Words are a powerful thing, whether written or spoken, which is why your wedding vows should be carefully considered and pulled from the delicate heart strings. Although that sounds dramatic, writing your own vows can actually be quite simple when you get down to the basics. It’s not like you’re writing a college essay on a subject you could care less about. This is about your love story, your feelings, your promises to the one you’re saying I do to. So instead of the repeat-after-me vows spoken at most weddings, make sure yours is extra special by writing and speaking your own. Here are some tips on how to write your own wedding vows that are both simple and meaningful.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel here. Feel free to snag inspiration (and maybe a phrase or two) from other’s vows, your favorite poems, a children’s book (they know how to express complicated emotions in simple language), religious vows, movie quotes, songs you adore, etc. Take bits and pieces and string them together with your own words just to see how they sound. Don’t try and write the perfect vows at this point; you’re just getting your thoughts on the paper and opening up to creativity.
Write down memories you share, special moments, how you’ve supported each other, how you envision your future together, when you realized you were in love, what you love most about your partner, basically everything you can think of. Don’t worry about the length. As I said before, this is just about getting thoughts on paper, so if it’s two pages long to begin with, don’t worry. You can cut it down later.
During your writing time, you’ll also want to think about a few promises to sprinkle into the vows. Things like, “I promise to love and support you always,” and “I promise to work through the hard times.” You can also write more personal promises – things that you truly want to do – like, “I promise to say I love you whenever we kiss.”
Decide on Word Count
Now that you have an idea of what you’d like to say, decide on a word count/time count. One minute per person is a good time to aim for or 150-200 words.
Start Your First Draft
Now it’s time to take all of the notes you’ve made and cut them down to the most important points. A good template to follow, or at least to use as a jumping off point is:
- Affirm your love
- Praise your partner
- Offer promises
- Final vow
Remember not to put in anything that’s too cryptic or that your guests won’t understand. You’re making a public vow, after all, so it’s best to talk about things everyone will understand.
Read it Over and Practice
Once your first draft is written, put it away for a few days before reading it again. This will give you a fresh perspective on it. Read it out loud and make any tweaks you feel are necessary. If you’re sharing with your partner, have him/her read yours and vice versa. Practice reading them out loud with your partner. If you want to memorize the words, you can, but it’s not necessary. Just be sure to look into your partner’s eyes between words to make them extra heartfelt.
While you’re writing your vows and after you’ve written them, keep in mind that these special words are for you and your fiance. Don’t worry about what others will think or compare yours to your sister’s, which totally made you cry. Don’t listen to the inner critics who tell you your vows are horrible and you’re the worst writer ever. Just keep writing and keep loving. That’s all that really matters.