For some people, creative writing comes easily, so writing vows should be easy right? Actually, even for the people who are good at writing, your own vows can be a difficult task.
For everyone else writing anything can be pretty scary! Plus you’ve got to read it out in public. Not easy. Maybe you’re the one who suggested writing your own vows, or maybe it’s something your partner wanted and fills you with dread.
Not to worry, we’re here to give you all the advice you need before you sit down and write the perfect heartfelt vows for your wedding ceremony.
Why write your own wedding vows?
This is a very personal decision for many couples. You might decide you want to keep it simple and stick to the traditional vows. However, it’s also nice for both partners to really personalise the wedding ceremony.
Your own vows are a way to celebrate the reasons you love your partner, whilst allowing you to incorporate what’s important to you. There’s definitely a balance to be found, romantic but not fake. As long as your vows come from the heart they won’t be trite. You want people to get an insight into why you love your partner, at the same time as letting your partner know why you want to marry them.
10 Top tips to writing your own vows
Well here you are, our best tips for writing your own wedding vows. Remember, don’t panic! Calmly read through this guide and use it as a step-by-step plan to writing your own wedding vows.
1. Get started early
This one should be a no-brainer, but we’re putting it in at the start just in case! Don’t, we repeat, don’t leave your vows until the last minute. If you want to feel stressed and write something clearly rushed then that’s the way to go about it. Yes, you might be better at improv than reading from a sheet, but your vows will be more polished if you have plenty of time to practice what you’re going to say.
2. Have a discussion with your partner first
You’re not writing vows in isolation. Your partner is also in the same boat. If you don’t discuss the scope of your vows, you may find one of you has written half a novel and the other something shorter than the weekly shopping list.
Agree on the approximate length and the tone you’re going for. You might both want to go for funny vows or make them really sentimental. Whatever you decide you definitely should talk to your partner first.
3. Come back to your drafts
There’s a writing process you can follow. First, start with a rough list of what you want to include. Then come back to the list and turn it into paragraphs. Then leave your first draft for a few days. When you come back to it you’ll have fresh eyes and you’ll be more critical. Don’t be afraid to have multiple drafts or versions to pick between.
4. Get real
You need to be heartfelt, or what’s the point in writing your own vows? Think about why you want to marry your partner, what you love about them. Sitting with the lads or your bridesmaids and spit-balling ideas is great, but make sure you take time to sit alone with your thoughts before you write your vows.
5. Make realistic promises
One of the key elements of your vows is promising things. You can take this however you want, you could promise to always be faithful but you can also promise not to hog the covers! Ideally, you want a mixture of genuine promises and maybe some more frivolous ones. You’re both going to be looking back on this for a long time, so make sure all your promises are realistic and ones you can keep.
6. Reassure your partner
Everyone get’s pre-wedding jitters, it’s normal. One of the best things after experiencing those moments is when you’re up at the alter and your partner says everything you needed to hear. Reassure them that you’re going to be there for them through anything.
7. Think about your timing
Ok, so we don’t want a six-volume novel series, do we? Think about your guests a little at this point. You should be able to get everything you need to across without taking hours. The best way to do this is by keeping any anecdotes short and prioritising what you want to say.
Most vows only take around one minute of time to say. Of course, this is something to discuss with your partner. If you’re desperate for longer vows at least make sure they’re going to do the same!
8. Don’t be afraid to use humour
Weddings are an incredibly emotional experience. They can also come with a lot of nervous energy. So a great thing to include in your vows is a little bit of humour. You need to be careful though, don’t tell inappropriate stories about your partner in the middle of your wedding! Aim for gentle humour to make your partner and your guests laugh.
9. Be specific with your anecdotes
Specific anecdotes and compliments are always nice to receive. Your partner may not know the exact moment you fell for them, or that cute noise they make when they sleep that makes you love them more. Think about something small you love about them and use this time to shine a light on it to make them feel special.
10. Read them to a friend
The final step once you’ve written your vows is getting some feedback. We suggest picking one friend you trust and reading your vows to them. They can give you feedback and it’s also a chance for you to practice reading in front of someone. Plus if you just choose one friend everyone else gets to hear them for the first time on the day.
That’s it! We hope you’ve enjoyed our tips for writing your vows and let us know how you get on! Get in touch with us on our social media links below so we can hear about your own wedding vow experiences.