When I was getting married just some months ago, one of the most important things to us was that we write our own vows. We had been to many friends’ weddings (approximately one zillion, to be exact) and they’d almost all decided to go with traditional marital vows. And it was great and beautiful! There really is nothing wrong with that. We just preferred to make that moment in our ceremony a bit more personal – more “us” – by writing our own.
You might be thinking, “Hah, easy for a writer to say.” To which I’d respond, “Well, non-writers are usually writers who just haven’t realized it yet. And I’m willing to bet you are, too.” I’ll also add that my husband isn’t a professional writer, either. In fact, he works in insurance, AKA the least mushy and creative job ever.
Fast-forward to the wedding day: We’d decided to keep them a surprise from each other. And when the big moment came to finally read each other the vows we’d written, in front of all the people who loved us, it was an unforgettable moment, to say the least. And you know what? I’ll just go ahead and say it's my favorite memory from the entire wedding. We even included them in our scrapbook – the folded and worn original papers we wrote our vows on.
So, if you’re thinking of writing your own vows too, well, I’m a big fan of that decision. And because I vividly remember how daunting it felt for us, I’m hoping these tips and a little love-themed reading will get your creative juices flowing.
P.S. At the end, I’ll share our own wedding vows with you. (If you promise not to judge our cheesiness.)
1. Keep it real.
Honestly, some of the most adorable wedding vows I’ve heard have been the ones in which the couple included little things that were unique to only them, like inside jokes or silly ways they talked to each other.
For example, I included a little bit of Spanish because it was my first language and my husband knows how important my Colombian culture is to me. To my utter surprise, he included the same phrase in Spanish in his vows! What the what?
With yours, you could either keep it mostly serious like we did, or you can throw in a couple of funny lines if that’s more your style. Whatever you do, just be your real self. Be honest. Say it how you and only you could say it.
2. Write them (at least a little) in advance
So, this probably goes without saying, but just in case: You definitely don’t want to rush or scramble through this. Not because your vows have to be perfectly poetic (they don’t), but because you want to make sure plenty of thought goes into writing them. You want to give yourself time to reread, edit, add, take out, etc. In essence, you want to make sure you feel really good about them.
If you’re pressed for time and busy with other to-dos, know that you don’t have to dedicate a big chunk of time to this. You can start by jotting down ideas as they come to you, maybe while watching TV or listening to music. Write them in a note on your phone or random pieces of paper lying around. And then, when you have some downtime, you can string all your ideas together.
Putting it all off until the last minute might make your mind feel rushed and nervous. And nothing crushes creativity and inspiration like panicky nerves – not that I’m speaking from experience or anything. (Just kidding, I totally am.)
3. Don’t self-edit too much.
Know how I just said you wanted to give yourself time to edit? Well, now I’m saying: try not to self-edit too much. If you’ve read your vows so many times it’s made your head spin, that’s a clue that you might be overthinking it.
Whatever you decide to leave in is great. Whatever you decide to take out is great. Your vows, no matter what they end up saying, will be great. Better yet, they’ll be perfect, because your words are going to make your soon-to-be spouse’s heart melt into a pool of happy-lovey feels, and therefore, you can’t really go wrong.
Everyone needs a little inspiration sometimes. And when it came to writing our own vows, we certainly did – we had no clue where or how to begin. If you too are looking for inspiration, you can listen to music, watch a TV show, catch a feel-good movie, look through old pictures, or go on a special date and free-write some thoughts after that.
Or, another thing you can do is read how others have put their love into words before you. Inspiration is everywhere, and because I’m a sucker for heartfelt words no matter where they appear, I’ve put together a list of my favorite love quotes that I hope you’ll enjoy and feel inspired by. Happy reading!
“All I understood was that she was the girl I sat up every night thinking about, and when I’m with her I’m happy to be alive. Like I can do anything, even talk to you like this. That’s what love is, Mom, when I am a better person because she is here.” —Boy Meets World
“Here’s to all the places we went, and all the places we’ll go. And here’s to me whispering again and again and again and again: I love you.” —John Green, An Abundance of Katherines
“We are not perfect – we’ll learn from our mistakes. And as long as it takes, I will prove my love to you. I am not scared of the elements. I am under-prepared, but I am willing. And even better, I get to be the other half of you.” —Sara Bareilles, I Choose You
"Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like 'struggle.' To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now." —Fred Rogers
"All that you are is all that I'll ever need."—Ed Sheeran
“To love a person is to see all of their magic, and to remind them of it when they have forgotten.” —Unknown
“I vow to fiercely love you in all your forms, now and forever. I promise to never forget that this is a once in a lifetime love. And to always know in the deepest part of my soul that no matter what challenges might carry us apart, we will always find our way back to each other.” —The Vow
“There’s nothing you could become that I haven’t already fallen in love with.” —Rainbow Rowell, Attachments
“On rainy days, love is an umbrella. On cold days, love is a warm blanket. And on the sunniest of days, love makes life even brighter.” —A Hallmark card I wrote
“I love you, Not only for what you are, But for what I am when I am with you. I love you, Not only for what you have made of yourself, But for what you are making of me.” —Roy Croft, Love
“I’m scared that I’m going to make a hundred wrong decisions to keep you from living the perfect life that you deserve, but I will protect you fiercely, and I will always sing to you when you can’t sleep, and I will always be excited to hear you laugh.”—This Is Us
"I swear I couldn't love you more than I do right now, and yet I know I will tomorrow." –Leo Christopher
"Today and always, beyond tomorrow, I need you beside me, always as my best friend, lover, and forever soulmate."—Ritu Ghatourey
"To love someone is to see all their magic and to remind them of it when they have forgotten." —Unknown
"We are all a little weird and life's a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love." —Dr. Seuss
"When someone else's happiness is your happiness, that is love." —Lana Del Ray
“Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” —Franklin P. Jones
“You don’t love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.”—Oscar Wilde
“Love is a promise; love is a souvenir. Once given never forgotten, never let it disappear.”—John Lennon
“The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds.” —Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
"Today I devote myself to you, as your partner, and your friend. To be beside you always, filling your heart with happiness and fond memories. I promise to empower you in the pursuit of your dreams, to support your search for fulfillment in life, to celebrate your achievements and to lift you up when you fall. I have loved you since the day we first met, and I will love you with the same passion that fills my heart now every day for the rest of our lives, con todo mi corazón." —My husband’s vows to me
"Saying “I love you” means saying “I choose you.” Because although loving you is effortless, I know that love requires intention... that it’s an act of the will. And this is what I vow that I will do:
I will encourage, trust and cherish you. I will create a home with you, built on a foundation of laughter and compassion. I will be right here beside you, always – your partner and friend through anything life brings. Choosing you is the best – and easiest – decision I’ve ever made. That’s why today and every day for the rest of my life, I will choose you... I will adore you... & I will love you con todo mi corazón." —My vows to my husband
I hope you've enjoyed these tips on how to write your perfect wedding vows, as well as the inspirational love quotes! Tell us if you're planning to write your vows (or already have) and which love quotes are your favorite!
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