Wedding videos capture the emotions, movements, and words still photography can’t: vows, speeches, note exchanges, and more. When you watch a groom get teary-eyed, or a bride fight to contain laughter, it’s easy to imagine ~all the feels~ that will take place while reciting vows during your own ceremony. Read what newlyweds had to say about writing their vows below, and let their wedding videos inspire your own.
While you may feel pressured to wax poetic, it’s more important to keep your vows authentic to who you are. There’s nothing wrong with erring less on the gushy side and keeping things lighthearted. And, let’s be real – knowing just 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.”
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. 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.”
Writer’s block making you consider not writing your own vows all together? This bride’s No. 1 piece of advice? Don’t. 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.”
It’s normal for magic to happen in the eleventh hour. Moments before your big day can bring on a whole new whirlwind of emotions, and with emotions comes 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.”
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 be writing vows today! 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.”
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.”
Chances are, the spot you and your partner picked to tie the knot has meaning. 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. 😭
You binge-watch the same shows, you root for the same sports teams, and you can always agree on pad thai take-out for date night. But what makes your partner the yin to your yang? What strengths of theirs 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.”
Vows are like a next-level pinky promise. 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!”
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.”
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.”
Sometimes, a simple list is all it takes to kickstart your writing process. Other times, a simple 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.”