You would not believe how many times I arrive the morning of the wedding day, only to find the bride or groom struggling to write their vows. Heck, that’s exactly what happened to me on my wedding day!! Where do you even begin right?
I mean, wedding vows are more than words; they are sincere promises of love and commitment. Yet genuine, heartfelt vows are hard to create because the feelings you have for your loved one are indescribable. I am sure that there are tons of traditional vows that you can google on your way to church, but personalized vows, ones that really come from you heart, truly do add a layer of intimacy. With that said, fretting over words for weeks on end can also add stress – and nobody wants more stress with a wedding fast-approaching.
Hopefully the tips below can help you get started. Take a minute to read them over before putting pen to paper.
What to Include in Your Wedding Vows
Now, there isn’t a formula for the perfect wedding vows, and honestly, there shouldn’t be. Marriage means different things to different people, so cookie-cutter vows can’t speak true to everyone. Finding what it means to you, though, now that requires a bit of work – so try thinking about this early on. If you are struggling to find the right words, think about the following questions, they may unlock those memories and emotions buried deep within:
• How do you know you want to marry your partner?
• When did you first realize that you are in love?
• What are your partner’s greatest strengths and virtues?
• What promises mean the most to your relationship?
• What aspects of your relationship will change after marriage?
• What do you have now that you didn’t before?
• When apart, what do you miss most about your partner?
• How does our partner make you feel?
• Where do you see your life in ten-to-twenty years?
I hope the above questions help spur some thoughts about the past and future. After all, marriage is suppose to be an eternal union – so they should have a timelessness to them. Bear in mind, however, that vows don’t have to cover everything. Some of the most meaningful wedding vows only take a minute or so to say, which is approximately, 175-250 words.
Unfortunately, not all jokes or stories suit the wedding ceremony, so use good judgement and exclude anything guests could misconstrue as inappropriate (unless that’s what you are going for). Likewise, weddings are a time of optimism and joy: Let your vows reflect as much. In other words, ditch the sad stories! Remember: you want your wedding photographer (hi there!) to capture smiles – not just tears.
Should You Write Your Wedding Vows Alone or Together?
There are many ways to approach this but I suggest my couples to write their wedding vows on their own. Why? Well, I find that one partner might distract or influence the vows of the other. It is okay, though, to decide upon the length and format together. Both of you will still have original things to say, but symmetry is always good. It also ensures only pleasant surprises on the big day!
Write, Revise, Rehearse.
Now, don’t expect to write the perfect wedding vows on your first go at it. They are to be written, revised and rehearsed. But regardless of how you write them, highlight the best elements of your relationship. Express your excitement about a future together too. Combining the known and unknown can have a powerful effect. Make sure you rehearse them, it’s not enough to read them in your mind, but read them out loud. This will help with how you are going to deliver the vows.
Now weddings can be a roller coaster of emotions, you run the risk of forgetting your vows during the ceremony. This has nothing to do with their honesty or quality – it’s just your nerves. So don’t worry. Consider writing a cheat sheet to jog your memory in case this happens.
Like I mentioned, there is no formula to this, but I hope that this has helped give you a starting point on writing your wedding vows. Good luck!