Ultimate Guide to Writing Your Own Wedding Vows
Did you decide to write your own vows for your wedding day? Traditional wedding vows are beautiful and have stood the test of time - but maybe they don't feel personal to you and your spouse. Writing your own vows means you can say everything important to you and let your personalities shine! Custom wedding vows are a great idea, but they can be a challenge to write and definitely not something you should leave until the night before the wedding. Hopefully, this guide will help you find the right words to tell your future spouse how much you love them!
Top Questions About Wedding Vows: Everything to Know
We’re sure you have a ton of questions about writing your wedding vows. So, we answered some of the most frequently asked questions about vow writing.
1) Do We Need to Write Our Own Vows?
Traditionally, no. You can always opt out of writing your own vows and use the traditional vows from your religion or culture. Many couples these days opt to write their own personal vows that are more specific to their relationship. If you want to write your own vows but you’re struggling to find the words you can get some help! Ask a friend to help you edit your vows, hire a writer to help you put your feelings into words, or use a vow writing template.
2) How Long Should My Wedding Vows Be?
Your wedding vows should be about 1-2 minutes long. If you can sum everything up in less time, go for it. If you have a lot to say, maybe shoot for 3 minutes. We don’t recommend going past 5 minutes in length. Make sure you say them out loud a few times so you can time yourself. You want your vows to be long enough that you are expressing yourself well, but not so long that you’ll be getting anxious reading in front of everyone you know.
3) When Should I Start Writing My Vows? How Long Does It Take to Write Vows?
You should start writing your vows 2-3 months before your wedding. The longer in advance you start them, the more time you have to brainstorm ideas. You can start jotting down ideas as soon as they come to you. Then you’ll be able to piece together the ideas when you have time to sit down and focus on your vows. Try to have them finished by 3 weeks before your wedding. Make sure starting your vows and finishing your vows are included as you create your wedding planning timeline.
4) Where Should I Write My Vows?
A vow book isn’t just a gimmick, it’s a great idea so you have a place to jot down notes for your vows. Then, when you read them off in the ceremony the book will look nicer in your hand than a crumpled piece of paper or a cell phone. You could write your drafts anywhere though. Get started on your computer or phone if you prefer typing. Just make sure you have a nice book or piece of paper to read from on the big day.
5) Do We Need to Read Our Vows at the Ceremony? Or Can They Be Private?
It’s a good idea to exchange some sort of vows during your ceremony. If you’d like to exchange your personal vows privately, find an intimate space for you and your partner to speak before the wedding. Then, you could use pre-written traditional vows in front of your guests.
Wedding Vow Template: Elements to Include In Your Vows
Certain elements should be included in your vows. You can pretty much say anything you feel, but try to cover a few bases. Tell your spouse how much you love them, make some promises for your marriage, and include a story if you have time. Follow the guideline below to include everything you need for the perfect vows.
1) Introduction: How to Start Your Wedding Vows
Start your wedding vows with admiration. This is a great time to dote on your partner. Mention all the things you love the most about them. Explain how you’ve grown and improved from having them in your life. Anything you want to say to explain why you love your future spouse is perfect to include in your introduction.
2) Share a Short Story
3) Don’t Forget to Say “I Love You”
It seems obvious, but don’t forget to include “I love you” in your wedding vows! That’s the reason why you're getting married, after all.
4) Make Real Promises
Think about the traditional wedding vows: you’re promising to stick by your spouse through sickness and health. Your personalized vows don’t have to be quite as intense as “till death do us part” but they should include important promises to your new spouse. Let them know you promise to stick by them through thick and thin, that you won’t watch your favorite show without them, or anything else you want to include in your version of wedding vows.
5) Conclusion: How to End Wedding Vows
Finish your vows by looking to the future. Say how excited you are for your future home, the adventures you have planned, creating a family together, hanging out together for the rest of your lives, or anything else you are planning to do with your spouse now that you’re married.
Sample Wedding Vows: Get Inspiration For Your Vows
We created some sample wedding vows inspired by vows from real weddings. Choose the ideas that speak to you and adapt them to your own relationship.
1) Traditional Wedding Vows
- I promise to listen to your stories, to celebrate all of your accomplishments, to apologize to you when I need to, and to try to always be honest with you about how I’m feeling.
- When you need support, I will be there for you to lean on. When you need a friend, I will be your best friend. When you need encouragement, I will remind you how wonderful you are. When you want to try something new, I will encourage you. Every day. For the rest of my life.
- I promise to always be your biggest fan, cheerleader, and supporter. I promise to hold you through tears of sadness and joy. I promise to listen, be patient, and treat you with respect and kindness.
2) Funny Wedding Vows
- I promise to cheer for the Eagles for the rest of our days, to always remind you where you left your keys, to buy an extra snack for you every time I go into the convenience store, and to always share my fries.
- I hope to spend the rest of our lives having midnight snacks, watching trashy reality TV, and laughing at funny animal videos. I promise to always show you what I’m laughing at on my phone, be an annoying backseat driver, and eat all the leftovers I know you aren’t going to finish.
- I promise to always get things off of high shelves for you. I promise to hire a professional sometimes, even if I really want to try to fix it myself. I promise to unclog the tub, even though you are the only one of us with long hair.
3) Romantic Wedding Vows
- I knew we were meant to be together forever from the very first moment I saw you. You have become my companion, my best friend, and the love of my life. There's no one else I'd want to build a life with. I’m so thankful that I get to have you by my side, my love and my spouse, for eternity.
- You’ve helped me become the person I am proud to be today. You have always been so patient with me, even since we were young. You challenge me to be better and teach me new things. Every day I feel truly blessed to have you in my life. I love you eternally and I promise to remind you of that as often as I can.
- You make me laugh, you make me think, and above all, you make me happy. I promise to be your navigator, best friend, and partner in everything. I promise to honor, love, and cherish you through all life's adventures. Wherever we go, we'll go together.
4) Religious Wedding Vows
- Today, in the presence of our loved ones and the grace of God, I vow to love you unconditionally, just as Christ loves the Church. I promise to be your partner, your confidant, and your support through all of life's joys and challenges. I commit to upholding the sanctity of our marriage, as we become one in the eyes of God. I am so thankful that the Lord brought you to me and I will spend my life trying to be the best spouse to you that I possibly can be.
- I pledge to share my life with you in whatever way God has planned for us. For better, for worse, in sickness and in health, in joys and in sorrows, until death do we part—I promise you all of this and more with God's help to strengthen and guide me as your supportive spouse.
Our Top Tips: How to Write Wedding Vows
To round it out, here’s a few important tips to keep in mind while you’re writing your vows:
- Start writing early (a few months before the wedding).
- Write a few drafts.
- Don’t be afraid to be mushy/cheesy.
- Take inspiration from books, movies, songs, and more.
- Feel free to include bible verses and love quotes.
- Read a lot of examples from real weddings.
- Practice saying your vows out loud.
- Jot down ideas as they come to you.
- Let someone help you edit.
- Stay true to your personality.
Get Started Writing Your Marriage Vows Today!
Your vows are arguably the most important part of your wedding day. You’re going to have a fun reception, you can buy all the wedding decor you need, the food will be great, and your guests will be happy. Just remember the real reason you planned a wedding is to start your marriage with the person you love. Get started on your vows as soon as you can so you have plenty of time to brainstorm ideas, jot down notes, make edits, and practice saying them out loud.
Getting ready for the big day? Make sure everyone is ready with our guide to wedding party roles!