Tips for Writing Your Wedding Vows
Writing your vows for your wedding? We're here to help you with some tips for how to write vows you'll treasure forever.
1. Agree a format.
Do you want your vows to be light hearted and humorous? Romantic with lots of promises to each other? Will they both have the same tone or be completely different? It really is up to you and what you think feels right for you both. Finally, will you keep them a secret until the wedding day or discuss and share before the day?
2. Find some vow examples for inspiration.
Google ‘vow examples’ and see what comes up. You can also research traditional vows if you practice a faith. Find a few styles you love and use that as a starting point by thinking about what it is you love about the style. Another tip is to watch some wedding videos you know the amazing ones videographers share, the vows usually feature.
When you first put pen to paper you may be understandably daunted but it will be worth it when you are in the moment on your special day. Spend some time writing notes, words or stories which spring to mind when you reflect about your time together. Some questions to prompt ideas could be:
How did you feel when you first met?
What made you fall in love?
Where did your partner propose?
What stories from your journey together stand out?
How have you supported each other?
What do you dream about for the future?
How does your partner inspire you?
What do you respect about them?
4. Everyone loves a story.
Include a story, who doesn’t love a good story? How about how you first first met. Did a friend set you up on a blind date? Or, perhaps you were friends or worked together before romance sparked. No matter what your story is, this is the perfect place to share it.
5. What promises you are going to make.
Promises can be a mix of heart and humour and in recent years vows have come a long way from "to have and to hold". They can be things like "I promise I'll always be there for you” but you can also add in some promises which are specific to just the two of you "I promise I'll always let you play rugby".
6. Plan your structure and write it all down.
Now that you have spent hours on the internet and have a heap of notes, you're ready to write the first draft. It's helpful to break it into a structure. Maybe start with a short story or affirmation of your love and make your promises. Also think about the future what do you envision for your life together? If you love to write then write it all and edit as you go or you could type everything out then edit until you are happy then make a hand written copy for the day. There's something lovely about hand written vows. Imagine looking back on them in years to come.
7. Get the timing right and practice out loud.
Your vows are important, but that doesn't mean they should drag on for an hour. This is why writing them down then reading out loud is essential. If you think they are too long (and remember they are your vows so you will know) you can edit and shorten. You could copy the longer version into a letter or card to gift to your partner on the morning of your wedding.
When you read them out loud you could record yourself saying them on your phone and play it back. It might feel awkward but it’s the best way to prepare.
The more you practice the more they are in your head and the words will roll off your tongue so you can spend more time looking at your partner during the ceremony.
8. Be prepared, make a copy
Once you have nailed your vows write them down, it needs to be legible so a clean copy with no words crossed out or edits is best. Think about how they look as your vow moments feature heavily in photos and videos so you want to make sure they look the part. You could hand write your vows in our vow books, they are small enough not to get in the way and will look good in photos. They will be easy for your celebrant to look after if that’s what you are planning to do. If your writing isn’t easy to read type them out on a computer and print them and stick in the book. Or print them on nice linen paper or fine art paper which can then be framed after your day. Both of these ideas turn your vows into a keepsake which you can add to your memory box.
8. Have a backup plan.
Keep a copy of both vows somewhere safe, maybe your celebrant does this as part of their service or keep in a sealed envelope in your wedding day emergency kit. If you find yourself too emotional to speak don’t panic your celebrant could prompt you by quietly saying the vows first and you follow.
What are you saying / did you say in your vows? Were they super-traditional or did you inject a bit of fun and personality into them? What are the funniest vows you've heard taken at a wedding? Feel free to comment below we would love to hear …