So, you and your significant other decided it would be great to write your own wedding vows. But now you’re stuck with nothing but writers block and the fear of embarrassing yourself. You’re not alone! As much as you love this man, if can be difficult to formulate your life-altering feelings into a string of coherent words.
To help you avoid spending hours down the Internet rabbit hole of “how-to’s”, we’ve compiled our most helpful tips that will take you from start to finish.
- Run it past your officiant. This is a vital first step that’s often times forgotten. Certain religions, such as Catholic or Jewish for example, may require that you say all or part of the traditional wedding vows. This won’t prevent you from saying your own vows, but you will want to be up to speed on what the rules for your congregation are. In other cases, officiants may ask to review your vows prior to the ceremony, so be prepared to have these done in advance if that’s the case.
- Establish a format and tone. Are you quirky and romantic? Or tear-jerking and sentimental? Whichever style you choose, opt for a tone that makes you happy and excited to share your wedding vows on your big day. On that note, discuss with your partner what route you want to head down. You may not love it as much if you end up dishing the most heartfelt, emotional speech while your groom tells a hilarious story or promises to always DVR Game of Thrones when you fall asleep.
- Read other wedding vows for inspiration. If you do stem from a certain faith, start by reading by-the-book vows to see what strikes a cord with you. Incorporate these words into what you personally write, or use them as a starting point. If your faith is not a deciding factor, head to Pinterest to find inspiration in others’ choice of words. Choose a couple of your favorites and think about what it is about the style that drew you to these vows.
- Write more than you need, then cut it down. You want to give your vows the time and thought they deserve. Once you’ve nailed down your vendors and gotten the big items out of the way, schedule yourself at least 1-2 months to write from a more relaxed, not-rushed, state of mind. When you start out, jot down everything that comes to mind. Make a bullet point list if that’s more helpful. Recap on experiences, potential promises, best memories, why you love them, why they’re important and more. You should generate a list that’s more than you need, but it’ll help you see your thoughts all at once. Eventually, you’ll be able to see all the important things rise to the surface. You’ll want to aim to have your vows last for about one minute or less, per person. Get to the heart of what marrying this person means to you. If there’s still more you want to say, consider writing a letter to your groom for him to read the morning of the wedding.
- Practice! While memorizing your wedding vows is optional, practicing is not. You’ll want to be completely confident in your words, so practice looking up and speaking out loud, as if your partner was standing in front of you. These are words that are meant to be heard by your friends and family, so you don’t want to be mumbling or speaking softly.
Helpful questions to ask yourself to get the ball rolling:
- Why did you decide to get married?
- Was there a recent event you supported each other through?
- Are there any challenges you envision in your future?
- What makes them so special?
- What attracted you to them?
- What makes your relationship tick?
- What about them inspires you?
- What’s your favorite quality about them?
- When you are a part, what you do miss?
- How has life changed for the better since meeting your partner?
- What will keep your bond strong over the years?
- What small promises can you make that you will do daily?
Now get started writing with confidence!