Planning 101 26th August 2015

How To Write Your Own Wedding Vows

So you've decided to write your own weddings vows. Daunting huh? It needn't be! Instead try and think of this as a once in a lifetime oppertunity to to tell your beloved why you love him/her, what makes them the most special person in the world to you, and share that with all of your family and friends without them rolling their eyes and telling you to get a room!

But as much as you may want to do this, actually knowing where to start can be pretty tricky. So today we're going to attempt to give you a bit of guidance with a step by step guide to writing your wedding vows.

Note: we CANNOT and WILL NOT write them for you! It's gotta come from heart baby! 

1. Firstly, consult your registrar or minister to find out what will have already been said in the ceremony, or if there are any phrases or words you must include in your vows. Often you'll get free reign to promise what you like to each other, but it's worth checking you won't be repeating any of the official bits.

2. Next, read LOADS of examples online to get a feel for the flow and get a bit of inspiration. There are SO many. Just don't be tempted to copy somebody elses, it will sound fake.

3. Secondly, it's a good idea to start by answering this questions about your other half. It will help you start to build and shape some words you'd like share in your vows.

  • The one undeniable thing about your partner that makes you love them beyond a shadow of a doubt.
  • What is the absolute best thing about the person you’re marrying? We're talking qualities here; are they patient? passionate? fiesty? 
  • How did you know you wanted to marry them?
  • How did you know when you fell in love with them? 
  • What is your best shared memory?
  • What will change when you are married? What will stay the same?
  • How do you picture your lives together in 10, 20 and 50 years?
  • What are your shared dreams?
  • Most importantly – what promises and commitments are you making to your spouse by marrying them? This is the most important, because this is the crux of a vow, by definition!

4. Get on the same page. You need to discuss a basic outline of your vows with your other half to check you're on the same page. It'd be kind of awkward if one of you made it all super gooey and the other one made it funny. Or if your vows last 3 minutes and theirs only 25 seconds. You don't need to divulge the full contents of what you've got in mind, but agreeing a rough outline of the structure and length will help you both keep on track. As a guide, most people do vows which last between 1 and 2 minutes. If you think you're going to be crying, aim for the shorter.

5. Strike a balance. It's not all about saying how much you love each other... vows are promises. Decide on maybe 4 main promises, each of which can then be developed to include personal sentiments and anicdotes. For example, "I promise to be patient, understanding and always supportive of you and of our marriage. I'm forever grateful of your patience and understanding and unrelenting support for me; it's one of the many reasons why our love is so strong.". Slipping the occasional bit of humour in there can work nicely and be really cute, but keep it light hearted - "I promise to be patient and understanding, even when you get too competitive and throw a stop whilst playing scrabble."

6. Practice makes perfect. Road test your vows to a few of your friends. They'll be able to help you refine them, and just saying them out loud many, many times will help you get them straight in your head. It will also help with your nerves on the day if you're well practiced! 

7. Write them down! Not just on a scrap piece of paper, or on the back of a beer mat, but on beautiful card. Having them printed may make them easier to read, but having them hand written may be more special. Whichever you decide remember to actually take them to the wedding, and remember to ask a bridesmaid them to collect them up afterwards. After all, they are THE most important part of your wedding - you'll probably want to keep them safe!