Writing your own vows is something that may seem a little overwhelming at first, but the payoff when you’re getting married and say them to the person you are choosing to commit your life to is so worth it. The biggest reason we wanted to write our own vows was to personalize our ceremony and make it tailored to our relationship. This is also why we wanted someone we knew to marry use (more on that later). We both definitely had ‘where do we start’ moments when writing our vows, so I wanted to share some tips for writing your vows with you all today! Whether you’ve already decided you are writing them and need a few tips or if you’re on the fence, I’m hoping this helps give you some ideas and hopefully be able to write your perfect vows for your wedding day.
FIND SOME INSPIRATION
We not only wrote our own vows, but our entire ceremony. To get started, we looked for inspiration online. Think about it, you do this for everything in life. If you want ideas for wedding planning, you look online for photos to inspire you. Hello, Pinterest! We did the same for vows. We took notes on what we liked and didn’t like so we could write our own.
KEEP IT REAL
I was just watching a FRIENDS this week where Monica and Chandler were working on their vows. Joey suggested that Chandler say “I knew from the beginning..” which was so not true for them. Just because something ‘sounds good’ don’t include it if it isn’t you. Every relationship that brings two people into marriage is beautiful in its own way and your story is worth sharing! If it’s not a special story, then its something about the two of you or the way you feel about each other that makes it special. Remember that and keep it real as you write your vows.
AGREE ON A STYLE
Make sure that you have similar tones set your vows. If one of you is all funny and one is completely sentimental, it may seem off. We like a good mix of something that might bring a smile to our faces or make us laugh, but ultimately that was sweet and allowed us to express how much the other really means to us. Also make sure that any jokes aren’t too much of an ‘inside joke’ where those attending your wedding will be confused. It’s great to make your significant other or guests laugh, but make sure that you aren’t embarrassing your significant other in any way.
Look back on your relationship. Some things to consider: how you got together, when you knew you loved them, the first big trip you took together, when you decided to get married, any big things you’ve supported each other through, what do you respect most about them, etc . Anything that was a big defining moment in your relationship or that is special to the two of you is something that is worth considering to add in!
My husband always says “brevity breeds power.” Basically, keep your vows between one to two minutes. You don’t want them to drag on and become redundant. Remember, this isn’t the only time you can tell your significant other what they mean to you. This is just a summary of your relationship, your feelings, and your promises going forward.
Vows are ultimately promises for the future, so ensure that your vows include several that you think are important for a relationship. Flexibility, hard work, and support were big promises in mine. I had a few somewhat funny promises included earlier in mine as well, such as trying to increase the scope of the television shows I watch and learning to love the latest iPhone game he becomes obsessed with.
DON’T BE A CLICHÉ
Draw inspiration as needed, but please, don’t start your vows with “Google defines marriage as..” Just don’t. If you really love the overall message behind something that sounds too cliché, consider changing it to make it more specific to you and your significant other.
Say your vows out loud a few times. First, time yourself saying them to ensure they aren’t too long. You can also practice them to make sure they sound okay and come across as you want. Consider sharing them with someone to get their opinion if you’re unsure of anything. We read ours from vow books (I’m linking my favorites for you all below) instead of memorizing them, but we both still practiced reading them after we had written them. We waited to write them in our vow books after we typed them out on our phones/computers and had a final draft ready.
I really hope these tips for writing your own vows helps you set a plan or inspires you to write your own wedding vows. It seemed intimidating and overwhelming initially, but once I organized my thoughts and found some inspiration, they came to me so easily. I am so glad that we decided to write our own vows and think it personalized our ceremony even more!
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Photo by Stephanie Parsley Photography
PS: If you’re behind on my wedding posts, check them all out here. XO