Your wedding vows are a special moment between you and your partner — and all of your guests! These vows, though, are not just important for the wedding; they are important for your entire marriage. These are the promises and commitments you are making for your life together with your spouse. So, they’re kind of a big deal.
The thing is, writing your wedding vows isn’t exactly easy, especially if you haven’t written anything since your senior thesis! So, let me make it easy for you. With my 10-step process for writing your wedding vows, you’ll be able to write something that will stand out and be memorable for your guests, and more importantly, for your spouse!
Once you’ve read through this guide, be sure to download the (free!) Wedding Vow Workbook I’ve put together. This book will walk you through the entire thing, making it super easy to write out what you want to say. So, let’s get started on your vows!
Writing Your Wedding Vows
1. Speak with your future spouse.
Discuss what kinds of vows you want to share, whether you want them to be traditional or more modern, serious or funny, long or short and sweet. You may also want to talk about how personal you’ll get — will you share inside jokes or do you prefer to keep those between you?
2. Jot down your thoughts.
Set aside some time to just let your thoughts flow. Don’t worry about writing coherent sentences or anything just yet. Just brainstorm a bit and write bullet points or free-flowing thoughts about what you could say and what you’d like to include. Then, set your ideas aside for a few days.
3. Decide on what promises you want to make.
You can do this on your own or with your partner, but in your vows, you’ll need to include some promises. These can vary from heavy thoughts — like standing by their side through sickness and sticking it out through tough times — to light ideas like learning to make a favorite meal or suffering through their favorite movie a thousand times.
4. Share some special memories.
Is there one story or moment that you want to highlight? Maybe it’s the first time you saw your partner or your first date. Perhaps it’s your funniest memory or your sweetest. It might even be when they stood by your side through something difficult. This is a great way to make your vows personal and special to you both.
5. Consider what kinds of things you’ll do together.
What will you accomplish together as a couple? What will you strive to be for each other? Do you have specific goals you are aiming for or activities you like to do?
6. Determine your final promise.
Traditional vows end with “as long as we both shall live” or “until death do us part.” You can say one of these, or find a way to make it more personal for you both. Do you prefer “forever and ever” or “until I take my dying breath”? Maybe you’re less traditional and not promising forever at all. Either way, think about how you want to conclude your vows.
7. Get writing.
Now’s the time to take all of your thoughts and ideas and form them into something more coherent. If you’re a natural writer, this might come easy to you. If not, try to follow this format:
- State who your future spouse is to you
- Tell them what you love about them
- Share a story that illustrates a favorite memory or special time together
- Make your promises
- Mention the good times and the bad, sickness and health, etc.
- Look toward the future
- Conclude with a final promise
You may find this easy to do. If not, take a look at some examples online and model yours after theirs. If you struggle, this doesn’t have to be done all at once. When you have your first draft complete, set it aside for a few hours or days.
8. Revise your draft.
Read through what you’ve written so far and think about anything you might want to change. Does something not feel quite right? Is there something you forgot to say? Now is the time to make some adjustments.
9. Practice with a friend.
Once you’ve got a good idea of what your vows will be, sit down with a trusted friend and read them aloud. This is a great opportunity to get their feedback. It’s also a great way to make sure your vows actually sound good. Practice them aloud a few times to ensure you’ll be able to say them well on the day.
10. Make a clean copy.
Once you’ve finalized your wording and figured out exactly what you’ll say, write out a clean version. This will be your final draft. One really nice way to do this is to write them into vow books. These books serve as such a wonderful keepsake for your vows and your wedding day as well!
So that’s the process — pretty straightforward, right? Just take these steps one at a time to work your way through to wonderful wedding vows. But before you get writing, I have a few bonus tips for you:
Wedding Vow Tips
- Don’t leave it to the last minute. Give yourself at least a week to write your vows. You’ll need time to think of ideas, revise drafts, and of course practice what you’ll say.
- Limit your re-writes. For some, it’s tempting to just keep making changes, adding things, taking them out, etc. If this is you, start your vow writing process by limiting your drafts to three. This will help you stay focused and prevent you from taking over your whole life with your vows.
- Don’t include everything you can imagine saying. Decide beforehand approximately how long you want your vows to be. Then limit what you say to that time. You and your partner have countless memories together and likely limitless things to say — that’s wonderful. But your vows are not the place to say everything you’ve ever thought. Keep them succinct and say what’s most important to you.
- Remember to say “I love you.” It’s a given that you love each other — why else would you be getting married?? But in all the fuss of trying to say all that you want to say, you might forget this very important thing 😉
And that’s it! You’re well on your way to beautiful, personal vows that will impress your new spouse and get your marriage started off on the right foot! If you are like me and prefer a guide to get you through it, download my (free!) Wedding Vow Workbook. And if you’re in the market for a special keepsake for the vows you’ve worked so hard on, visit me on Etsy to pick up a set of personalized vow books!