Are you struggling to write your own wedding vows? Obviously, you love your partner and you have a million and one reasons why… but for some reason, you can’t seem to get your feelings down onto paper. There’s just so much to say! How do you sum up all of your hopes, dreams, and promises to your partner in just a few short paragraphs?
Have no fear! This guide is going to help you arrange your thoughts and get those vows done once and for all. No more stress. No more procrastination. It’s time to get started!
How to Write Your Own Wedding Vows
Let’s get right to the point. Here’s a quick template for you to use to write the first draft of your wedding vows in 5 easy steps.
First, state who your partner is to you. For example: “You are my rock, my best friend, my everything.”
Second, write what you love about your partner. Why are you marrying this person? What is it that made you fall in love with them? And why do you continue to choose them over and over again?
Third, incorporate a story or inside joke that brings your love to life. This part is optional but it’s a nice way to add a personal touch to your wedding vows. Make them unique and specific to your relationship.
Fourth, it’s time for the promises. These can be romantic, realistic, funny, or traditional. It’s totally up to you. Here are a few examples to get those creative juices flowing: “I vow to support you in the good times and the bad.” “I promise to love you, to respect you, and to be faithful to you.” “I promise to share all my french fries with you.” Whatever you consider important to keep your marriage going strong.
Fifth, finish your vows with the ultimate promise. Forever. You may want to keep it traditional, ending your vows with “As long as we both shall live” or “Until death do us part.” Personally, I find those to be a little morbid, so I prefer something more romantic. “You have my heart and soul forever.” Or “I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you!”
And there you have it! You’ve written your own wedding vows! It feels good, doesn’t it? But don’t quit yet.
Revising Your Wedding Vows
It’s okay to go overboard on your first draft! Start with a stream of consciousness, getting all your feelings down on paper. It doesn’t even have to be good at this point. But write something!
Starting is usually the hardest part… So use the template above as a kickoff point where you can get down all of your ideas, and then come back to it a couple of times before the wedding until you get it just right. Edit out the parts that don’t fit like you want them to. Re-write the parts that sound off. And try to keep in mind that your vows don’t have to be perfect. They just have to be honest.
It’s more about the love that you put into them. The way you express yourself when you’re reading your vows to your partner at the altar, sharing all the emotions that naturally come through. And of course, about the dedication that you display to your partner and intend to put into your marriage.
5 Tips to Write Your Own Wedding Vows
While you don’t need your vows to be perfect, they truly are the heart and soul of your wedding ceremony. You want them to be special. You want to feel the emotions. Maybe you want to make your future hubby laugh – or make all of your guests cry – with your heartfelt words. Whatever the case, here are five tips to make sure you’re prepared for your wedding day.
Don’t be afraid to draw inspiration from your favorite poems, movies, books, or religious texts. You won’t want to copy word for word (you know, because you want your vows to be unique and whatnot) but it can help to tap into your more sentimental side. When I was writing my own vows, I found that the easiest way to get inspired was to hear and read other couples’ vows directly. Check out some of our wedding videos to hear real couples share their wedding vows in Punta Cana.
Don’t wait until the last minute
I promise I’m not trying to put any more pressure on you. I know you’re already stressed enough. But I can’t tell you how many couples wait until the morning of their wedding day to write their vows. And it’s totally obvious in the wedding ceremony when they’re stumbling over their words, losing their place, and reading glued to the paper instead of actually feeling the words they’ve written. Don’t let this happen to you!
Put a little extra time and effort into the vows. This is one of the most important pieces of your wedding ceremony and it deserves your time and preparation. You’re choosing to write your own wedding vows for a reason. So make it worth it!
Don’t wing it!
It’s tempting to think that you can just speak from the heart at your ceremony and it will sound more real and genuine – especially if you have a small guest list that you feel completely comfortable in front of – but please… fight the urge to wing it. It almost always backfires. You’ll end up rambling. Saying lots of ums. Or worse, going completely blank and not having anything to say at all. Yeah, let’s skip that part. Write your vows down!
Then practice, practice, practice.
Once you’ve gotten close to the final draft of your wedding vows, practice reading them out loud. Take notes on how they flow. Do you stutter at a certain point? Get lost at another? Sound too robotic? Make edits!
If you feel like being bold, read your vows aloud to your mom or your maid of honor. Get their feedback and accept any constructive criticism. If you’d rather keep your vows a secret until the wedding day, you can record yourself and listen back. I can feel you cringing, but trust me, it helps!
Another key point about practicing your vows is that you’ll be able to speak them more freely when you’re at the altar. You don’t have to memorize them, but it does make it easier when you know exactly what you’re going to say. You can spend more time looking into your partner’s eyes as you promise them a beautiful future together instead of looking down the whole time.
Write your vows down on paper
Once you’ve practiced your vows out loud, edited them, and constructed the final draft, it’s time to write your vows down on paper. You can use a plain sheet of paper, a special wedding vow booklet, or a small journal.
Whatever you do, don’t plan on reading them from your phone. It doesn’t look good in photos – and will look even worse 15 years from now when that phone is so outdated. (You remember what cell phones looked like 15 years ago, right?)
Yes, it’s an extra step and takes a little bit of time to write them out, but it looks so much better! And it feels more personalized and heartfelt as well.
Wedding Vows FAQs
Congratulations! You did it! Your vows are done, and you can mark this off of your wedding checklist. Otherwise, if you’re still having doubts about writing your own wedding vows, then these frequently asked questions may help.
How long should my wedding vows be?
You should strive to keep your wedding vows short and sweet. Typically between 1 to 2 minutes is perfect! Remember to practice reading your vows out loud before the wedding day and timing yourself so you have the right speed and know how your vows will flow as you’re reading.
Do I have to write my own vows?
Of course not! You can always recite the traditional wedding vows during your wedding ceremony if you’re more comfortable.
If you want to write your own vows, but you’d rather not read them out loud in front of all of your guests, read them to each other during your first look or during your second-day photo session. Or instead, write a letter to your future husband and have one of your bridesmaids deliver it to him during the getting ready.
All of these are just as sweet and romantic as reading your vows at the altar. Do whatever feels right for you!
Where do I keep my vows on the wedding day?
During your getting ready, lay out your vows with your wedding invites, details, and accessories so we can photograph them before the ceremony. But when it’s time for the ceremony, where do you put your vows?
The groom can keep his vows in his jacket pocket until it’s time to read them, but what about the bride? Most wedding gowns don’t have pockets, and the maid of honor will already have her hands full, holding two bouquets during the ceremony.
I recommend handing off your vows to someone else you really trust. It can be another bridesmaid, a groomsman, a parent, or even your wedding officiant. Just make sure they’re prepared and can hand them to you at the right moment.
Tips for Reading Your Vows on the Wedding Day
The big day is finally here! You’re at your wedding ceremony and emotions are high! You’re crying and laughing and filled with an overwhelming sense of joy. Take this moment in. Finally, it’s time to read your vows!
First, take a deep breath and gaze into your partner’s eyes.
If you’re not holding a microphone, feel free to hold your vows in one hand and squeeze your partner’s hand with the other. If you are holding a microphone, hold it close to your mouth so everyone can hear you.
The first few words are going to be the hardest. Like I said, your emotions are running high! So don’t worry if you trip up a little bit, just keep going. If you’re really nervous, feel free to take a pause. Another deep breath. You can do it! This is why you practiced earlier. You’ve got this!
Remember to stand up straight and speak clearly. Take your time as you read your vows. There’s really no need to rush it.
If you find yourself getting really emotional, embrace it! It’s okay to cry at your wedding. Allow those emotions to flow through you. It makes for great photos!
Enjoy every second of it!