relationship mementos, as well as letters and poems you lovingly wrote to each other. Think about your relationship milestones and obstacles you’ve overcome together. You will feel inspired by these tokens of your love and reminded of the beginnings of your blossoming relationship.

Speak your Feelings

Acknowledge how you feel in the moment. It’s normal to feel nervous, scared, overcome with emotion, or even have a fit of giggles. You can write this into your vows or simply verbally acknowledge how you feel at the time. This can release some of the pressure to be perfect because nobody is!

Start at the Beginning

Think about when you first met and fell in love. This allows you to weave two important elements of your love story into your vows. These two moments in time can give a real insight into your relationship and how you fit together as a couple.

They can also present opportunities to sprinkle in humour and self-deprecation. Did you think they were out of your league? Did you verbally stumble and say something stupid because you were too busy trying to stop yourself from swooning? Maybe your legs lifted off the ground and your eyes did the swirly cartoon thing as your jaw dropped to the ground… AWOOGA! You might not be aiming for funny wedding vows, but a little humour is a brilliant tool to help ease into speaking your heart publicly.

Why You Love Them

What do you love most about your spouse-to-be? What is it about your partner that lights you up? How are they so special to you? A personal anecdote can work well here to really illustrate your partner’s best attributes.

The Inner Workings of Your Relationship

How does your relationship work? Every relationship is as different and unique as the people within them. Are you so incredibly similar in your outlook or are you opposites attract kinda couple? Perhaps you have characteristics that bring balance to each other or you’re both passionate about the same things.

It’s a good idea to include your solid friendship foundation here. Your partner is your best friend and this is vital for successful relationships. Writing about this demonstrates your compatibility and paves the way for the more sentimental elements to follow.

Acts of Love

How has your partner shown that they love you? Think about their actions more than their words. What have they done for you and what would they do for you? How do they support you through your journey in life? This is a chance to express gratitude to your person for their acts of love.

Talk about the Feels

How does your partner make you feel? Does it feel like home wherever they are? Is an integral part missing when they are absent? This can be difficult to get into words, so feel free to use similes and metaphors to describe how your partner makes you feel.

Promises… Promises

Give your solemn vow for the future; what promise are you committing to? Promise to love, of course, but what else? What would you do for them? How will you support them? Think about the things you can accomplish together as the dream duo you are! This part often begins with “I promise to always…” or “I pledge.”

Traditional marriage vows include obstacles with “in sickness and in health,” but you can discuss any obstacles common to all relationships here and point out how you’ll overcome them together. Everyone knows sustaining long-term relationships is no piece of wedding cake. Acknowledge it won’t be easy and that you are willing to work at the challenges that life brings.

Avoid the temptation to use this as an opportunity to poke fun at your partner! “I promise not to be engulfed with rage when I hear you snort-breathing while shovelling in cereal” might not be best placed here!

Final Statement

Finish your vows with a closing statement. No, not “you’ve heard the evidence. I rest my case” kind of statement! More along the lines of “I can’t wait to go on life’s adventures with you” or an “I will always love you” vibe, except minus the Whitney Houston impressions.

At this point, traditional marriage vows usually include a nod to time with “from this day forward” and “for the rest of my life.” You can use these terms or create your own promises of time; forever more, every day, always, for all time, or for infinity. As a side note, “infinity and beyond” might bring about images of Buzz Lightyear, which you might not want at your wedding unless it’s Toy Story-themed. No judgment!

Look towards the future and finish with a flourish. Don’t be afraid to put your most impactful statement here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Exchanging rings or exchanging vows, what comes first?

The exchange of rings usually occurs after the vows, but the ring exchange is generally accompanied by a brief verbal promise of love. Some couples write these statements as part of their vows; as with vows, you can use a traditional stock phrase or select your own words.

Is it acceptable to read out your wedding vows?

Yes, of course! Whatever makes you feel most comfortable. It’s still helpful to practise saying them out loud, even if you aren’t going to be memorising them. If you decide to speak from memory, having your words on paper is handy should your mind blank out on the day.

How long should wedding vows be?

Two to five minutes is the standard expectation. This will be around 300 to 650 words long. You can go for short and sweet if you prefer. However, be wary of overly long vows as these won’t be any more memorable, and attention spans will start to give way to other things!