Whether you’re an avid poet and can’t wait to profess your love, or you’ve put everything off until the midnight hour and have a big creative block — writing your own wedding vows is no cakewalk. As one of the most important public speeches you’ll make, personalized vows are all about truth, history, connection, and promise. They’re meant as a sweet exchange between you and your sweetheart, but also a public proclamation to your family and friends. So where do you start? Well, START HERE! We’ve compiled expert tips for personalized marriage vows below.
Why Would You Write Personal Wedding Vows?
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Simple — writing your own marriage vows is a great way to personalize your ceremony and celebrate what makes your relationship so unique! While “traditional vows” are a beautiful and classic way to declare your love (they’re timeless for a reason), you and your sweetheart might find it especially meaningful to create your own speeches… It’s the perfect way to affirm your “happily ever after” to each other and your loved ones.
If you want to stick to traditional vows but love the idea of a personalized exchange during other parts of your ceremony, here are a few ideas:
- Add a personal statement, song, or quote to the program
- Say something during the reception to each other, like a personalized toast or speech for your guests
- Exchange vows privately before the public portion of the ceremony
- Write each other a letter to read while you’re getting ready
Talk Your Wedding Vows Through with Your Partner
PC: Jordan Rose Photography
While many couples choose to “surprise” each other with their personalized wedding vows, it’s always a good idea to sync up on theme, tone, and overall delivery. (Need convincing? Try a quick YouTube search for “horrible wedding vows” and dive into the madness.) And even if you totally trust your partner to prepare something true to their heart and personality, it never hurts to discuss general logistics, such as:
- Whether or not to include embarrassing stories
- How serious you want the tone to be
- About how long each of you should speak
- General timeline of your love story and engagement
And besides, planning your vows gives you an excuse to book a romantic date together! Use this time before the wedding to ask questions, learn more about each other, and savor the excitement of your engagement.
Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute
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If you’re planning to write your own personalized wedding vows, don’t procrastinate! The last thing you need is to feel rushed when attempting to fit your entire love story into a few precious minutes of ceremony. There’s an art and science to writing your own wedding vows — it’s easy to feel all the feels, but it’s tricky to package them up for a formal occasion (AKA deliverable for a crowd).
If writing isn’t your strong suit, don’t panic. There are tons of templates and inspiration online to get you started, including writing classes, workshops, and drafting checkpoints. You might even consider taking a local Toastmasters class or writing workshop IRL — another fabulous date idea!
Include Your Promises To One Another
Ok, it might seem like a no-brainer — but it’s easy to forget a few key highlights of personalized wedding vows. We recommend including these fundamentals:
- “I love you!” (Duh.)
- Promises for the future.
- Affirmation and acknowledgment of your past. Include big or small memories depending on your vibe.
- A special quote or reference you share as a couple.
- Acknowledgment of your friends and family.
Here are a few examples of wedding promises based on your vibe and personality:
- Traditional wedding promises are appropriate for a classic, authentic ceremony with style and sophistication. These are perfect for couples who don’t need to overcomplicate the celebration — you’re there to make a lifelong commitment!
- “I promise to boost you up and believe in your dreams.”
- “I promise to love and cherish you.”
- “I take you to have and to hold…”
- “In sickness and in health, for richer or poorer…”
- “I vow to be faithful and true.”
- Romantic wedding promises are a beautiful and enticing way to express your passion as a couple and set intentions for a dynamic life together.
- “I’ll be your truest friend and confidant.”
- “I will love you with both my words and my actions.”
- “You are who I choose to share happiness with.”
- “Together we are powerful, creative, and content.”
- “There’s no one like you — and I am honored to be your partner.”
- “I promise to adore you through all the highs and lows of our life together.”
- Funny wedding promises are a great way to engage your guests, express your personality, and add some ease and revelry to your celebration.
- “I promise to love your [insert weird habit here].”
- “I’ll keep you safe from [insert random phobia].”
- “I’ll keep your calendar full with [insert favorite agenda you share as a couple].”
- “I’ll never complain about [insert something you love to complain about.]”
PC: Sarah Woods
Don’t Try to Include Everything
Once you’ve gathered your initial inspo and agreed on a general tone and approach to personalized wedding vows, your next step is to EDIT. One of the biggest mistakes couples make with their wedding vows is trying to include too much… If you’re telling the entire history of your love story or quoting all your favorite episodes of The Office, your guests will grow weary, quick. If your vows are going over five minutes apiece, here’s how to edit:
- Keep compliments to 2-3 meaningful observations about your partner.
- Choose one quote from a poem, movie, or philosopher.
- Think about your personalized commitments and focus on 1-2 marriage vows to reflect those. Choose a few highlights from rich areas like:
- Care and attention
- Creativity and adventure
- Intellectual and professional support
- Starting a family
- Caring for animals, home, and garden
- Giving each other space and independence
- Loving each other unconditionally
Yes, your wedding day should be all about you. Yes, you and your partner love each other and probably want to shout it from the rooftops. Yes, you deserve all the happiness in the world, BUT — don’t let all that (potentially wordy and confusing) energy hijack the flow and impact of your ceremony. Your guests love you and they want to hear all about it — to a limit. Keep your vows on the shorter side to let them fully absorb and revel in the occasion… So deliver your vows, seal the deal, and then get ready to party! You and your sweetheart have the rest of your lives to express your ongoing love and devotion to each other.
Practice Your Wedding Vows Out Loud
PC: Sarah Joy Photography
Here’s another easy but oft-skipped part of writing your own wedding vows: PRACTICE! Set aside a few times in the weeks leading up to the ceremony to say your words out loud to yourself or a trusted member of your bridal party. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to get flustered when you try to wing it — and how much smoother it feels when you’ve run through your vows a few times. Here’s what we recommend:
- Practice in front of a mirror or record yourself if it feels comfortable.
- Try out a few icebreakers with yourself. Improv exercises and theater prompts are a great way to loosen up your authentic voice and expression.
- Try some daily journaling to help uncover new memories and insights about your relationship.
- Ask your maid of honor for positive feedback and help editing your final vows.
Keep Your Wedding Vows Secret from Your Partner
While it’s a great idea to sync up your vows and practice before the ceremony, we definitely believe in keeping the specifics of your wedding vows a surprise! By delivering them “on the spot,” you allow them to have a full impact on your partner and guests, making them feel much more natural and meaningful.
Remember — by design, vows are meant to be shared during a set time (your wedding date) in front of a select group of witnesses and your chosen minister. That’s what makes the act so important; if you broadcast your marriage vows beforehand, it may lessen the impact.
Marriage Vows Examples
PC: Captured by Kivinen
To get you started on personalizing your wedding vows, here are a few more examples and prompts for what to say:
- “I am yours forever and always. I choose you and am honored you have chosen me.”
- “I will fight with you and for you. I will always strive to be patient, kind, curious, and open to the challenges we face together.”
- “I promise to help, cherish, work, create, and explore this life with you. Thank you for bringing out the best in me.”
Need to write your wedding vows on paper to refer to during the ceremony? May we suggest one of our favorite bridal trends — wedding dresses with pockets?! Take a look at a few of our favorites:
- Derrick by Maggie Sottero
- Anniston by Maggie Sottero
- Aspen by Sottero and Midgley
- Dolly by Rebecca Ingram
- Vesta by Rebecca Ingram
Looking for more style and planning inspo for your wedding day? Follow our socials for the latest trends, tips, and insights from real brides!
PC: Emily Figurelli
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Whatever you create, we know your wedding vows will be perfect and authentic to your love! Best wishes for your happily ever after!