How to Write Your Own Marriage Vows

Intimidated by the thought of writing your own vows? Read these tips.

How to Write Your Own Marriage Vows

Photo: Elizabeth Messina

how to write your own wedding vows

Typically when wedding planning, it’s the reception that takes up most of your time, what with the music, the food, the centerpieces, and more. Yet, the true reason for the big day is the ceremony, right? More and more couples are electing to write their own vows for their nuptials, rather than simply using the standard vows given by the court or their faith.

Writing your own vows adds a beautiful, personal touch to your ceremony, but it can also be very intimidating for those who don’t consider themselves strong writers or public speakers, as well as those who tend to keep their emotions private. If the prospect of penning your thoughts and promises to your sweetheart is overwhelming, please look to these compiled tips as a guideline. 

- Don’t save writing your vows for the last minute – this is an aspect to your wedding that deserves your time and focus.
- Read examples of vows online, whether traditional or from real couples. This will help you discover both what you like and dislike.
- Decide with your future spouse if the two of you will work on your vows together or separately and if you’ll get to read them beforehand.
- If the vows remain a surprise, try to agree on a structure, length, and tone for your vows so that the ceremony is cohesive.
- Take notes regarding what you love about your sweetheart and what kind of partner you want to be for them. Reminisce on special moments and milestones in your relationship, including the trials and tribulations.
- If there is something you struggle with in your relationship, that is something that could inspire a promise in your vows.
- See if you can work in an applicable quote from a favorite movie, book, or song to show your personality.
- Subtly work in an inside joke to make your beloved smile, but don't be so cryptic that the vows confuse your guests.
- Use a specific and pragmatic promise to lighten the mood if you're afraid of sobbing through your ceremony.
- Check in with your officiant for suggestions and tips, providing they are a professional and not a friend you asked to get ordained for your wedding.
- Even if you're not planning on memorizing your vows, it's important to practice reciting them in order to prevent stumbling on your words and making sure you read at a natural speed.

Learn how to write vows that reflect your relationship, discover the pros and cons to penning your own vows, and if public speaking isn't your forte, follow these steps to writing the perfect love letter to your sweetheart to read before the ceremony.

Opening photo by Ira Lippke Studios