Writing your wedding vows can be intimidating, the pressure is on. How could you possibly summarise how much you love your partner in a few sentences? Whilst making them the most charming, emotional and mic-drop worthy wedding vows anyone has ever heard at the same time? Not only that, but you’ve also somehow got to find a few quiet moments to sit down and think about your vows amongst the chaos and excitement of wedding planning. It’s no mean feat, so here are some top tips to keep in mind…
COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR PARTNER
Before you even begin, sit down with your partner to make sure you’re on the same page. At the very least check if they even want to write their wedding vows! The main things to decide on are length and vibe. If one of you performs a sonnet and the others resembles stand-up comedy, it’s going to be very awkward on the day.
Keeping the final vows secret until the wedding day is a nice gift for your partner, but there’s no harm in sharing a few points beforehand. If it helps, come up with a base structure to stick to.
PERSONALISING YOUR WEDDING VOWS
MAKE YOUR WEDDING VOWS SOUND LIKE YOU
It may sound obvious, but make sure your wedding vows are personal to you. This is a chance to show your personality, be it funny, serious, emotional, or sincere. If you’re known for cracking jokes it makes sense that you’d throw a few cheeky ones into your vows, but don’t force anything that doesn’t come naturally.
Just because you’re speaking from the heart doesn’t mean you can’t take inspiration from elsewhere. If you’re not a natural writer and want to take parts from traditional vows, or maybe a poem or song that you’ve heard, then that’s okay too! Ask your friends and family what they included in their wedding vows if they chose to write their own. Don’t worry about sounding too cheesy or over the top, can you remember a wedding you’ve been to where you rolled your eyes at the vows? Didn’t think so!
If you have children together, or from a previous marriage, incorporating them into your vows is a lovely way to emphasise your strength not only as a couple, but as a family.
It may sound obvious but, if it feels right, consider telling them you love them. You’d be surprised at how many people forget those three little words.
SHARE YOUR FAVOURITE MEMORIES
A natural starting point for writing your wedding vows is thinking back over your relationship. Go over your journey together, how did you get to this moment? Think about how you feel when you’re with them and any specific memories that bring you joy. You may have a favourite book, film, or song that you share; use that to inspire you!
Think of the little things they do for you, and vice versa. Sometimes the smallest actions speak the loudest and it’s these small and continuous acts of love that are worth promising to each other in your wedding vows. Every time inspiration strikes, make a note on your phone so you don’t forget it.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
Once you’ve revisited the past, think about your future goals, after all, your wedding vows are about your life going forward! What do you hope to achieve together? Don’t promise perfection, you’re only human! Being open and honest about the ups and downs of life will make your vows more meaningful. You could talk about how you’ve supported one another so far, and how you will continue to do so.
A BREAK FROM TRADITION
If you’re religious, it’s always best to check how much of your vows can be personalised as it could depend on where you get married. If you are able to add your own touches, think about how much you want to change. Just because you can doesn’t mean you have to, there are plenty of religious readings that are great for modern ceremonies! You could also take inspiration from more traditional vow structures and add your own twist.
HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?
We know the whole point of writing your wedding vows is to share your commitment to one another, but be mindful not to overshare. There may have been some challenges you've faced as a couple that made you stronger, however they don’t necessarily have to feature in your vows. While this is your time to ‘bare all’, holding back a few personal vows to share with your partner in a moment alone after the ceremony can also be romantic and intimate.
It’s great to make your partner and guests laugh but be mindful that your wedding vows aren’t a roast. This is a chance to be sincere, as well as witty. Amusing additions like ‘I will never watch a Netflix series without you’ are great, but make sure you’re including some serious promises. We’d also suggest that you don’t include too many in-jokes, unless you want a lot of bemused half-laughs from your guests.
The age-old question when it comes to writing your wedding vows, how long is too long? No one is going to be holding a stopwatch, so you don’t have to keep to a time limit, however sticking to a pre-agreed structure will help when it comes to making your wedding vows succinct but impactful. If only there were time to include all the details of your epic love story!
PRACTISE MAKES PERFECT
READ YOUR WEDDING VOWS, THEN READ THEM AGAIN
Don’t leave writing your wedding vows until the last minute, you need to rehearse! There’s a chance that your celebrant will ask to see your vows before the wedding, so be prepared.
Reading your wedding vows is good, rehearsing them aloud is even better. Give yourself time for breaks and pauses; on the day it’s okay if you don’t get through them smoothly without laughing, tearing up or feeling nervous. Just take your time.
What sounds great one day may not sit right the next. Keep revisiting your vows, save multiple drafts and edit until the final version sounds just right.
If the thought of writing and performing wedding vows is just adding to wedding stress, don’t panic. You don’t have to memorise them; loads of couples read from cards! You could even have your vows printed onto some gorgeous wedding stationery and have them framed afterwards.
Marriage is about showing your partner that you love them, not just saying it. Make sure your vows are realistic and mean something special to you. Don't forget, you're only human. Now that writing your wedding vows has been crossed off your checklist, make sure you've caught up with the Rock My Wedding podcast for ALL the planning inspo you'd ever need!