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How To Write Heartfelt Wedding Vows

Written By Chateau Briand | 02/14/20 | 5 min read

You’ve spent all this time planning your wedding, with various personal touches that truly make it your special day. The DJ’s playlist features all of your favorite songs; the wedding food menu boasts some of your preferred bites; the floral arrangements bloom with your most cherished flowers; and your hair, dress, and makeup are all aligned specifically with your vision.

So, if you’ve gone to all this trouble to personalize your wedding, why on earth would you read someone else’s words instead of reciting your vows? The answer is, of course, you wouldn’t—but writing one’s own vows can be a daunting challenge, filled with anxiety, panic, and very real bouts with writer’s block.

Your Long Island wedding will be remembered as a loving, affectionate, and downright special affair by all of your friends and family if you add personal touches throughout the day. This includes the uniqueness of your wedding vows. Rather than hearing what someone else has to say about love, your guests want to hear all of the romantic details of your love story directly from you and your partner. Speaking your thoughts on love and marriage, talking about the time you first met, and making promises for a future together are precisely the types of moments that will make your wedding a memorable one. 

Crafting the perfect set of wedding vows means striking a delicate balance between earnest proclamations of love that could be a tad sappy, and entertaining humor with a touch of sweet sincerity. We’ve gathered some tips to guide you as you write your own unique vows that will not only stand the test of time with your partner, but will also be interesting enough to keep your guests’ minds from wandering during the wedding ceremony. 

Does Your Partner Want To Write Their Own Wedding Vows?

In order for the vow-reading portion of your ceremony to go according to plan, you need to make sure your partner is also into the idea of writing their own vows. Think about how awkward it would be for you to recite your own heartfelt vows, only for your partner to quote their favorite Taylor Swift song. Sit down with your partner and explore the possibility of self-authoring your vows. Once you decide to go this route, get on the same page with them and talk about what points you each want to touch on—without giving away too much, of course! Be sure also to agree on a set length for the vows, which should be equal in duration. This keeps the ceremony humming along at an efficient pace, while ensuring you both get to touch on all the points you want to hit during your vows. 

What Do You Want Included In Your Wedding Vows?

After you and your partner have decided that you will indeed write your own personalized wedding vows, it’s time to organize your thoughts and zero in on what exactly it is you wish to say. For some, this can be the most difficult part of the process, especially if you’re the type of person that doesn’t typically write about their feelings or even write all that much about anything. The simplest advice: Just start writing. Grab a pen and paper, sit down at your laptop or huddle in bed with your phone and begin writing or typing your thoughts on your future spouse. Describe the time you first met them in the most straightforward way possible, then add your heartwarming feelings about that moment after the fact. Talk about how they make you feel on a daily basis, how you wish to make them feel in the future, and why you’re marrying them in the first place. Relate some funny stories (without embarrassing them) and talk about your hopes for the future together. 

The best way to start is to organize your thoughts by sketching an outline that answers a series of questions:

  • How did you meet?
  • What are your favorite memories from those early days?
  • What is the single greatest thing about your partner?
  • What’s an amusing anecdote about your relationship?
  • When did you know that you wanted to marry this person?
  • What does marriage mean to you? What promises do you want to make to your partner? 
  • It might sound like homework and in a way it is. Find a quiet space and time, and get to work.

Are There Any Sources Of Inspiration For Your Wedding Vows?

Remember how we said that your wedding vows should be all original thoughts? Well, that’s not exactly true. We live in a time when the touch of a button can summon the vast richness of the literary world—and the inspiring words of books, movies, televisions, music, and more from talented writers are waiting to inspire and stir your emotions. Love is a universal feeling and artists have been letting the world know their thoughts on it for centuries in the form of poetry, love stories, and song lyrics. It’s all at your fingertips.

And if you’re looking for inspiration from your personal life, ask friends and family who have written their own vows for their thoughts on how to tackle the writing process. Pick someone whose vows hit all the right notes and ask them to share the tricks of the trade—how they put it all together, what worked and what didn’t work, for example. And if that doesn’t work, simply find examples of wedding vows on the handy Internet!

How Much Time Do You Need To Write Wedding Vows?

The answer is, “plenty of time!” You should start the vow-writing process early on in your wedding planning. Since you’ll be reciting these vows in front of what will likely be a crowd of 100-plus people, you want to be completely comfortable with your words going into the ceremony. A good rule-of-thumb is to have your vows fully realized three weeks before the wedding day. But, please, start the writing process well before that three-week window approaches. This will give you the time to ensure you get everything you want to say down on paper, while also giving you enough time to edit and re-edit your words until they say exactly what your mind and heart want them to say. Also, read your vows out loud to yourself multiple times. This can help you eliminate tongue-twisting words, complicated thoughts or overly long sentences that might prove to be problematic on the day of the nuptials. 

What’s The One You Can’t Forget To Say In Your Wedding Vows?

This might be somewhat surprising, but when you’re in the thick of the romantic storytelling adventure during the ceremony, it’s possible you might forget to say those all important words: “I love you.” It’s true! People have forgotten to say that obvious phrase! And while it might seem downright poetic to leave “I love you” out of your vows, it is a major oversight that you do not want to hang over your marriage for the rest of your life. Make a point to say those three magic words. Emphasize it, say it multiple times, and again, make it personal.