Sunset Oregon coast elopement where the ocean mist glows in the sunlight. Couple reads their handwritten vows to each other

How To Write Your Own Wedding Vows

Writing vows for your wedding can be a daunting task. There is so much pressure to write vows that are heartfelt and genuine, but also memorable in some way. You might find yourself wondering if you should open with a poem, or maybe a joke, and everything you’ve written down feels awful. But the truth is, you don’t need to worry about those things. You just need to write your own wedding vows that reflect who you are and what’s important to you as a couple. Try to take away all of the pressure you feel to impress and just write what you’re feeling. And if it doesn’t come naturally at first, there are some ways you can help get the words flowing!

This blog is intended for couples who want to have an intentional wedding experience. If you’re planning an elopement or small wedding then this blog, and others like it, is for you. I wrote this blog from a personal perspective, not one of religion, repeat-after-me ideas, or other pop-culture themes.

Learn some other tips for having an authentic wedding experience here.

Table of contents:

  1. What are wedding vows
  2. 3 steps to writing your vows
    • Plan it out
    • Write about today
    • Edit edit edit
  3. Things to keep in mind while writing
  4. Vow Template
  5. FAQ’s about vows
  6. Wedding Vow Examples
    • Listen to my real vows
    • Listen to my husband’s vows

Wedding vows are an obligation between two people. They give confidence that you’ve committed yourselves to each other. They are the spirit of the marriage. No pandemic, budget, or changes to your plans can ruin that specific part of your wedding day. Sometimes, with all of the other things you have to remember when wedding planning, this part gets forgotten. But the wedding vow is where you intentionally connect back with the reason you’re doing all of this: your love.

How To Write Wedding Vows

The hardest part of preparing the vows is getting the words out. Ignore the pressure to infuse it with personal jokes or a beginning, middle, and final phrase of your original script. Just releasing thoughts allows you to tweak, rephrase and add what you think is missing. Try not to leave the vows to the last minute because you’ll want the extra time to edit them.

When I first sat down to write my own wedding vows I had no idea where to begin. I had just graduated college with a creative writing degree so I thought this would be a really simple task. I knew all the fancy words, tons of famous writing references, and was used to putting words down on paper, but this was something different. Bringing emotion into your writing is hard. And if you’re not used to bearing those emotions, this could be quite a difficult task for you.

But don’t worry, I’ve got some simple tips you can use to help get those love letters flowing and I’ll share both my husband’s and my own vows for you to read and listen to. After all, sometimes reading those words out loud is the greatest fear.

3 Steps To Writing Your Own Vows

The first step in writing your wedding vows is to plan them out. Jot down some ideas that you might want to include in your vows. If you have a favorite lyric or scene in a movie, write it down too. Think of this step as creating your own mood board for your wedding vows. Gather up all the inspiration you can so that when you get stuck (and you will), you will already have the ultimate list to go back to.

Second, speak about how you feel today – not what led up to this moment or a speech for an occasion that will never come with words like “I feel happy today.” Sure, you can talk about your journey to this moment, but you want to make sure you’re speaking about what it makes you feel right now. Use specific details, not basic phrases. For example, “I will always remind you that I love you” is a very generic line and not as powerful as “When we were dating I would make funny jokes about how much I loved you, but now when we fight, I will hold you tight and remind you that I love you.”

Write it down, and then edit

Lastly, you’ll want to edit. After you’ve written your first draft of your vows, set it down and walk away. Give it a few days before you go back to it and read it through before editing anything. Don’t worry if you feel like you have to scrap huge chunks – you’ll figure out exactly what feels right in your soul. Promises to your partner can feel like the most simple and most complicated thing at the same time. When you write your own wedding vows, you don’t want to rush it. Perfection takes time!

Once they seem okay, then say them out loud. I know that feels super silly, but just trust me. Reading your vows out loud gives you practice saying them and it also lets you hear the rhythm of what you wrote. That rhythm is more important than you might expect.

Things to keep in mind when you write your own wedding vows

– Consider what you’re looking for. What do you hope your vows will say about the person standing next to you? Are they funny, introspective, reflective, or emotional? Figure out who these vows are going to represent and write from that perspective.

– Next thing’s most important: love! Whenever you’re writing vows, it’s important to remember why this person is the one for you. Think of all of the best times and the hardest times you’ve gone through together. If it helps, write them down. While you’re writing, pay attention to what you’re feeling. Passion, gratitude, awe, maybe a little nausea? Use these feelings and put them into words.

– Finally, keep your vows short and sweet! You don’t want them dragging on or coming off as too stiff. Remember that they are vows of commitment – so have a little fun with how you present them!

Wedding Vow Template

There isn’t a perfect order for writing your vows, but there are a few key things you’ll want to include. Including as many of these as possible will help your wedding vows feel more substantial, true, and meaningful. Add in a few tears, a heartfelt glance, and you’ll have the makings of an award-winning declaration of love.

  1. Tell your partner you love them. Be as simple or as complex as you want.
  2. Say actual vows. Begin with “I vow” or “I promise” and fill in the rest. Include 2-5 vows within your speech.
  3. Explain how you’re feeling. Get all mushy gushy and share some things you might not have told them before.
  4. Describe a past memory with your partner. If the memory helps explain what you’re feeling, share it.
  5. Acknowledge that you know marriage isn’t perfect. Tell your partner how you’re prepared for this.

Frequently asked questions about writing wedding vows

How long should wedding vows be?

Your wedding vows shouldn’t be longer than a few minutes. Humans have short attention spans and you don’t want to lose your “audience”. You also don’t want to only say a few words as that can feel rushed and impersonal. The number of words on a page can seem like a lot, but remember that you talk faster than you read.

Do my wedding vows have to be written?

Not necessarily, but there’s something about actually bringing pen to paper that makes you feel more connected to the words you’re reading. Reading your vows off your phone distracts from the day and your wedding ceremony.

When do you say your vows in an elopement?

You can say your vows whenever you want to during your wedding day. If you’re having more of a traditional ceremony then they come after your officiant talks about your relationship and before you exchange rings.

Wedding Vow Examples

If you want your wedding vows to feel genuine to you, then there are a few ways to set those vows apart from the other vows out there. You don’t have to promise to love, talk about health for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, or reference the rest of your life to create meaningful wedding vows.

I went through so many drafts of my vows that I lost count. The first version I wrote down was NOTHING like what I ended up saying and I think that journey with myself was really important. I knew I loved Therin with my whole being, but it wasn’t until I was trying to put it into words that I truly discovered why.

Want to know some of the other things I made for my wedding day? Check them out here: Wedding dress, flowers, our last name.

Wedding vow examples #1

Wedding vow examples #2

You can find a ton of other tips and examples of wedding vows online, but I think most of them are pretty corny. Nothing is going to feel right unless it’s coming straight from your heart. You won’t regret writing your own wedding vows. Saying these vows to your partner will be one of the most intimate parts of your day.

Feeling the love? Book your elopement with me here. I can’t wait to hear the vows you write!

Black Salt Photography is an elopement photographer and intimate wedding photographer based in Portland, Oregon. Photographing in the surrounding PNW areas and traveling often for destination love stories. Specializing in intimate candids and editorial portraits to craft a one-of-a-kind wedding day for every couple. Her moody photography style plays with natural light and shadow, laced with raw emotional moments, to create an authentic narrative experience. She photographs you as you so you’ll love your photos authentically.

Similar Posts