Writing your own vows will make them feel much more personal and heartfelt to you and your partner. However, it can be challenging to know where to start.
One helpful way to begin is by brainstorming without distraction. Try setting a timer for 10 minutes to write and be sure to jot down anything that comes to mind.
1. Make a List of Your Thoughts
Creating wedding vows is one of the most intimate tasks of your wedding day. While it may feel like a lot of pressure, the best way to approach this task is to take it in small chunks and set aside time for writing without distraction. It’s also important to be aware of your audience. “You’ll want to avoid anything too cryptic or embarrassing, especially since your guests will be listening,” says author and wedding officiant Monique Honaman. “This means putting a soft limit on inside jokes, deeply personal anecdotes, and obscure nicknames or code words.”
Another great source of inspiration for your vows can be found in the memories you share together with your future spouse. Look through old photographs, think back to trips you’ve taken or dinners you’ve enjoyed with your partner and identify the characteristics that you love most about them. These traits are what will lead you to promise your heartfelt commitment to them in front of your friends and family.
Many couples find it helpful to write out three to five promises they want to make to their partner. While you may settle on more or less in the end, this step can help to clarify what you want your vows to say and will give you an idea of how long they should be.
You can also gain inspiration from other sources, such as songs or movies you’ve enjoyed together and romantic quotes from authors or poets. The important thing is to find words that capture your feelings and reflect the uniqueness of your relationship.
2. Take a Few Deep Breaths
Writing your vows is one of the most intimate parts of your wedding day. You are summarizing your entire relationship so far, and expressing to your loved one that you want to be with them for as long as they exist in this world. So it’s no wonder that you might feel overwhelmed when it comes to finding the words to write.
Take a deep breath, and remind yourself of why you’re doing this. You’re committing to this person for life, so you should really think about what they mean to you and how much you love them. This will help you get in the right mindset to write heartfelt wedding vows.
A good way to start is by writing a list of the things you love about your partner. This will help you organize your thoughts and make them more concise. From here you can create a first draft, and then elaborate on the ideas that are most important to you.
Once you have your list, you can begin to write a few drafts of your vows. Try to have a friend or family member review the length and structure of your speech to give constructive feedback.
Whether you are going for a romantic, humorous, or sentimental style of vows, it’s important that the words flow from your heart. It’s also okay to get inspiration from other wedding vows, poems, or even movies that have romanced you.
However, don’t copy word-for-word. You don’t want your wedding vows to sound cliche or overdone. Instead, use those words to inspire your own, and incorporate ideas that resonate with you. This will create a personal and unique vow that is uniquely your own.
3. Speak Slowly and Confidently
When writing your wedding vows, it’s important to write slowly and confidently. Trying to rush your writing can lead to rushed, uninspired vows. Instead, set aside a block of time to focus on your vows. A coffee shop, park, or quiet room will provide the ideal environment for you to focus on your words and allow your creativity to flow.
Take a deep breath before starting to write, and try not to overthink your words or worry about how they will sound when spoken. Just start to jot down things that come to mind when you think about your sweetheart, including your favorite memories together and the qualities that make them special (don’t be afraid to get a little sexy in here!).
You can also use your lists and notes for inspiration as you write. For example, you may want to write a list of the ways that your partner has made you feel seen, cherished, and loved — from their patience when they’re having a bad day to their ability to make every mundane activity more fun. It’s also a good idea to include some humor in your vows. It’s an excellent way to keep your audience engaged and to show that you two have a shared sense of humor and that you’re more than just a couple of mushy romantics.
When you’re finished with your first draft, pause and read it out loud to hear how your words come across. This will help you catch any grammatical errors or misspelled words that might have otherwise gone unnoticed. It will also give you a better idea of how your vows sound when spoken, and whether or not they will convey your heartfelt message on your big day.
4. Use Humor
Writing wedding vows can be a serious task but they also can be funny. While it may seem counterintuitive to use humor in a moment meant to make your fiance cry, the right mix of sentimental and lighthearted moments will add depth and meaning to your ceremony.
For example, if you and your fiance are always sharing inside jokes or funny adventure mishaps with one another it can be a great idea to include a few of those moments in your vows. This will not only help to make your vows more memorable, but it will also ensure that the laughter doesn’t stop until after you are both married!
Similarly, if you and your fiance have a love for a particular movie, book, or song that has special meaning in your relationship you should feel free to incorporate those lyrics into your vows. However, it’s important to be selective and keep in mind that wedding guests who aren’t familiar with the reference will likely not understand it. Avoid filling your vows with inside jokes or references that only you and a few of your friends know because it will be difficult for others to follow along.
Lastly, when you do include humor, don’t overdo it. Using too much humor can make your vows seem impersonal and disconnected from the intimacy and passion you have for one another. Using humor sparingly can add a touch of personality to your vows that will resonate with your guests and bring them to life on stage.
5. Make a Promise
Getting married is one of the most special moments in life, and your wedding vows are the perfect place to share how much you love your partner. It’s a time to reflect on the good and bad times of your relationship, and to promise to be there for each other through everything. Writing heartfelt vows can seem daunting, but following these tips will make the process much easier.
To begin, you’ll need to find some inspiration. A great place to start is by looking through old photographs and other keepsakes that are important to you and your future spouse. You can also take some time to reflect on the memories you have made together, such as trips and dates or even the little things you enjoy about your marriage.
Once you have some ideas, you can begin to create your skeleton vows. It’s a good idea to create several drafts of your vows to see which ones feel most natural and authentic. It’s also a good idea to read the drafts out loud to see how they sound, as this will help you identify any pacing issues or wordy sections.
It’s also a good idea to include some humor in your vows. While this may seem counterintuitive, the right amount of levity can actually add more depth to your vows. By rhythmically alternating between sentimental and humorous lines, your vows will be more impactful and able to tug at the heartstrings of your audience.