Why Write Your Own Vows?
In short, the ‘traditional’ official wording might just not be right for you. Each couple is entirely unique, and your wedding vows should reflect that.
Bespoke wedding vows ensure your promises are much more personal, and the overall ceremony can better reflect your personality and relationship.
We’re slightly biased but from our POV, picking the standard wedding words is like sending a text to your partner starting “Dear Sir/Madam”.
At the risk of sounding like a maths teacher trying to be cool, there are no rules, yeah?
Structure your vows however you like….
- You can read your vows one after the other
- Or, you can split them up into sections and read alternate bits each
- You can make every line a genuine promise e.g. ‘I vow to…’
- Or, you can recap your relationship and why it’s so meaningful to you
- You can dream about your future life together
- Or, you can explain why this moment is so darn incredible
- You can make your vows poetic
- Or, you can turn your vows into an expressive dance. (Well, you can, but obviously don’t. That would be hideous.)
The great thing about personalising your vows is you can make them into whatever you want them to be. Start by reading examples of wedding vows, and see what suits you and your partner. But don’t just limit yourself to reading other people’s vows, read excerpts from you and your partner’s favourite books, authors, or philosophers.
Once you’ve found a style you both like, sign up to it jointly.
Obviously, keep the details private and the specific loving lines a surprise to deliver on the day, but the key to writing your own wedding vows is that you actually work as a team. Your individual vows need to complement your partners. It always surprises us how often couples decide to write their wedding vows but assume they can’t discuss them in advance. You must!
- a length
- a style (loving, sweet, slightly unhumorous even? You don’t want one of you playing for laughs and the other delivering a modern-day sonnet)
- basic content plan (for example, will one of you be recapping your past, another of you planning your future)
Once you’ve agreed on the fundamentals, you can both then, hide away in your respective cupboards secretly writing your vows.
Meaningful, not clichéd
If you’re going to the effort of writing your own vows, make sure you resist the usual clichés that many couples resort to. You don’t want to sound like you’re reciting a Pinterest board. Most of those ‘love quotes’ are now so ubiquitous, they’re simply white noise.
This is the sort of meaningless quotes you want to avoid…
- ‘Nothing truly ever made sense until you came into my life.’
- ‘You are everything that I never knew I wanted in this life.’
- ‘I’m much more ‘me’ when I’m with you.’
- ‘Love isn’t easy. There are no guarantees. But if you’re willing to do this with me, then I promise you that I’ll hold your hand and love you forever.’
Yes, they may feel relevant to your relationship but they are relevant to nearly every relationship!
Instead, look at the reality and the unique characteristics of your bond.
- I have grown to love the lingering smell of cumin in your hair because I love the spice you add to my life
- I hope that all my future trips to the supermarket take over two hours, because you’re there, getting distracted by the middle aisle, wanting to buy a paddling pool and some novelty slippers.
- I promise, whenever you come home miserable after another football defeat, I’ll put on The Killers and force you to dance around the kitchen with me
- I vow never to watch an episode of The Mandalorian without you cuddling in beside me on the sofa
You get the idea.
Make it specific. Make it true. Make it meaningful.
Sweet, not sickly
Start by listing all the things you love about your partner, now throw all of that in the bin and start writing a list of all the small things you love about your partner….How they snort when they laugh. How they leave little notes around the house for you. How they use their baby-voice to talk to the dog. How it starts to rain and he says “It wasn’t over. It still isn’t over,” and you kiss and he carries you back to… wait, that’s Ryan Gosling in ‘The Notebook’.
The moral here is that the everyday romance is often sweeter than the big moments and gestures.
Of course, if you want your vows to make your guests smile, think about how to add some humour.
One idea is to pinpoint some of your relationship weaknesses. It’s no coincidence that almost all comedians talk about their flaws, so find yours and weave them into your vows.
Do you put half-empty food packages back in the cupboard? Do you spend too long on Instagram? Well, make small, silly promises that actually relate to you and your foibles. It’s fun, it’s charming, and again, it makes your vows REAL.
Much like the structure, there’s no strict rule but, as a rough guide, your individual vows can be anything between 45 seconds and three minutes long depending on what style you’ve opted for.
Remember, if you have a lot to say, save some for your speech.
Your vows are not the time to thank your guests for example.
If In Doubt, Consider A Killer Quote
The use of quotes can be incredibly helpful in getting your message across, as authors are often able to put into words exactly how you feel in a succinct and profound way.
Check out our Love Quotes for Gay Grooms for immediate inspo.
Still Struggling? Call in The Professionals
We offer a Bespoke Wedding Vows Service where a dedicated writer works with you to create your perfect vows.