That special day is almost here, and you can hardly wait to join forces with your one true love. You can see the aisle already, sunlight flooding the venue with warmth reflective of the soon-to-be married couple’s heart. That moment when you face him to exchange vows will likely be one of the most memorable moments of your life. If you decide to write the vows on your own, the words could stand out in your heart and mind even more. Yet for some reason, wedding vows can seem like you’re writing a senior paper because they’re so special. You can do it! In this ultimate guide to writing your own wedding vows, you will find the essential tips and tricks for writing vows that you, the groom, and perhaps many guests in the room can revisit again and again.
First, plan how you will write your vows. Will you write your vows with or without the other? Writing together works well because you can make sure that the vows complement each other content-wise. Having a consistent tone is also important: do you want your vows to sound more sophisticated, or should those vows spell funny? You can have both, but be careful. Find the right balance so that your audience doesn’t feel alienated or confused.
Now you’re ready to brainstorm. Think of a list of questions that would help you write your vows. Here are some examples:
- Where did you first meet?
- When did you realize you were in love?
- What should be promised in a healthy marriage?
- What do you love about him or her?
- What adventures do you look forward to in the days ahead?
- What does he have that you don’t (and vice versa)?
- Can you describe an idyllic picture of marriage with him or her? Can you describe a darker picture of the wedding? Try creating a brief description or short story that only the two of you will see. The key is to always show your love for one another shining through all circumstances.
Research. Good writers read what they write. Poets read poetry and fiction writers read fiction—and vow writers read vows! Try reading these vows examples for inspiration.
Now you can start writing! As noted on theknot.com, wedding vows can be broken down into four simple steps: affirm your love, praise your partner, offer promises, and close with a final pledge.
Declare your love. What better way to begin wedding vows than by affirming your love for the bride or groom? Find the right words to express your affection for him or her briefly. Remember, it shouldn’t be a lengthy soliloquy—only speak from your heart. Here are a few examples of how you can begin:
“I knew I was in love when_______.” You can give a concrete example of something the other person did. Maybe he looked into your eyes in a way that no one else ever has. Maybe he showed his huge heart by helping a paralyzed child who was lost in a store find his family. Think of the moment when you first realized he was no ordinary guy to you.
“Our love is like a _______ because it _______.” This vow structure sets you up for creativity! Think of a metaphor. This form of imagery works well because, when done correctly it can be highly memorable: “Our love is like a rainbow because it spells joyful colors in the sky through all troubling rains.” Be creative—even if you’re not the most creative person, the inspiration of true love could spark more creativity than you think.
Praise your partner. What qualities or traits do you love about that person? How does he/she complete you? Focus on intangibles—is it her overwhelming compassion for other people? Is it his ability to be brave through any test or trial? Try not to focus on looks alone because as flattering as it is to be praised for physical appearance. such compliments will seem shallow on your special day.
Offer promises. The promises section should be significant and memorable. You might, however, decide to tweak traditional vows with a splash of humor to keep the overall tone light and fun. Consider the examples below:
“I always promise to seek adventures for us, even in the events of everyday life.”
“I promise to make sure that movie nights include chick flicks and action films.”
Remember to consider tone when writing promises.
Close with a final vow. Finish with a strong flourish and reaffirm that this love will last an entire lifetime. You can try modifying one of these traditional vows. For example:
“I,___________________ take the ________________ to be my Husband. To have and to hold, in sickness and health, for richer or for poorer, and I promise my love to you forevermore.”
So you’re done, right? Well, almost! Of course, you’ll need to do some revising. No piece of writing is perfect when first written, and wedding vows are no exception. Even if you only need to fix punctuation, make your next draft better than the first one. Remember to check for originality, tone and timing.
Once you’ve revised, start reciting them! It’s important to actually hear how those vows sound. This will help eliminate any awkwardness when the time comes to read them in front of everyone. The more you practice speaking the vows in a relaxed but purposeful way, the better the vows will sound on the wedding day. Happy wedding vow writing!
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