Tips for Writing Your Wedding Vows
and making them personal.
If you’re wondering how to write personal wedding vows, but you’re having trouble coming up with what exactly to say, then this is for you. We are wedding photographers— so we’ve heard tons of wedding vows. Some have brought us to tears, and we’re here to share what they said to make that happen.
When we got married, Jake and I didn’t do vows. And looking back, it’s the ONLY thing we would have changed about our wedding day.
We honestly regret not doing vows, and I’ll tell you why: It puts to words your deepest feelings for one another on one of the most important days of your life.
So in this guide I’ll share with you tips, ideas, and actual examples to help you write your own vows that are personal to you and meaningful.
1) Start with a Layout
Formatting your vows at the beginning will help with consistency and the flow of wording. Start with a list on your phone or even handwriting it, but just know this will take a couple attempts.
The format of wedding vows typically starts with affections, and end with promises. So here’s a sample wedding vow layout:
- Section #1: Share about how you met, first impressions, when you knew you where in love, etc.
- Section #2: Share the things you love about your partner; traits, habits, behaviours, qualities, etc.
- Section #3: Share what this day means to you, why you choose them, what you are looking forward to, etc.
- Section #4: Finally, share your promises for a life together (these are sentences starting with “I vow to…” or “I promise to…” etc.).
Keep this structure in mind as you write your vows. In each of these sections, there should be roughly 3-8 sentences, or 1-2 paragraphs per section.
2) Wedding Vows Language
Your vows should reflect how you talk to your partner in real life— across the dinner table or in bed at night. Save the “I vow to” and “I promise” sentences for the very end, and fill the beginning of the vows with authentic, meaningful words. Some helpful tips:
- Make the words on the page sound like your real voice.
- Make sure you’re speaking in first person.
- Save the “I vow to” and “I promise” sentences for the very end.
3) Be Descriptive
When writing the things you love about your person, be specific and descriptive. Here are some wedding vow examples so you can see what I’m referring to:
Bad example: I love how you are selfless.
Good example: I love how you’ll drop anything to help your family and friends. You always wake up early to make me coffee. You sacrifice so much to help me pursue my dreams.
Everyone wants to feel noticed and known, especially your partner, by you. Let them know that you see every part of them, even the parts that other people might not know about. Show them that you know them deeply and you love them because of it. If you’re still stuck, here are a few examples of descriptive wedding vow lines to inspire you.
Tip: If you’ve overcome something major as a couple (quarantine, a pandemic, a breakup, etc) make sure to mention it and express how thankful you are to have them by your side through the good an d the bad.
4) Get Feedback
You probably don’t want to share our vows with each other until the wedding ceremony. However, it can be valuable to get some feedback for things like:
- making sure they are roughly the same length,
- and that they match tones and language usage.
Helpful tip: Time yourselves reading our vows a few times in separate rooms. Then, share with each other the average time it took you to read your vows. This will help you guys make sure that you’re on the same page and ready for the real thing.
5) Write a Final Draft
Once you have your vows as close to complete as possible, it’s time to write the final draft in your vow book or type them out on a piece of paper. We personally love vow books, as they can be fully customized and once the ceremony is over you can keep them as a sentimental item. You can also wait until the morning of the wedding or elopement to write your vows in your vow book so that we can capture that moment of the both of you.
- Use a pen that doesn’t smudge or leak.
- Hand-write your vows on a piece of paper first, and then copy it into the vow book.
5) The Delivery
It’s all about the delivery! Yet, nerves always seem to get in the way. One big piece of advice is to always opt for talking slower than you normally would. Your brain will actually compensate with the nerves to make you rush, so if you’re intentionally trying to speak slower, it will be the perfect speed.
- Breathe (I’t easy to forget, trust me haha!)
- Hold their hand and look in their eyes.
- Watch their reactions as you speak and build rapport with them like the first time.
Other Planning Resources
Those are our Tips for Writing Your Wedding Vows and making them personal— so, I hope this has been helpful for you guys!
Lastly, if you’d like to keep up with our latest adventures and some really awesome resources make sure to check out our Instagram.