How to Write Your Wedding Vows
It’s getting increasingly popular to write your own wedding vows and I can certainly see why. It’s the perfect opportunity to make those all-important promises to each other in front of your nearest and dearest and these declarations are going to be different from couple to couple so why not put your own stamp on it? We did this at our wedding back in 2015 and I’m so glad we did.
A Joint Effort
A lot of couples separately write their vows and don’t know what the other is going to say until the big day and this is totally fine. You have to go with what feels right for you, but let me offer an alternative approach.
How about using the process of writing your wedding vows as the ideal opportunity to talk about your values and what you expect from each other throughout your married life?
So often during wedding planning there is endless chat about colour schemes and catering choices yet couples spend very little time actually planning for a marriage. In my Bridal Coaching mission this is something I’d like to see change.
Take yourself off together for an afternoon and start by each writing down your personal values and then what you think your joint values as a couple are. Write down what things you value in your partner. Strangely this isn’t something we give much thought to on a day to day basis. Tap into that gratitude you have towards your partner. What do they do that makes you happy? How do they make you smile? What parts of their personality mean the most to you? Then stop and compare notes.
At this point you’re not concerned with the actual words and how they flow. You’re simply creating the theme of the vows. The bonus of doing it together as a joint exercise means that they will complement each other and work well together. How awkward would it be if your vows were a gush of intense emotion and your partner’s vows were a rhyming haiku with a comedy twist! It’s nice to be on the same page.
You may decide to do the above exercise and then go away and write your vows separately and this can work really well.
Use Google With Caution
The temptation is to hit google, or Pinterest, in the search of wedding vow inspo. I did this as well and it’s a natural place to start but it can also lead you to mimic what you’ve seen elsewhere. These promises you’re making to each other are personal to you. I would get at least something down on paper before you start looking externally for guidance as it’s simply too easy to copy what others have done.
There are some truly beautiful wedding vows that people have posted online so you may find that you stumble across some of these gems and then look at what you’ve drafted and think that yours are shoddy in comparison. Let me tell you, this is 100% definitely not the case. Ok, maybe they don’t have the poetic flare of others (or maybe they do) but as long as they come from the heart that’s the main thing.
Write for YOU and not Your Guests
Like all things wedding related that nagging worry of ‘what will people think?’ is often in your mind. Lots of wedding decisions are made with the intention to please or impress your guests. This is something else I help brides steer away from as it’s so important that the details of your wedding are right for you as a couple. This is especially true when it comes to those all-important vows.
Take note of what your thought process is when writing your vows. Are you finding yourself thinking, ‘my single best friend is going to think that is soooo OTT and cringe’ or are you thinking of what the vows mean to YOU and your partner? I would really urge you to focus on the latter. Who cares if people think it’s a bit cheesy! Your vows are important to you and the person you’re marrying and that’s all that matters. If there is one time where you have permission to get a bit D & M then this is it!
You can also bet your bottom dollar that if the vows mean something to you, and come from the heart, then your guests will love them too and this is an added bonus.
How to Deliver Your Vows
Once you’ve got your vows nailed you then have to decide whether you learn by heart or read them. This is a tricky decision and one I pondered for a while ahead of my wedding day.
Like anything, there are pros and cons to both. Reading from card when nervous can result in shaky hands but then nerves can give rise to temporary amnesia. For us, forgetting the vows was more scary than a slight quiver of the hands so we read them.
We made sure we had practised lots so pretty much knew them word for word but it was nice having a prompt and the security that the words were there if either of us got struck down with a memory blank.
TIP: Write out the vows on sturdy card rather than a crumpled bit of paper. Any nervous shakes are less likely to show if you have a strong piece of card and it looks better for the photos.
Above all, make sure those vows are sprinkled with love and delivered in a heartfelt way that truly means something to you both. Make sure they capture your values and have a hint of your personality too. There is no right or wrong. Use it as an opportunity to really come together as a couple, if that’s how you want to do it. Give yourself enough time to write them, let them sink in and revisit – so no leaving it to the night before!
I hope that when you have those vows nailed you feel happy with them and excited to deliver them to each other in front of those you love.
If you need some more help ahead of the big day read some tips for the final countdown and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like a last minute bridal coaching session to speak about vows or anything else that’s on your mind ahead of the big day. I would love nothing more than to help you have the most amazing day and wedding build up that you truly deserve!