8 Tips to Writing the Perfect Wedding Vows

A bride holding a paper with her wedding vows on it.

Writing your own wedding vows is a special way to personalize your ceremony and to express your love—but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy task! In fact, getting all of your feelings down on paper may be daunting. These are some of the most important words you’ll ever write and recite, after all. Thankfully, there are many tips to make writing the perfect vows seamless and simple.

1. Don’t Procrastinate

Waiting until the last minute to write your vows is a recipe for disaster. Start them at least a couple weeks ahead of time so that you can refine them as the big day gets closer. Plus, you’ll be so busy in the days before your wedding that you’ll hardly have time to pen your vows. You definitely don’t want to feel rushed when it comes to this important project, so give yourself the time to do it thoughtfully.

2. Agree on the Tone

Before you even get started putting pen to paper, talk with your fiancé about how you want your vows to come across at your ceremony. Discuss whether they’ll be serious, humorous, or a mix of the two. Also generally decide on how long each of your vows will be so that one person’s isn’t much longer than the other’s. Also discuss whether there are any specific, traditional phrases that you want incorporated into your vows. This could be for religious reasons, or just to contribute to the overall tone.

3. Keep it Short and Sweet

Two women saying their wedding vows in front of their guests.

You don’t want your vows to be too lengthy, as it could end up that you come off as rambling. While it can be tempting to want to jam everything you feel about your partner into your vows, doing so will make them a long, jumbled mess. Instead, include only the most important sentiments and feelings. As a rule of thumb, vows shouldn’t exceed two minutes.

4. Use Questions to Guide Your Writing

Getting started on your vow writing is probably the hardest part. To get the ball rolling, start with a few questions and simply write down whatever answers come to mind. Questions such as, “What do you love most about your future spouse?” or “What does the idea of marriage mean to you?” are good prompts to get the creative juices flowing and to casually begin getting your thoughts on paper. From there, you’ll have general ideas to work off of for your real vows.

5. Find Inspiration

When you sit down to write your vows, really get into the process. Use love songs, poems, or even romance books or movies to inspire your writing. This will put you in the right frame of mine to write beautiful and unforgettable vows.

6. Include Promises

A bride and groom exchanging vows outside in front of a priest.

Vows are supposed to be an agreement between you and your partner. For that reason, you should include promises denoting the way you will carry yourself and love your spouse throughout your marriage. Mix in promises that are both broad and specific. In including promises, though, refrain from promising perfection in your marriage. This relationship isn’t meant to be one of perfection, but one of love, forgiveness, and happiness.

7. Acknowledge Your Guests

During your vows, it’s important to acknowledge not only each other, but also the people who have gathered to share in your special day. Your vows are the perfect time to call on these important people in your life for their support of your relationship as you embark on the journey of marriage. Acknowledging their significance in your life will also make them feel good, so it’s definitely a meaningful addition to your vows.

8. Practice Out Loud

Before the big day, practice your vows out loud. This will help you to edit and revise what you write so it sounds just as good spoken as it does in your head. Practicing out loud also allows you to time your vows so that you can see how long they are.

Vow writing is a special process that takes time, effort, reflection, and thought. The result is a moment you and your future spouse will always remember.

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