Writing wedding vows

For some people, writing your wedding vows can be a daunting task. How do you put all of your thoughts, feelings, memories and hopes for the future into just a few lines? How do you remember all of that and say it right with all those people watching? It’s that one moment during your wedding day when all eyes are on you, but you will be purely focused on your partner. You will want to get your vows right!
But don’t worry, I’m here to help! Following these steps will help you write the perfect wedding vows.

1. Inspiration
What does ‘Everything I do, I do it for you’ and ‘I can’t help, falling in love with you’ have in common? Well, they are both lyrics from songs. Music is a fantastic place to start when writing your vows. Put your favourite type of music on and relax. There may be some cracking lines from your favourite songs together that you can incorporate or take inspiration from for your vows.
Also, ask your wedding celebrant for some advice. Your celebrant will have met with you, talk to you and should have a good understanding of how you operate and your approach to the wedding planning from the answers you have given when chatting together. They will be full of words of wisdom to get you started with the vows and remember, we write content like this for a living.

2. Decide on the tone you’re both going for, for your vows.
It is a good idea to speak to your fiancé before starting to write your vows. Decide whether you would like the same vows or whether you would like your own. It’s also a good idea to agree on length if you are writing your own separate vows so it’s a nice even balance on the day. You don’t want one of you to feel bad if the other has written a novel!
Finally, it may be worth deciding whether you are going to keep the vows as a surprise or share them with each other before. As a celebrant, I love surprise vows!

3. Story telling
Now is your chance to become the creative writer you’ve always dreamt of being! Get your notebook out and jot down things about your story.
You may have already met your celebrant so will have answered lots of questions about you as a couple. Thinking back to these answers is a great place to start.
Here are some ideas to get your started writing your vows. Of course, you don’t need to answer all of these questions, but they may help get your creative juices flowing!
• Why did you decide to get married?
• What hard times have you gone through together?
• What have you supported each other through?
• What challenges do you envision in your future?
• What do you want to accomplish together?
• What makes your relationship tick?
• What did you think when you first saw your fiancé?
• When did you realise you were in love?
• What do you most respect about your partner?
• How has your life gotten better since meeting your partner?
• What about them inspires you?
• What do you miss most about them when you’re apart?
• What qualities do you most admire in each other?

4. Draft it out.
Now you have some ideas for content, it’s time to shape your vows.
Perhaps think about mapping it out in the following way:
• Affirm your love
• Memories
• Praise your partner
• Offer promises
• Close with a final vow

And get creative! Think outside the box. Don’t edit yourself, just let your writing flow happen – it’s easier to cut your writing than try to think of more. Think what makes you two unique? There’s no other couple out there like you, make the most of this!!

5. Timing
Once you have your first draft, consider how long you’d like them to be. I think 1 or 2 minutes is a good length but it’s entirely up to you as a couple. There’s usually enough opportunity in a 2 minute vow reading to express your love and have your loved ones who are listening to the beautiful words, get their tissues out!

6. Read them aloud
Practice, practice, practice!! This will not only help you feel comfortable with the word, help you remember some of it but it’ll help you get used to the content and stop you getting too emotional (this was not the case at my own wedding though!). Read your wedding vows aloud to get a true sense of how they sound. Keep to a steady pace and take deep breaths before if you think you’ll be nervous on the day. Practice in front of friends or family before your big day as this will help you get used to an audience and also give you the opportunity to make any tweaks and think about the flow of the sentences.

You can do it! This is one of my (and the guests) favorite parts of the ceremony as it allows the couple to individually put their stamp on their ceremony. Remember, your celebrant is always there to support you through writing your wedding vows, so just pop a message over to them if you get stuck!