Helpful Tips for Writing your own Vows
Updated: Feb 7
You’re getting married! You have your venue picked, your invites sent out, and your vendors reserved. What’s next? We know you have been working hard to plan the BEST PARTY EVER but, the most important part of the day is when you get to say “I DO.” Before you can get to that point, it’s time to start thinking about your vows.
There are many things that you can do when it comes to vows. You can skip vows all together and just have a longer more meaningful declaration of intent (the part where you say “I DO”). You can use Google to put together an exchange of vows for each of you. The most meaningful (also sometimes the most stressful) thing that you can do is have each other write your own vows to exchange on your special day. We believe that every couple is unique; in fact, we know that each couple has their own way of doing things, their own unique love and their vows should totally show that. If you choose to write your own vows, here are some tips to help you along the way.
Number 1 - Start early!
Back in June of 2016, it’s the night before my wedding and we just finished our ceremony rehearsal. We were not able to set up our reception venue until the next morning and we were finishing packing our decor. I thought I had everything good to go then I thought CRAP… I realized I never finished writing my vows. I knew kinda what I wanted to say, but I didn’t in any way have them written out and organized so I wasn’t a blubbering mess as I started to give them the next day. I also realized, if I didn’t have my vows done I am sure my then soon-to-be husband probably didn’t have his done either… I was right. There we are at 2:30 in the morning sitting in different corners of the living room balling our eyes out (maybe it was just me doing that part) trying to finish our vow. Oh golly did we regret staying up that late when our early alarm went off the next day. It all worked out and everything was beautiful, but things would have gone much more smoothly had we started and finished our vows earlier.
Number 2 - Start with a list!
As you sit down, ready to write out all of the reasons you love this person you are about to marry, and all of a sudden you are overwhelmed. That feeling is okay and is totally normal! Start with writing down the most important things that you want to focus on: why you love them, what you love most about them, when you realized you first loved them, funny quarks that they have, etc. Write down whatever it is that tells your story, don’t even worry about organizing your thoughts yet, you can do that once you have a list. Do this also with promises to your significant other. Most people want to use their vows as a way to promise their spouse what their future together holds. These promises can be serious: to support and grow with, to remain faithful, to love them forever. These promises could also be silly: to always put down the toilet seat, or to never steal the covers from each other. In my case, I promised to learn how to cook a meal for my husband that wasn’t made out of the microwave (he is totally the cook in my household and come to think of it.. I really should get working on that dinner). Whatever tone you want, this exercise of writing out all your thoughts in one place will help guide you through the writing process.
Number 3 - Get on the same page with your partner!
Before you start writing, talk with them and make sure you have a clear format for what you are both writing. Some things to think about are the length and any ground rules on the content. As for length, you don’t want one person to have 5 sentences of words while the other partner is still speaking 2 pages later. You want to balance each other. Additionally, there should be guidelines on what should be included: any stories you don’t want the other person sharing, indicating just how open and personal you want to go with your vows.
Number 4: When in doubt, say “I LOVE YOU!”
We have heard a lot of different vows, and it is amazing how many couples leave this part out. Everyone is there to celebrate your love and it is a great way to wrap all of the emotions and all of the reasons why you are marrying the person into something short and sweet.
Number 5 - Say them out loud!
I’m going to guess that your vows are going to be pretty special and might make you a little emotional. If you say them out loud to yourself, or a close friend before the day of, it will help you hear any changes you might want to make. It will also help you see any spots that might make you a little extra emotional. Something about looking at your soon-to-be spouse in the eyes and declaring why you love them often makes people tear up. Reading your vows out loud allows you to make a mental note that you might need a small break after that point to regroup before you continue.
Hopefully, these tips will help make your vow writing a little less stressful! Remember, no matter if you cry, can’t make it through all the words, skip over a big part or sound shaky as you deliver, at the end of those vows you are marrying your best friend so everything will work out perfectly!
Written by Katie Mast