10 Things to Know When Writing Your Own Wedding Vows

A bride in a lace dress and holding a paper with her wedding vows on it.

Your wedding vows are arguably the most important part of your wedding day. They’re undoubtedly a special moment that you will remember for the rest of your life, making them a moment that requires much thought and time in preparation. To help you with this somewhat tall task, read the tips below and you’ll soon be ready to write some of the most important words of your life!

1. Read Examples of Wedding Vows

Wedding vows can range significantly in tone and style. For that reason, it’s helpful to start by reading as many examples as you can find of marriage vows written by others. That way, you start to gain a sense of what styles you like and how you want your vows to compare to those you read. Pay attention to your emotional reaction as you read to determine what you want out of your own vows.

2. Agree on the Tone with Your Fiancé

A big mistake that couples make is not having a discussion after agreeing to write their own nuptials on what the vows will be like. Discuss the scope of your vows with your partner. Answer questions of what the tone will be like and approximately how long they will last. You don’t need to get into the specifics with each other, but you do want to have these general details nailed down to be cohesive.

3. Keep it Short and Sweet

There’s probably so much you want to say to your soon-to-be spouse as you’re tying the knot. However, you do want to keep your vows somewhat concise. If not, you might run the risk of being repetitive. Short and sweet rules with vows, so keep them to a couple minutes, max.

4. Make Promises to Your Fiancé

Your wedding vows are a time to make promises to your new spouse as you embark on the journey of life together. Make promises to your husband or wife that are realistic and meaningful to you both.

5. Avoid Embarrassing Stories

A bride reading a letter from her groom before the wedding ceremony and dabbing at her tears.

You don’t want to include anything too embarrassing or personal in your vows as they are, after all, recited in front of an audience. As you’re writing your vows, if there’s anything you’re considering putting in them that you’re on the fence about, it’s likely safer to leave it out altogether. If there are things too personal for your vows that you want to say to your spouse, consider writing them in a letter for them to read privately.

6. Acknowledge Your Wedding Guests

Although your vows are about you and your new husband or wife, it’s also a nice gesture during them to acknowledge your audience. After all, they all made an effort to attend your wedding, which means they care about you deeply. Acknowledge that their help, love, and support will aid in the success of your marriage and that you’re excited and grateful to have them along for the journey.

7. Be Specific

A bride saying vows to her groom at their wedding.

During your vows, it’s not only OK but encouraged to use specific examples, stories, or jokes that you and your spouse have shared and enjoyed over the years. Even if your audience doesn’t understand every story, it’s important to reference things that are important to you and your relationship.

8. Find Inspiration Around You

It’s not uncommon to suffer writer’s block at some point of this writing process. If you find yourself struggling with what to write, look to quotes, songs, books, movies, or anything else around you to serve as inspiration. Soon enough, you’ll find the words flowing onto paper.

9. Edit Your Drafts

Start the writing process with plenty of time to spare so that you can write, edit, and revise your wedding vows. Nothing is ever perfect on the first try, so make sure you look over your work and make improvements. It’s typical to write two or three drafts of your vows before you have the final version.

10. Practice the Vows Aloud

Reciting vows on your wedding day is an exciting, but somewhat nerve-wracking, moment. The emotions of the day as well as having all eyes on you may make you a bit nervous. For that reason, it’s important to practice your vows aloud prior to the big moment. Although you may feel silly doing this by yourself, it will help you to get comfortable for when the real moment comes. It also presents the perfect opportunity to time how long they take and ensure they’re not too short or too long.

Writing your wedding vows is a special process that you should enjoy every moment of. Simply use the above tips and you’ll soon have the perfect words to say before you say “I do.”

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