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How to Write Your Own Wedding Vows

Wedding vow books with rings and flowersAre you wanting your wedding vows to be more personal? Writing your own vows is a great way to personalize your wedding ceremony. It’s also becoming a lot more common than just repeating your vows after the officiant. Great! So you know that’s what you want. The only problem is you have writer’s block and don’t know where to start or how to write your own wedding vows.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone! A lot of people have trouble with writing their own wedding vows. It’s a big deal and you want to find the right words. We totally understand that! We love a good wedding, but it’s marriage that we’re really fans of. Vows are the part of the foundation of marriage. These are the promises you are making to each other.

So to help you get started, we are giving you some tips for writing your own wedding vows.

20 Tips for how to write your own wedding vows

1. Get on the same page with your partner

Writing your vows is a beautiful (and stressful) undertaking. It can be especially challenging if you are concerned about what your partner is writing (or not writing). Remember that it’s not a competition.  Don’t worry about his being too funny, yours being too sappy, who’s will be longer, etc. etc. Instead sit down and talk about it. Lay out your expectations.

You don’t have to tell each other your vows or what the other one should say. But do come to an agreement on these things:

  • The length of the vows
  • Do you want to share elements of tradition or religion?
  • Is it ok to get personal and share inside jokes or do you want to keep it more generic?
  • Are there any ground rules (ie. not too much joking / don’t be inappropriate / etc.)?

These questions are a good starting point. If you have more questions, you can discuss those too.

2. Don’t wait until the last minute

Don’t put this off until the end. Leave yourself plenty of time to think about what you want to say and how you want to say it. Aim to have your wedding vows written at least three weeks before your wedding day.  This will give you time to rehearse it. Be sure that you are actually rehearsing it out loud and with a friend or family member that can give some good feedback. Trust us, you’ll be glad you took the time to do it right.


3. Find a quiet place to reflect

Get yourself a nice cup of coffee/wine/tea and find a quiet place to think. Reflect on your feelings and what it is you want to express. Write these feelings, thoughts, and ideas down as bullet points to get you started when you actually start writing your wedding vows.


4. Don’t overthink it

You can easily drive yourself crazy if you obsess over your wedding vows and rewrite them over and over again in an attempt to make them perfect. Remember that your vows are supposed to come from your heart and sound genuine. Overworking them can actually make them sound stiff. So take a breath and just say what’s on your heart.


5. Say “I love you”

This seems obvious, but we are constantly surprised by how many couples don’t say “I love you” in their vows. It’s easy to think that it ought to be assumed (I mean duh, you’re getting married aren’t you?). But don’t take it for granted. Share those special three words. Wouldn’t you love to hear those words said to you during the exchanging of vows? So why not do the same.

6. Get personal

This is about the two of you. It’s not about anyone else. So feel free to be personal. Share inside jokes and bring up special memories. Share the highs and lows. Relationships aren’t always sunshine and rainbows. Everyone knows that. So your wedding vows don’t need to simply be all about the highs. You can talk about some lows too (just don’t focus so much on the lows that guests start wondering why you’re getting married.). You can get very specific and even be a little weird or quirky. Whatever is true to you. The awesome thing about writing your own wedding vows is that you can make it special and unique to the two of you.

7. Say what you really mean

Most wedding vows talk about sticking with each other through “sickness and health”, “thick and thin”, “highs and lows”. Although the sentiment is great, people tend to become immune to what it means. Try being a little more specific with what that means for you.

8. Admit to being human

We are all perfectly imperfect. Be upfront with your shortcomings. Acknowledge your flaws and that there will be times that you will mess up. Then state how you will try to improve those flaws and work through your mistakes.

We are also social creatures. We cannot do life alone. As such, there will be times that you, your new spouse, or both will need help and support. Address it. Admit that you will need other’s help to make your marriage successful. This can be in the form of acknowledging the role of religion or God in making your marriage work. Or perhaps mentioning the role of family and friends in supporting you in the difficult times.

9. Make promises

A vow is a promise so it stands to reason that you should include some promises in your wedding vows. Your vows are a serious commitment to each other. While its definitely sweet to include cute antidotes, make sure that your wedding vows don’t just become a glorified love letter.

10. Don’t make promises you can’t keep

While making promises are good, making promises you can’t keep aren’t. Avoid saying the words “always” and “never”. They will only set you up for failure. Don’t promise perfection, that’s not reality. Instead, promise humility. Promise compassion and empathy. Or at least promise to try at those things.

11. Don’t try to say everything

It’s so tempting to try and fit everything you are feeling into your vows. But it’s not possible to express every emotion and memory. One of the best tips we can give for how to write your own wedding vows is to resist trying to include everything.

12. Laugh at yourself

Humor is a great way to show relational self-awareness. People love to see that you take yourself seriously, but not too seriously. And most importantly (or we think so), the ability to laugh at yourself will serve you well in your marriage.

13. Don’t be afraid to be cheesy

Embrace sentimentality. Knowing how to write your own wedding vows includes knowing that it is not the time to worry about being corny.  Remember, if it’s from your heart and true to you, it’s not cheesy!

14. Get inspired

Find your inspiration. Do you have a favorite song, a poem, or a movie with a line that expresses exactly how you feel? Perfect! Use that as your starting point. You can use quotes or re-write them to use the exact words you want to properly express yourself.


15. Feel free to use a template

You don’t have to start with a completely blank page. You can read other vows and use them as your template. It may be helpful to start with a more standard wedding vows and personalize your own from there.  Look at these traditional wedding vows from a variety of faiths to give you a good starting point.


16. Start with a rough draft

Give yourself the freedom to start off just writing from your heart. Don’t worry about getting your wedding vows perfect and refined right away. Let your first draft be your thoughts and feelings simply written out. After your rough draft is written, walk away from it for a few days. You can come back to your wedding vows with a fresh mind to refine them.


17. Indicate pauses and intonation

When you are in front of your partner and guests reading off your vows, you may feel nervous (that’s totally normal and ok!). Your nerves may cause you to sound rushed or even robotic. A great way to avoid this is to actually write in your pauses and intonations into your vows. This will set you up for the best delivery.


18. Recruit a friend to listen and give feedback

While we certainly understand wanting to keep your vows secret, it is a good idea to have at least one friend take a listen. Especially if you are uneasy with writing or public speaking. The person you recruit for this should be someone you trust and who knows you well.


19. Create a fresh copy of your vows for the wedding ceremony

Before taking your wedding vows down the aisle with you, take the time to write or print a fresh copy. We love cute little vow books. They photograph so well and it will give you a pretty way to save your wedding vows.


20. Keep your wedding vows a secret from your partner until the wedding day

Your wedding vows are a gift to each other. Don’t share them before your wedding day. Let them be special.


With these tips, you can feel confident in knowing how to write your own wedding vows. Happy writing!

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