5 Top Tips for Writing Your Wedding Vows are here to save you from writer’s block or writer’s overwhelm!
There was the proposal! You saved! And you planned! It’s almost the big day, but you have to write your vows. Eeek!
No, not eek! really as I’m here with 5 tips that will help you through the vow writing process AND because I am lovely, a further 5 Tips for Reading Your Vows on the Day. 😊 Let’s get started!
You say? We say? Who says what vow?
Make sure that right at the beginning of the wedding vow writing process, you have a chat with each other. Are you going to say the same vows? Different vows? A mixture of this?
Are you going to get the Wedding Celebrant to read the vows and you affirm your agreement?
Would you prefer not to say them out loud at all? You could instead exchange love letters at this point in the ceremony while your Celebrant explains what you are doing. (I see you, shy people, and I’ve got your back.)
Are you going to share your vows before the day or surprise each other at the ceremony?
And how long are your vows going to be?
By answering these questions beforehand, you will have an idea of what is expected of your vow writing in terms of working alone or with your partner, what you are going to have to say on the day, and how long your vows might be.
Wedding Vows Idea Starting Point
It can be a bit overwhelming to try and put your feelings into wedding vows that you are going to share with your wedding guests. Your mind might give you ‘idea overload’ or the proverbial tumbleweed rolling on by.
Answering the following questions should help you to organise your flow of ideas and/or get those ideas appearing ready to write your wedding vows.
- What do you believe is important in a marriage?
- Why are you getting married?
- What did you think when you first met your partner?
- When did you realise you were in love?
- What makes your ‘togetherness’ work?
- How has your life changed and/or improved since you met?
- How have you overcome challenges together in the past?
- What challenges do you think the future holds?
- Which aspects of your partner do you most respect/admire/love/miss?
- How do you support each other?
Extra Wedding Vow Inspiration
Sometimes when you are writing (me included) you need a little bit of a push from another source. I have had couples get this inspiration from their favourite author (Jane Austen), favourite TV show (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), favourite music or poems, and favourite films (Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy).
There are also comic books, adverts, in-jokes, clothing… Literally anything that speaks to you and how your couple-ness works. 😊
The Actual Wedding Vow Writing
This can feel tricky. You have a lot of notes and ideas and now you have to form them into one coherent whole with vows. Not to worry.
Here are a few ways to get started.
Write what you imagine yourself saying.
Close your eyes and imagine you are speaking to your partner. You want to tell them all the things you have been thinking about and let them know that you think they are the best thing since Sherbet Dib Dabs.
This is speech writing. It is different from writing a document or report for work or a formal letter. You are writing how you actually speak because you are being true to yourself.
There are other ways to structure your wedding vows too.
Think about the structure of what you want to say.
You might begin with how you met and how you felt then; what you think about marriage and marrying your partner today, and finish with what you hope the two of you will achieve in the future.
Or you could structure your wedding vows like this:
- Declare your love perhaps with reasons why
- Tell a story that shows how well the two of you connect
- Give your partner some compliments
- Make some promises – always make a morning brew, not leave towels on the floor, catch and release all spiders found in the home
- Conclude with your big vow – loyalty, support, fidelity, infinite love
The main things are: be honest, be yourself, and have a thesaurus on standby. 😊
Read Your Wedding Vows Aloud and Time Them
Reading your draft wedding vows out loud is very important. When I was a teacher, I would tell my students to do this and I do it now with my writing. This is because when you read things you have written in your head, you know what you meant to say so your mind fills in and corrects any errors. However, when you read aloud your brain notices more of the errors and your tongue notices the bits you have difficulty saying.
So, go and find a quiet place and read out your wedding vows aloud.
Highlight or underline the places your tongue gets confused – rewrite those bits.
Highlight or underline the bits where you repeat yourself – remove those bits.
Time yourself reading out your edited vows – how long do they take?
You are aiming for no more than 2 minutes. If it is more, think about what the 3 most important things are you want to say and get rid of the rest.
You can always get a second opinion from a friend or your partner or a relative but remember these are your wedding vows so you can listen to their advice – but you don’t have to take it. 😊
Well done! You have some very personal, thoughtful, and inspiring wedding vows.
Now for the big day where you have decided to say your vows in front of friends and family. And for my 5 Tips for Reading Your Vows on the Day. You are going to be great!
Print your vows in a large clear font using short paragraphs.
Use a minimum of size 16 Times New Roman. And break your writing into short paragraphs of a sentence or two. This will help you read more easily and slowly as you move from paragraph to paragraph.
Drink some water starting about 15 minutes before the ceremony.
Also have some water to hand when you are saying your wedding vows – sometimes when you are nervous your mouth goes dry so it is good to have a sip of water before you speak.
This is very important. Make sure to take slow, deep, belly breaths – in through your nose and out through your mouth. Other techniques can be found here.
Ask your Celebrant to hold the paper with your vows on.
This leaves your hands free to gesture or hold your partner’s hands.
Focus on your partner.
Believe it’s just the two of you and nothing else matters.
I really hope my 5 Top Tips for Writing Your Wedding Vows help you to create beautiful and heartfelt wedding vows. Remember you can always ask your Wedding Celebrant for guidance too.