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How to Write Your Own Wedding Vows

How to Write Your Own Wedding Vows

More couples are choosing to make their wedding vows bespoke. Here's Speechy's guide to making them truly meaningful.

(*Of course, if you’re looking for more than ‘advice’, check out all the different ways the Speechy team can help you write & deliver a great speech. Or check out our new AI-powered team member, SpeechyAI.)

Wedding vows

Why Write Your Own?

Because, put simply, it’s more personal and shows you care, not just about your partner, but your guests too! Bespoke vows create a special moment for everyone listening.

Much of a wedding can feel like it’s inspired by the same Pinterest board, but the words at your wedding, add the heart and personality to the day. The wedding ceremony is an hour of the day that shouldn’t be overlooked!

Unlike the wedding speeches that come later in the day, the wedding vows are allowed to be full-throttle hardcore romantic (without all the speech etiquette or thank yous getting in the way).

It’s also the first opportunity for your wedding guests to get a sense of your relationship in action and future intentions. Like a real-life rom-com, it’s an opportunity for couples to inject their day with a good dose of dopamine from the get-go.

Get Inspired

Get a sense of what you want. Get googling wedding vow examples. Watch examples of wedding vows videos. Check out as many different types of vows as you can and note their style.

Are they romantic? Are they funny? Are they profound? Are they written entirely in Vulcan? Now decide which style suits you and your partner best.

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Vow to Work as a Team

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!

Agree

  • 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.

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Structure

The crucial thing to remember is that your vows should complement each other’s.

In terms of structure, there are lots of options to consider…

  • 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.)

Once you’ve found a style you both like, make sure you’re both signed up.

Wedding vows

How to be Sentimental (Without Being Cheesy)

Beyond all the irritating nonsense you make your poor partner put up with (honestly, pants on the bathroom floor? You should be ashamed of yourself), write a list of all the things you love about your partner. The smaller the better. Sure, it’s OK to mention that you love how smart and kind they are, but really dive down into the minutiae.

Do you love how their nose wrinkles when they laugh? Do you love how they send you every Llama-related meme they come across? Do you love how they pretend to listen to Pink Floyd, but really Justin Bieber is top of all their Spotify playlists?

All these things tell your partner that you’re listening and you’re paying attention, all without feeling like you’ve just googled ‘Romantic guff to say at weddings’.

Of course, sometimes it really is hard to articulate the enormity of love and the depth of your feelings. Using quotes is a great way of utilising the minds of fantastic writers and philosophical thinkers without resorting to plagiarism. Check out our selection of Wedding Vow Quotes.

How Long Should Vows Be?

As the old saying goes “It’s not the size, it’s what you do with it”. Wedding vows are intended to be short, preferably a minute or two each. The anecdotes from your life will come later in the speeches, so keep the vows relatively concise.

A few sweet vows will not only be more memorable for your partner but also more enjoyable for your guests. The art is to keep everyone genuinely engaged instead of looking at their watches thinking “Why are they talking like Keats and what time does the bar open?”.

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.

Wedding vows

A Serious Commitment Can Also Be Sweet

Despite being about love and commitment, your vows don’t need to be stuffy, formal or gushing. Most couples in their day-to-day lives don’t talk like Wordsworth, so there’s no need to pretend to be like that now.

Be truthful, be specific, and avoid all the generic love cliches.

Saying “I stand before you today with a simple promise, a promise to stop eating soup so loudly” is infinitely more fun (and personal) than saying “Our love is like a gentle dove resting on the tender limb of a wandering willow”.

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.

For example…

  • 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.

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.

The Speechwriting Experts

The Speechy team are TV-trained scriptwriters/comedians by trade & we’ve helped 1,000s of speakers around the world deliver their dream speech.

Our advice has been quoted everywhere from The New York Times to Grazia and from Forbes to The Observer. Our founder has also featured on the BBC Sounds’ Best Men podcast with Jason Manford and written ‘The Modern Couple’s Guide to Wedding Speeches’, published by Little, Brown.

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