Let’s be honest – exchanging of your wedding vows will be the most nerve-wrecking moment as you look back on your special day. But, it will also be one of the most incredible and emotional one that will have that moment forever imprinted as you look back.
After all, your vows are essentially a culmination of what your love is and a reminder of what this celebration is all about: making a lasting commitment to the love of your life. It’s kind of a big deal, and one that comes hand in hand with a whole lot of pressure!
Writing your wedding vows can feel like one seriously daunting task, especially if you aren’t a natural wordsmith or good with public speaking. That being said, there is hope, finding the perfect way to express your emotions doesn’t have to be so life altering. In fact, I have heard from so many brides and grooms that sitting down and writing your emotions down is an experience all on its own.
After all that and you’re still stressing out over writing your wedding vows, I have rounded up some of our most helpful tips to get the inspiration flowing. So, keep reading for a step-by-step guide to crafting the perfect vows for your special day.
Choose Your Wedding Vow Approach
Have you thought about the direction you want to take when writing and exchanging your vows?
First think about your vision for the day and your personal preferences to sharing your love.
Before putting pen to paper, you might want to consider the pros and cons of the different styles of which brides and grooms exchange vows. You can share the same vows as your partner, or work on individual vows that are shared on the day.
Sharing your vows with your partner can definitely be the easier option. Not only does it take away some of that unwanted pressure, but it also allows you to include any important tid bits, like memories and past significants while sharing promises that hold significant meaning to the both of you.
However, this option does remove the element of surprise on the day, and may come across as less personal.
Alternatively, writing your own wedding vows can feel intimidating, and tends to put more pressure on you both individually. With this in mind, there is something undeniably special about hearing your partner’s vows for the first time during your ceremony (and seeing their reaction to your own!).
Before you begin, its best to sit down with your soon to be and discuss both options and weigh out the pros and cons and select whichever works for the two of you as a couple and individually.
Agree on Format and Tone First
What kind of underlying tone do you want your vows to convey on the day?
Whether you want a serious and sentimental or light-hearted or humorous, it’s best to discuss these options with your partner so that you are on the same page. You don't want to be up there spilling your heart out in a sentimental tear-jerking speech only to have your partner respond with playful jokes and a humorous speech.
If you’ve chosen to write your own individual vows, consider some sort of template or format that both of you can follow. Not only will this help ensure that your vows are similar in length, style and tone it will also create a focus to help cut down on any jitters or writers block that may come out during the process.
An example template might be something like:
Your initial impression of your partner
3 traits you love about them
A special memory you share
3 promises or commitments
Something you’re looking forward to in the future
Alternatively, you can create a vow template with specific sentence starters, like:
When we first met…
I love the way you…
I’ll never forget…
I promise to always…
I can’t wait for…
Working from the same template will not only ensure your vows “flow” cohesively, but also make the writing process much easier.
A brainstorming session is an important first step in the vow writing process. This step is essentially all about getting your thoughts, feelings and emotions out of your head and onto a piece of paper.
When it comes to your initial brainstorming session, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Simply grab a notebook or journal and sit down, think about your partner and begin jotting down anything that comes to mind.
Some prompts to consider include:
Your favourite memories and experiences shared together
Any traditions or rituals in your relationship
When, where and how you met
Quirky personality traits
Things that make them unique
Ways they inspire you
Adjectives that best describe them
What you appreciate the most about them
How your relationship has evolved
How you picture your future together
As you’re brainstorming, try to identify any words, phrases or memories that hold a special place to you. These are not only a great base to build off of, but when it comes to expanding into greater detail it will be a strong foundation from which to start.
Remember, the most memorable vows are often the ones that include a mix of both playfulness and seriousness. Try to find a balance between the two as you begin to brainstorm and pull ideas together!
Getting into a comfortable and relaxed state of mind during your brainstorming session is also important. Find a quiet room and light some candles, or take your journal to a significant place that holds special meaning to your relationship. Writing your vows is a personal and often emotional experience, so make sure your surroundings reflect this.
Research Vow Examples Online
As you start diving into the process of writing your own vows, there will be times where you feel stuck or uninspired. This is where its ok to go online and do some research, because it can really come in handy when trying to overcome that horrific thing known as writer's block.
Obviously, your vows should be unique and personal, and i am not saying go online and steal someone else. Sometimes a little creative inspiration is needed to get the creative juices flowing. You will be astonished by how many wedding vow examples are available with one quick google search, heck check out Pinterest. There you will find even more!
Take some time to research some different vow examples online. Start with the tone you want to convey and narrow the search down to just that. Use specific key phrases like "romantic wedding vows" or "funny's wedding vows" to help narrow your search to the tone you've chosen.
During this research, you might find certain quotes or turns of phrase that you resonate strongly with. Don’t be afraid to draw inspiration from any sentiments that you connect with on a personal level, and incorporate them in a way that feels right for you.
In the end, the more examples you read the more confident you will become in starting your own. Like I said before, you don't need to copy word for word, but draw inspiration from them and get the ball rolling!
Edit out Loud
Once you have had enough time to brainstorm and research you should have yourself a handful of noted and material to begin drafting up your vows. Now its time to start putting paper to pen in your first draft copy.
The best way to edit your wedding vows is by reading them out loud. Take note of how you feel as you read through your vows – they should sound genuine, natural and sincere. The best way to figure out if you are being natural, is when reading them out loud it shouldn't seem stiff or cliched. You should feel like its authentic and almost conversational. Remember you are going to be speaking directly to your partner and it should feel like you are having a conversation rather than reading a book.
You’ll also want to consider the length of your vows as you read them aloud. There’s no “one size fits all” rule, but a couple of minutes is generally recommended as an ideal length to fit in with your ceremony.
Once you’ve completed your first draft, leave it alone for a few days or maybe even a week before revisiting it with a fresh pair of eyes. In the end, it will probably take a few revisions and drafts before you feel one hundred percent confident with your final copy, and that’s totally okay!
Give Yourself Plenty of Time
Writing your vows is a lengthy process and it requires time and patients. So don't procastinate on this one and leave it up to the last minute.
Procrastinating on your wedding vows will only having you feel more pressured in creating something amazing and leave you feeling stressed out and anxious.
Instead, try and sit down at least 6-8 weeks before your wedding and start the brainstorming process. This time gap will give you enough time to narrow it down, edit, re-edit, restart and give you enough time to finalize your vows before the big day.
Once you feel like you've absolutely nailed it, put down the pen and begin practicing reciting and learning your vows. Trust me, you don't want to obsessively rewrite your vows over and over or you will end up confused and be fumbling over the last minute changes and find yourself at the alter lost for words between all the edits and revisions.
Just Be Yourself!
As horrible and daunting as the gas of writing and exchanging your vows might seem, it will truly be one of the most beautiful and memorable moments from all of the entire wedding celebration.
From discovering your tone and voice through proper brainstorming strategies, you can use these helpful tips to guide you and you will be well on your way to capturing your love into words for your special day.
I will leave you with this one final tip, BE YOURSELF and stay true to who you are. Remember that person in front of you already agreed to marrying you, so you can't screw itif you are yourself.
Well, that's it from me for now. Hope this helped get that pen to paper and if it did don't forget to hit that share button down below as well as hit that little heart button in the bottom right corner!