Planning a wedding can be quite a stressful task. There’s the venue, the dress, the caterers, and a million other little and big decisions that can make your big day feel majorly overwhelming. And even after all of the official planning is complete, there’s still the question of the vows. Writing your own wedding vows is no easy feat (major props if you opt to do so!), since it’s challenging to sum up your entire relationship in a few short paragraphs. So much love, so little time to say everything you want to.
If you’re stressed out about how to write the perfect wedding vows, take a deep breath. According to wedding planner Jesse Reing of Events by Jesse, the most important thing is to be sincere. “The way to make [your vows] unique to yourselves is to make them in a way that is personal and special to you as a couple,” Reing told POPSUGAR.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, keep reading: we’ve reached out to wedding pros to gather the 411 on writing your own wedding vows. Just relax, grab a pen and paper, and get to work!
How Do You Write Wedding Vows?
The tip to focus on being sincere in your vows is a great place to start, but if you’re not quite sure how to translate your sincere feelings into actual vows, no need to stress. These simple tips will help ensure that your vows are sincere, memorable, and expressive of all the love you have for your partner. Here are some things to focus on when putting together your vows:
Keep it short and sweet.
According to celebrity wedding and event planner David Tutera, three to four minutes in length is the “sweet spot” for wedding vows. Otherwise, you risk the chance of losing people’s attention in the midst of your wedding ceremony. “If you’re having trouble shortening your vows after writing them, I recommend saving a part of it to share with your partner after the ceremony,” he told POPSUGAR. This sweet idea allows you to publicly express your feelings during the ceremony as well as have a private, intimate moment to share your love when it’s just the two of you.
Write from the heart.
When writing your vows, try not to overthink things; instead, focus on showcasing your love and devotion to your partner. “This is not a time to be guarded or to think too hard,” explained Laura Maddox of Magnolia Celebrates. After all, Maddox said, “These vows are meant to express your love and devotion to each other.”
Don’t forget to include actual vows.
It turns out, not including actual vows in your wedding vows is a pretty common mistake, according to Katelyn Peterson of Wedding Words, a wedding-vow and speech-writing service. That being said, be sure to include three to six specific promises in your vows. Peterson told POPSUGAR that, without them, “your vows turn into a love letter” — and yes, there is a clear distinction between the two!
Keep it light.
There’s no need to get overly formal with your wedding vows. Instead, think of them as an extension of your personality. “The writing tone should mirror your own voice,” Peterson told POPSUGAR. Think of it this way: if you have a playful and humorous personality, you’ll want to highlight that while also showcasing the sweetness and sentimentality of your vows.
Practice makes perfect!
Congrats: you’ve officially written your vows! Now, it’s time to prep ahead of the big day. According to Tutera, the old adage that practice makes perfect is absolutely true with wedding vows. This includes reading your wedding vows aloud to yourself, a trusted family member, a friend, or a loved one. According to Tutera, practicing your vows out loud can help increase your confidence leading up to the wedding ceremony since you’ll feel more comfortable and secure in what you’re trying to convey.
Still feeling stuck? Read on for a step-by-step outline, complete with examples, for extra inspiration.
Think back to the beginning of your relationship.
“A great way to start your vows is by flashing back to a pivotal moment in your relationship,” Peterson said. Once you’ve narrowed it down to one specific moment, describe it in a few sentences before tying it back to your wedding day — we love a full-circle moment! Consider the following example courtesy of Peterson:
“How could I have known that the beautiful woman I asked to borrow a number two pencil from during an SAT prep course would be the same woman that I’d one day ask to be my wife? I’m grateful you said yes all those years ago . . . and I’m grateful you are saying yes to forever with me now.”
Sprinkle in some detail.
Now that you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to add some detail. Include specific reasons — anecdotes are welcome, too! — that you value and admire your partner and your relationship.
“Your kindness and selflessness are evident every morning when you wake up extra early to make me breakfast and coffee without even asking.”
“I admire how strongly you value communication, so much so that you won’t stop chatting when I’m trying to sleep.”
List your vows.
Remember, wedding vows require actual vows. Per Peterson, try to aim for three to six of them. Instead of starting with “I vow to . . . ,” you can also begin with “I promise to . . . .”
“I promise to always kiss you good morning and goodnight.”
“I promise to stand by your side through thick and thin.”
Talk about your future hopes and dreams.
This part will require you to think about your wishes for the future and share them out loud.
“The world is ours for the taking, and I can’t wait to experience it all together.”
“I can’t wait to grow old with you.”
“I’m so excited to start a family with you.”
End with a bang.
Wrap up your wedding vows with a romantic last line that displays your love and commitment for your partner.
“Till death do us part.”
“Forever and always.”
“I love you more and more each day, and will continue to do so forever.”