Many people think you have to be a writer…or well-spoken…or Shakespeare himself to write your own vows. In truth, the only thing you REALLY need to write memorable + well-worded wedding 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 vows with confidence. It may take a little time, but it’s time worth taking! Your vows are the backbone to the ceremony. They’re your declarations + promises to one another. Looking back on the big day, you might regret how much time you spent stressing on the 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.
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
Step One: Set Your Intention
From 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 Two: Gather Your Thoughts
Time to get to writing! Copy and paste the prompts 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 yet. You’ll use the answers from these prompts to help craft personal and meaningful 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 Three: Write the First Draft with a Simple Template
Now that you’ve got the content out of your mind and onto the page, you can start piecing together your first draft! 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
Next comes the editing! First up, reference those 5 words you selected. Does what you’ve written align with those 5 words? Does it capture the things that are most important to the two of you? Secondly, your vows are most likely longer than you thought they’d be. Time to trim! Read them aloud and time yourself. Your goal is 2 minutes! Finally, go ahead and write a few drafts. You may find your stride settles in on the second or third time around.
Step Five: The Finishing Touches
Now that your vows are written, it’s time for the most important part! It’s 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. Even just reading them aloud a few times through will calm (a few!) nerves and help you feel prepared for the big moment.
The last piece of advice we have once you write your own vows? Invest in a cute vow book and write them out by hand. It’s proven the writing things by hand helps you to remember them, which is certainly helpful. But it’s also one last chance to savor the promises your making before you declare them. And it’s the BEST memento from the day. Something you can keep forever and maybe even add to it come 10, 20, 50 years down the road. A promise is a promise is a promise — and this is one you’ll want to hang on to ’til the end of time.
Step Six: Make Your Promises
photo: Emilee Carpenter Photography
And finally…the best part. Happy writing!