How to Write Your Own Wedding Vows: A Free Template

Couple exchanging wedding vows during a magical elopement ceremony

Many people think you have to be a writer, or well-spoken, or Shakespeare himself to write your own wedding vows. In truth, the only thing you REALLY need to write memorable + well-worded marriage vows is to simply know how much you love your fiancé and why. (Also, quoting the master playwright is totally allowed.)

We have a tried-and-true method to help you write your own wedding vows with confidence. It may take a little time, but it’s time worth taking! Your vows are the backbone of the ceremony. They’re your declarations and promises to one another. Looking back on the big day, you might regret how much time you spent stressing on design details that may go unnoticed, but you’ll never regret sitting down to think about the one you love — and then putting it into words.

{top image: Jérémy from this Desert Vow Renewal}

All you need is a pen and paper (okay, okay — a laptop) and something soothing to sip on! Let’s get started.

How to Write Your Own Wedding Vows

couple reciting vows on adventure elopementphoto: Anni Graham from this Elopement in Iceland

Step 1: Set Your Intention

Writing Your Wedding Vows: Step 1 - Set your intentionFrom the list above, select five words that mean the most to you in your relationship. Feel free to make adjustments and add your own if you don’t see a word that truly defines the soul of who you are together. Once you’ve chosen your five words, set them aside then move on to the next step. We’ll come back to these later.

Step 2: Gather Your Thoughts with Writing Prompts

Writing Your Wedding Vows: Step Two - Gather Your ThoughtsTime to get to writing! Copy and paste the prompts below into a new document and spend a little bit of time on each one. Have fun with it and don’t force anything — the right answer should come easily and quickly as you write. And don’t worry too much about grammar right now. Let your thoughts and words flow free without deleting or re-writing. The answers you write to these prompts are what will help craft personal and meaningful wedding vows. Editing comes later!

  • How I felt when we first met:
  • How I knew it was forever:
  • What I love about my partner:
  • What my partner loves about me:
  • What makes us laugh:
  • What makes us tick:
  • What I see in our future:
  • How I’ll help us get there:
  • Five things I promise:

Step 3: Write a First Draft of Your Wedding Vows With This Simple Template

Writing Your Vows: Step Three - Write the First Draft with a Simple TemplateNow that you’ve got the content out of your mind and onto the page, you can start piecing together the first draft of your wedding vows! This loose 3-part template will help you create some structure:

  1. Begin at the beginning of your relationship up to now.
  2. Share an anecdote and keep it short — don’t be afraid to include a little humor!
  3. Finish with your promises to your partner. 

Step Four: Tighten Up + Revise

bride writing her vowsNext, it’s time to edit! First up, reference those 5 words you selected in step one. Does your first draft align with those 5 words? Second, trim it up. Your wedding vows are most likely longer than you thought they’d be. Not sure if they’re too long? Read the vows aloud and time yourself. Your goal is 2 minutes! Finally, try writing a few more drafts. You may find your stride settles in on the second or third time around.

photo: Jérémy from this Desert Vow Renewal

Step Five: The Finishing Touches

his and her scripted vow booksNow that your marriage vows are written, it’s time for the most important part. Saying your vows is ALL in the delivery, so you’ve got to practice reading them aloud! Speak slow and with intention. Recognize the moments where you might tear up. By simply reading your wedding aloud a few times you’ll calm a few nerves and feel better prepared for the big moment.

Once you write your own vows, invest in a cute vow book and copy them down. Writing things by hand helps you to remember them which is certainly helpful for a moment filled with emotion. It’s also one last chance to savor the promises your making before you declare them. Plus, a vow book is the BEST memento from the day. It’s something you can keep and even use down the road for a vow renewal. A promise is a promise — and this is one you’ll want to hang on to ’til the end of time.

photo: Mari Sabra Photography from this Tropical Boho Wedding

Step Six: Say Your Wedding Vows

wedding vows on mountain topphoto: Juliamina Photography

couple reading vowsphoto: Mari Sabra Photography from this Tropical Boho Wedding

And finally…the best part. It’s time to say your marriage vows! We hope these tips and templates help you write wedding vows that are uniquely you — and that you have fun doing it. Happy writing!