How To Write Unforgettable Personal Wedding Vows
Updated: Apr 2, 2021
Personal wedding vows shared with Zac's daughter- (Emma & Zac March 2021)
So, your partner has suggested it might be a good idea to write your own wedding vows and at first, you think: This is such a great idea!
But then, you have to actually write them...
"Till death do us part", simply isn’t going to cut it, unless you're Shakespeare, romantic prose may not be sitting on the tip of your tongue (or your pen).
So what do you do?
First things first... it’s best to set the tone with your fiancé and see what they had in mind. Are you going for light-hearted and funny? Or more heart-melting and romantic? Will you be writing them together? Or surprising one another with them on the wedding day? (most romantic option, just quietly) If you need a third party to look at each of your vows and suggest some changes so that they align a little bit better, (to avoid one of you joking around while the other is more serious and traditional) you could ask your celebrant to read each of your vows and give a few tips.
I'm more than happy to help you out here, at no extra charge. I may have had some experience here and absolutely love helping couples make their special day as memorable as possible.
Here are my top tips to help you get the creative juices flowing and help you write unforgettable wedding vows:
1. Start Early
This is the most important tip, because rushed vows will not work for anyone. You will need time to dedicate to this, even if it's just 10 minutes here or there over a few weeks, so you can capture the essence of what you want to say in an eloquent way.
Please don’t risk leaving your vows to the last minute unless you are incredibly creative and very confident!
2. Read A Lot
Stephen King's advice to all budding writers: Read a lot and write a lot.
Any writer will tell you that reading helps you unlock a world of possibilities when it comes to writing your own pieces, in this case vows. If you are religious, read the traditional vows and see if anything resonates with you. But if you're non-religious, feel free to flip through some bridal magazines, and use the words that pop out for you. And if your partner has a favourite author or movie they love, you can use some language from there to really personalise it for them.
3. Make Notes
As you read or inspiration strikes, take notes somewhere safe so you know where to find them when the time comes to write. Ask yourself questions about your partner and your relationship, like when did you realise you were in love with them? Why did you decide to get married and what you see your future together looking like. Write down the answers to all of these questions, and others that pop into your mind, and then you've already created the bones of your vows.
4. Visit Memory Lane
While you're in the note taking phase, take some time to think back to how you first felt when you met your partner and what it was about them that was so attractive to you. It could be the way they had a ready smile, or that they always took the time to see how you were doing, or knew when you were having a bad day without you having to communicate it and knew how to make you feel better. These are the things about your relationship that are unique and putting them into your vows will make them unlike any others.
5. Think About Commitments You Want To Make
Making promises is the core of what vows are all about, so you can think in broad terms or more personally with what you want to say to your partner. Things like ‘I will always love and support you’ fall into the broad category, while ‘I promise to always offer you a bite of my dessert’ falls into the latter and will often mean the most to your partner. You'll hit the jackpot if you can find a good balance between broad promises and personalised ones.
6. Get Writing
With your notes on hand and some promises in mind, you can start writing. Don’t be fixated on getting it right the first time. Because you've allowed enough time, (you followed tip one didn’t you?) you'll have the ability to revisit this draft and make changes until it flows the way you want it to. You can write your vows in a narrative style, starting with when you first met, when you fell in love and what you envisage for your future together. Or you can express your love, tell your partner what you love most about them, make your promises and finish off with your broad vows.
7. Steer Clear Of Clichés
Avoid clichés like the plague. While you've read far and wide and drawn inspiration from all over the place, make sure your vows are written in your own style and sound like something you would say. If you read your draft and see clichés screaming out at you, rethink of ways to convey the same message in words you would use every day.
If you go through your draft and find that it’s too long, or you've repeated yourself a couple of times, get the metaphorical scissors out and cut, cut, cut. Hold on tight to the bits that flow nicely and best communicate what you want to say and take out or rework everything that doesn’t. If you have to do this a few times over a few weeks, not to worry, you'll end up with much more succinct vows that truly express how you feel by the end of it. There are no hard and fast rules, but try not to let your vows run for more than two minutes. If you are really stuck with how to improve or what to lose if you need to shorten them, ask a close friend for help.
9. Read Them Out Loud
It might feel like practicing for a school assessment all over again, but there are a lot of benefits to physically reading your vows out. It'll give you an idea on how much time you'll need to deliver them and also help you to gauge the flow of what you've written. If you can’t wrap your tongue around a particular sentence, or it doesn’t sound quite right, you'll know straight away and can make the appropriate changes.
Rehearsing your vows out loud is also a wonderful way of measuring just how emotional you might become mid-vows and how many hankies you should be packing on your special day.
Click here for some more inspiration...
My Top 20 Romantic, Non-religious Wedding Readings: https://www.tedjohnson.com.au/post/20-romantic-non-religious-wedding-readings-for-your-ceremony
I hope this has been super helpful! Wishing the very best with crafting some truly unforgettable wedding vows.
I’m here to help you save money, inspire you with new ideas, and to help make your special day as fun, as unique and as safe, but, most importantly, as memorable as possible.
Registered Marriage Celebrant - Brisbane (A20981)
Phone: 0412 185 601