Ultimately, when it comes to writing your wedding vows, there are no hard and fast rules. It’s your wedding day, so you get to choose whether you want to go the traditional route or come up with something completely unique. That said, your wedding vows are super important – the most important part of the ceremony (no pressure!) – so if you’re not sure where to begin, we have five tips to help you get started:
1. Research, research, research. Ask friends and family members about their wedding vows, and search the internet. If you do a web search for how to write your wedding vows, your results will show tons of useful tips, tricks, vow templates and real vow exchanges from brides and grooms. There will be a lot of information to sift through. Some of it will speak to you, and some of it won’t, but you’ll want to read through as much as you can until you get an idea of how you and your partner want to approach your vows in a way that’s right for the both of you.
2. Carry a notebook around with you for a few months, and jot down all the things you love about your partner and other useful notes as they come to you. Write down the things that make him or her special; all the funny quirks and moments that make your partnership unique. You won’t be including all your notes in your final vows, but they’ll come in handy and help inspire you when you’re coming up with ideas later on.
3. Choose a vow format and structure you both like. That way, even if you decide to wait until the ceremony to show each other your vows, you’ll both be on the same page. Besides, choosing a vow structure will help you write them because you have a framework to work within.
4. Make sure your vows are genuine and represent your relationship. Your wedding ceremony is really all about your promises to one another, so you want to make sure the vows you exchange are true to you, and that they embody and speak honestly about your partnership. So even if you blatantly copy one of the many hundreds of vow templates that are out there, it’s totally fine – even great! – just so long as they are meaningful to you. For help with this step, reference tip #2.
5. Try to keep your vows short and simple. Although you may be tempted to gush on and on about your partner for hours, you’ll want to keep your vows brief and interesting so they’re memorable for you and your guests. Chances are, if you’re following tip #4, your partner (and your guests) will connect with your words naturally. Just make sure every line counts, and don’t be afraid to incorporate a little humor to lighten the intensity so your guests can wipe their eyes and catch their breath between their happy tears.
For more tips to help you plan your big day, visit our Tips & Etiquette section.