Writing Your Own Wedding Vows

September 2nd, 2013


Image: Karin Bell

Image: Karin Bell

Isn’t it romantic? You’re going to write your own wedding vows. Or…it’s romantic until you actually sit down to start writing them. What do you say? How do you say it? How can you make sure it’s heartfelt, not trite? And what will he be writing?

Don’t stress — as long as you write from the heart, you really can’t go wrong with wedding vows. Just in case, though, we’ve outlined the steps to writing your vows. Enjoy!

Step One: Clear it With the Officiant

One thing you don’t want to happen is to get to the altar and realize the officiant prefers to use his or her own set vows. More and more couples are writing their own promises nowadays, but you never know. So give the officiant a quick call before you start the process of writing.

Step Two: Give Eachother an Outline

It may sound unromantic, but the two of you really do need to establish the basics before you start writing your vows. You don’t want to be flipping pages at the altar and delineating the history of your courtship only to see him pull out the scribbled back of a store receipt and mutter ”I just really, really, really love you” in embarrassment.

So establish a basic word count (don’t make it too wordy — short and sweet is best), whether or not a little humor is okay, and what basic style you’ll use.

Step Three: Use a Simple Outline

The outline for standard wedding vows is simple. If you don’t want to do things this way, you don’t have to. But if you’re stuck, this easy formula can help.

  • Begin with your partner’s name and the basics of your promise. “John, you are a dearer love and closer friend than I’ve ever had, or ever will have.”
  • Continue with one memory from your courtship. “Everyone thought it was rather funny that I was the pursuer. But look where it’s gotten us!”
  • Give the specifics of your promise. “I will love and cherish you, I’ll pick you up, be behind you in everything that you do. I give my heart to you as your partner and your very best friend. We may not always agree, but I will always, always love you and respect what you have to say.”
  • Close with a simple sentence telling him that you love him. “I love you with all my soul, today, tomorrow, forty years from now — to wherever the future may take us.”

Step Four: Print Your Vows

You don’t have to do this, but it’s a nice and very beautiful touch. Have your and his vows printed on pretty stationery and hand them out along with your wedding programs as a keepsake. Or enclose a copy in your thank-you notes.

Step Five: Have a Copy With You

You never know how nervous you’ll be once you’re at the altar. Just in case, hold a copy of your vows. If you’ve memorized them, great! You can look into his eyes as you recite them. But if you stumble or forget a line or two, they’ll be right there for you to read.

It’s really so easy — yet it’s a memory that will stay with both of you forever. Enjoy the process, get creative and when you have a block on what to write next, think about your love for him. It will all come to you. And it will be beautiful.