Your wedding day is a celebration of your unique love story, and what better way to express your commitment to each other than by writing your own wedding vows? Personalized vows add a heartfelt touch to your ceremony, allowing you to share your feelings and promises in your own words. If you’re wondering how to embark on this beautiful journey of vow-writing, follow our step-by-step guide below:
1. Set the Tone: Be Authentic
The first step is to decide the tone you want your wedding vows to convey. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Whether you’re naturally funny, sentimental, or concise, stay true to your authentic selves. Your vows should reflect your personalities and the overall tone of your wedding, be it casual, elegant, or themed. Annie Lee, a wedding planner in New York, suggests that personal vows should share the small inner moments of everyday life, making your guests feel closer to you as a couple.
2. Start with Free Writing
Combat writer’s block by letting your thoughts flow freely onto the page. Free writing is a scientifically proven method to organize your thoughts and ideas efficiently. Don’t worry about structure or perfection at this stage—just get your thoughts down. These words are for your eyes only and serve as a foundation for your final vows.
3. Revisit Precious Memories
Flip through the photo album of your relationship. Those early pictures of your journey together can stir up emotions and serve as great sources of inspiration. Recall special moments, like when you first met, when you fell in love, or when you realized your partner was “the one.” While not all these memories will make it into your final vows, revisiting them will help you infuse emotion into your words.
4. Select Meaningful Memories
Wedding vows should be concise, so pick one or two especially meaningful memories that represent your journey as a couple. Reflect on the moments that will still be vivid and important in your minds 20 years from now. Express your gratitude for what your partner has brought into your life.
5. Consider Your Audience
Avoid inside jokes that might exclude your guests. Keep your vows from being overly personal or embarrassing, as not everyone might be comfortable with such intimate details being shared in public.
6. Make Promises
Wedding vows are essentially promises. Include both broad and specific promises in your vows. Vow to cherish each other always, but also promise to make that morning coffee or comfort your partner when their favorite team loses. These promises can reflect both your serious, sentimental side and your sense of humor.
7. Look to the Future
Your wedding day is about celebrating the future you’ll build together. Share your aspirations, dreams, and the adventures you want to embark on as a couple. Tailor this section to your unique identity as a couple, whether you’re adventurous, career-driven, or artistic.
8. End with Emphasis
Think about the final sentence of your vows. Consider incorporating the phrase “I take you as my [husband/wife/spouse]” into your promises, as this phrase transforms your words of love into a vow. End your vows with a heartfelt declaration of love and commitment.
9. Edit and Refine
Wedding vows should be relatively short, lasting no more than one or two minutes. Edit your draft to ensure brevity and clarity. Practice speaking your vows aloud, adjusting your pace and identifying places for meaningful pauses.
10. Practice out loud.
Anyone will tell you that you need to practice, and unfortunately, even though you waited until the last minute to write your marriage vows, this step can’t be skipped. Practice it once, and time yourself. Then edit it down some more. You’ll likely talk more quickly when you’re nervous at the ceremony, so keep that in mind while practicing — and try to speak as slowly as possible, even if you think you sound a bit ridiculous. Plan where you’ll take significant pauses, and write them in the margins. Of course, don’t put too much pressure on yourself, especially since there’s not much time left before your ceremony. Practice it a few times through until you’re not stumbling over any words and pat yourself on the back.
Last but not least
Remember, there’s no need to stress over writing your wedding vows. Be concise, be genuine, and write from the heart. Your vows will be meaningful because they come from the deepest parts of your souls, celebrating your love and commitment to each other.