12 Genius Tips for Writing Your Own Wedding Vows
By Lauren Witonsky
Now, the vows you exchange during your wedding ceremony are words you'll both remember for the rest of your lives. So it's not surprising that so many couples are choosing to craft their own pledges of love for their special day. While the officiant will be in charge of the script for the majority of the ceremony, this will be a moment where you both decide exactly what you want to say in front of your family and friends to express your love and commitment to one another.
But writing these important words—as well as getting up in front of your family and friends to recite them—can seem like a daunting process for many of us.
And once you have your final draft, don't forget to practice before the big day, which will lessen your nerves when you're up at the altar. “The key to all is to practice out loud as much as possible,” says Tanya Pushkine, aka The Vow Whisperer. “This will help through the nerves of speaking in public."
Still a little stressed? Don't panic, we've asked some couples who have written their own vows to share their tips on how they took on this task.
1. Think about what would make your partner laugh
While you may feel pressured to wax poetic, it’s more important to keep your vows authentic to who you are. With that in mind, there’s nothing wrong keeping things lighthearted--and knowing what will bring a smile to your loved one’s face is way more meaningful than sounding like a Hallmark Card.
Katie + Sean’s advice: “Keep it fun and meaningful! It is hard to sum up years of dating into a couple of minutes but it is so much better than generic vows. Make your partner laugh! Every couple needs a good laugh on the wedding day after the months of planning and stress. Start with some light-hearted digs at your partner or even make fun of yourself - just not too many inside jokes!” Plus, after filming 200+ weddings, Sean also offers advice from a videographer's perspective: “The more original content you can provide, the better.” Watch Katie + Sean's Napa vineyard wedding, captured by Kurtela Video Productions, below.
2. Get creative with the delivery
Don’t be afraid to break tradition! Whether your creative outlet of choice is spoken word, songwriting, or poetry, use that to deliver your vows. Remember, love has no boundaries (or rules).
Lauren + Rob's advice: “I definitely always wanted to write my own vows. Poetry has always been the best way for me to express those deeper, difficult to describe emotions. When Rob and I started dating we began to write poems back and forth to each other, and actually still do. When I sat down to try to write my vows it was only natural that they came out as a poem. In fact, I remember it was about five months before the wedding and I had a feeling come over me that I need to start my vows. I grabbed a pen and paper and began to write as it was just a stream of consciousness flowing out. I read them again a few months later and they still felt so right to me that I never ended up changing a thing about them.” Watch Lauren + Rob's rustic Massachusetts wedding, captured by Some Fuzzy, below.
3. Make your vows a top priority
Writer's block making you abandon your vows altogether? Don't do it! Instead, make a list of your top priorities and put vows at the top.
Emma + Dylan's advice: \"Vows, music, bar. Everything else is window dressing.\" Watch Emma + Dylan's whimsical Canada wedding, captured by Fresh Finish Media, below.
4. If the perfect vows are not flowing out, be spontaneous
It’s normal for magic to happen in the eleventh hour. The days--and sometimes even hours--before your wedding can bring on a whole new whirlwind of emotions, which can turn into the perfect heartfelt writing material. Trust us, the vows will come.
Robyn + Ben's advice: “To be honest, Ben and I didn’t begin writing our vows until the final days before our wedding. I hadn’t planned for that to happen, but every time I sat down to write something it just didn’t feel right. Maybe it was inexplicable feelings that one has in those final days before the wedding that really got the creative juices and emotions flowing. It also helps that Ben is a professional writer and has an absolute knack for speech writing. I, on the other hand, just led with the heart and wanted to keep it light.” Watch Robyn + Ben's boho Canada beach wedding, captured by Evergreen & Bound Films, below.
5. Throw it back to your first date
Remember where and when you met? What it was like to see each other for the very first time? Try to capture that feeling and put it into words—it’s the beginning of your love story and what led you to this special moment! This excerpt from Ariel + Michael's vows is a perfect example:
“We were on our first date. The sun had just set. We had sand beneath our feet. I was hesitant to reach for your hand, not knowing if you would shy away. When I finally summoned up the courage to do so, I knew you were someone special. Your hand fit perfectly into mine, so naturally, like it was the hundredth time, like it was meant to be.” Watch Ariel + Michael's modern military Florida wedding, captured by Andreo Studio, below.
6. Forget about the audience
Whether you plan to recite your vows in front of all your friends and family, or just to a select few, write your vows as if you’re only talking to your partner. It will ease any nerves of speaking in front of an audience and allow you to articulate how you really feel.
Jenna + Ryan’s advice: “Possibly the most unique part about our day is we decided last minute to read our heartfelt vows to each other during first look. It was by far the best part of the day. We allowed them to come straight from the heart without the audience.” Watch Jenna + Ryan's winter Colorado wedding, captured by Blnk Films, below.
7. Get inspired by your venue or location
Chances are, the spot you and your partner picked to tie the knot has some special meaning, so use that to your advantage. Eloping to a new destination, for example, gives you the perfect opportunity to talk about your shared love of adventure.
Lisa + Alex’s advice: “Travel being as important to us as it is (we’ve been to 10 countries and several different US states), we always knew our wedding would be somewhere else. We saved money over a traditional wedding and had the experience of a lifetime, both for us and for our families. Finally reading the vows we had spent months preparing on a cliff side in the Quiraing got us both seriously choked up, which you can hear a bit in the film.” And when Alex says, “You are my greatest adventure. I’m so excited to spend the rest of my days with you,” you bet we got choked up too. Watch Lisa + Alex's United Kingdom mountain elopement, captured by Vow of the Wild, below.
8. Celebrate your differences
You binge-watch the same shows, you root for the same sports teams, and you can always agree on where to eat out for date night. But what makes your partner the yin to your yang? Which of their strengths complement your weaknesses? Reflecting on these differences can lead to some seriously beautiful vows--just read this excerpt from Katherine + Mathew's vows for proof:
“Over time, though, I’ve found that the things I love and admire about you most are the things that make you different from me. I love how fearless you are. No person or situation ever intimidates you, and you approach conflicts and setbacks with unwavering determination. I admire your candor, how open and honest you are with everyone you meet. I love how fiercely dedicated you are to seeking justice in the world and standing up for people who’ve been mistreated. And most of all, I love your never-ending enthusiasm and warmth. You radiate joy even during the most boring moments, filling my heart with light and a sense that I can do anything when I’m with you.” Watch Katherine + Mathew's Persian Maine wedding, captured by OTD Collective, below.
9. Remind yourself what vows are all about
What promises do you vow to keep today, tomorrow, and always? It’s a big question because it’s a big deal, and it’s helpful to think seriously about what you’re promising your partner.
Micah + Jason’s advice:
“I think it’s important for your vows to be serious because it is what you are promising your partner, but I also think that infusing personality and inside jokes can be really charming if it’s done right. For instance, at the end of my vows, I said, “I love you Bubs. Or should I say hubs?” Our hashtag was #FromBubsToHubs, so it was super cute!” Watch Micah + Jason's modern Atlanta wedding, captured by KLassey Productions, below.
10. Think about the future
What do you imagine the next 10 years to be like? 25 years? 100 years?! Painting a picture of what married looks like together down the road is a uniquely personal way to say \"I choose you, forever.\" Read this excerpt from Samantha + Armin's vows to see how it's done:
\"Once we look back, 70, 80, 100 years from now on our rocking chairs, holding hands, looking at the sunset over North Dakota, with our 4 kids, 12 grandchildren, 3 cats, and 14 dogs surrounding us - let's face it, I'm a dog person and these are my vows - we will look back it all and smile. The wrinkles on our face will not only represent our age and wisdom, but will represent all the memories that we made together.\" Watch Samantha + Armin's Persian-Christian fusion wedding, captured by Birdhouse, below.
11. Remember that vows can be made to anyone
Weddings are about families coming together as one, so extending your vows to the most important people in your SO's life is always a thoughtful gesture - especially when little ones are in the picture. See just how meaningful these vows to the bride's daughter are in this excerpt from Taylor + Lauren's wedding:
\"I was not there when you took your first steps, when your first tooth came in. But I promise you I will never miss another first.\" Watch Taylor + Lauren's rustic Tennessee wedding, captured by Griffin R Dunn, below.
12. Make a list of your favorite qualities
Sometimes, a list can kickstart your writing process—and other times, the list is all you need for absolutely stunning vows. Either way, this trick will get the words flowing, and all you have to do is read this excerpt from Bianca + Zena’s vows to believe it:
“You are unlike anything, or anyone I’ve ever met. Deep, curious, loving, caring, and humorous are just some of the pleasures I get to enjoy being with you.” Watch Bianca + Zena's boho Joshua Tree elopement, captured by The Quail & The Dove, below.
We hope this advice helped you. If you're looking for more inspiration for writing your own vows, watch more amazing wedding videos here. Ready to find your wedding videographer? Check out our directory to see videographers near you. Find officiants near you or other pro wedding vendors here.
Love the tips you received here? Check out these other popular posts:
- How to Choose a Videographer
- Top Three Wedding Videographer Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Day
- Why You Shouldn't Hire a Cheap Videographer
- Everything You Need to Know About Wedding Videography Packages
- 12 Genius Tips for Writing Your Own Wedding Vows
- 9 Amazing Officiant Speeches That Will Seriously Inspire You
- How to Plan a Lesbian Wedding
- Everything You Need to Know About Hiring a Wedding Planner