The commitment couples vow to make on their wedding day is typically sealed (before the kiss of course) with each individual’s thoughts, hopes, and intentions for the future of their relationship. Traditional vows include the standard “… to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part”, but writing your own personal portion before these (or starting from scratch completely) can mean SO much to your partner, and can help inaugurate the vows in your own heart as well. This is something you do once-in-a-lifetime, and we think a few vow writing tips can help get the words flowing!
Vow Writing Tips from Wedding Experts
Complete Weddings + Events’ wedding experts, each attending over 25 weddings a year (some over double that!), have advice to help you get started in the vow writing process plus tips on what to include in these declarations of commitment. Get all our vow writing tips from wedding experts below!
A Positive Outlook
Before you begin writing, be sure you try to field any negative thoughts about the process and come at this with a positive outlook. Writing wedding vows can sound like a scary writing project to some, especially for those non-writers or non-emotional types, but try to begin with a smile. Once you’re thinking about how meaningful this will be to your partner, and really what this means for yourself as you make a vow to commit to aligning your future with your partner, we hope the positive thoughts can start flowing! These vows are for one of your most exciting days, so channel that joy you’re hoping to have on your special day, and begin the writing process with happy thoughts!
Where to Start?
Complete Weddings + Events’ Lisa and Eric Raftery have a great technique to help you get started on the personal vow writing process. Write one line about the past, one line about the present, one line about the future. Here’s an example using three sentences and the past, present, and future method to get you thinking.
- Past: I remember when I first met you and was so impressed by not only your gorgeous smile, but by how thoughtful and kind you were.
- Present: Now we are best friends, and I still love your smile and am impressed by who you are, every single day.
- Future: As we get married today, I am so excited for this beautiful season together, to spend the rest of my life, loving you and discovering new ways that you are the most amazing man I have ever known.
When to Start Writing Vows?
Starting the vow writing process at least two months before the big day will give you enough time, but some suggest thinking about what you want to say, and why you’re making this commitment during the entire engagement period will help make the entire process easier. Finishing the vows before your final 30-day countdown hits is a great goal, especially since other last-minute wedding planning details may be distracting in the final weeks.
“When it comes to selecting, writing and processing your wedding vows, I highly recommend you start early especially if you are writing your own. Make sure to allow plenty of time to marinate on these both individually and as a couple. You will not regret the investment of time or thought.” Kevin Paladino of Complete Weddings + Events advises.
Decide If Personal Vows Are Right for You
“In wedding ceremonies, one of the focal points are the vows that the couple make to each other in front of witnesses that form a covenant,” Kevin Paladino of Complete says. This can be a lot of pressure for some, and writing personal vows, especially speaking personal vows, is not right for everything. If you’re set on writing your own personal wedding vows, one option to relieve some pressure on the big day is to speak your personal vows in private with your partner. This could be after your first look or ideally during a private moment before the ceremony. Whether you’re speaking them at the ceremony, or in private, know that there’s no need for these to be extravagant. Keeping the vows simple may be your best route for success.
Practice Out Loud
Once you accomplished writing your lines, you’ll definitely want to read them out loud a few times for the big day! Complete’s Alex Antoine explains you should “plan out what you’re gonna say and stick to it.” Once you’ve completed the process, trust yourself that what you’ve written is enough, and practice memorizing, or preparing a neatly written note, for the special moment!
Know Your Audience
While you may be speaking your vows in front of many family and friends, remember that the vows are for your loved one, an audience of one! Complete’s Reed Beldin gives advice saying “When choosing what to vow, remember you are talking to her/him directly, not the 300+ people at your ceremony.”
We’re Here for Happy Tears
Complete’s Jason Williams states, “If you cry, you cry!” Know that no one is going to be bothered by tears on your wedding day. They may create more happy tears among the crowd, but don’t feel the need to hold back the emotions. Don’t worry about fumbling over words or crying because this is your moment, and you can take all the time you need! Jason says, “write and speak your vows from the heart, as it will be a memory you can look back on through photos and videos for years to come and you want it to be authentic!” There’s no shame in authentic tears darling!
Borrow From Other Sources
Sometimes some research is just what you need to get your creative juices flowing! You can hear other couples’ vows in many of our wedding videos, or feel free to use our favorite, the three total sentences on the past, present, and future technique! The Knot has nine wedding vow examples from real couples, some with both partners’ vows included, to give you many variations of vows, from one sentence to full-on emotional!
Complete Team – Wedding Experts
If you’re planning a wedding, you’ve come to the right place. At Complete Weddings + Events, our team of photographers, videographers, DJs, and event consultants specialize in wedding services to make your day a success and make sure you’re just worried about enjoying it. Contact us today to learn more about our wedding packages best for your special day!