How To Write Your Perfect Wedding Vows
There are no words as sacred and important as your wedding vows. These sentimental and meaningful words are spoken in front of friends and family and might be recorded on video for future generations to witness. They are your heart's truest expression of love to the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. They have to be perfect.
It is no wonder most couples feel immense pressure when writing wedding vows. Unfortunately, it is also why it's easy to leave it to the last minute.
You have probably scrolled through countless galleries looking for your wedding photographer if you are getting married. And you've probably seen shots of grooms writing their wedding vows on the day. While occasionally this is a mock-up for the album, more often than not, he's really writing them while the bride gets her hair and make-up done. While some people create their best work under pressure, it's not the case for most. So make sure you write those words of love at least two weeks before the big day.
To help couples who have "write the vows" on their long list of things to do before the wedding, we've created a guide to writing your perfect wedding vows.
Before you even get the pen in your hand, you need to understand what wedding vows are.
What are wedding vows?
In basic terms, wedding vows are the couple's promises to each other during the wedding ceremony. Regardless of religious or spiritual beliefs, you are promising to be lifelong partners who will love and care for each other always. Traditional vows might use the words "love, honor, protect and cherish," while modern wedding vows might be more informal or even humorous.
Usually, the vows happen after an introduction and are followed by the ring exchange, signing of the certificate, pronouncement of marriage and the kiss, which you've all seen in the movies so many times. Of course, there are many variations to how the ceremony is conducted, but the vows are almost always an emotional highlight of the proceedings.
So now you know what vows are, you can follow our ten steps to writing the perfect wedding vows.
1: Planning The Vows
Talk to your partner about how long your vows will be. It is most romantic if you keep your vows private from each other until you reach the altar so discuss length, but not content. If one of you has short vows and the other has a long declaration of love, it could seem imbalanced or even awkward. You don't need to write the exact same number of words but aim for 15-20 sentences, for example. This is also important if you are having a wedding video.
2: Writing The Draft Vows
Your first writing session can be making notes and writing ideas that come to mind. Don't spend too much time thinking about the details, but instead get some words on paper as a starting point. Don't get in your head about who will be hearing these words, rather write them as if it was a love letter that only your partner would be reading.
Make your vows intimate, sentimental and loving and don't shy away from a little humor if it suits the nature of your relationship. Some laughter can also be a wonderful stress release and give you a moment to compose yourself as the guests giggle then settle down.After this step, take a break for a few days or even weeks to return to the vows refreshed and ready for the next writing round.
3: Writing The Second Version
It is time to craft your words into a more cohesive format that reads well and expresses what you want to say fully. Your vows can include why you love your person so much and the qualities and personality traits you adore about them most. You can also mention how they enhance your life and why they make you happy. Finally, your intentions should be expressed. This is the promise part and covers what you intend to give to the relationship.Again, take a break before the next step.
4: Considering Your Audience
Your wedding vows are for and to each other. They should be focused on your love, hopes, wishes and promises to each other. But some consideration should also be given to your audience. Particularly, the family should be considered. For example, if you know your parents or future in-laws are especially traditional or religious, you might like to incorporate an acknowledgment of that into your vows.
5: Finalizing Your Vows
You have created and crafted your wedding vows and now it's time to polish them to perfection. Run your vows through a grammar check program and look for ways to edit and improve their readability.
6: Practicing Your Vows
Next, you need to practice your vows by reading them out loud. This is a step many brides and grooms never make. This will help you gain confidence on the wedding day and also let you identify any parts of the wording that doesn't flow well. The more you rehearse your vows, the more confident you will become. You can even record yourself speaking and play it back to get a fresh perspective of how they sound.At this stage, you can consider if you wish to memorize your vows, read them from a device or paper or just have to trigger your memory.
7: Checking Your Words
Run your vows by someone whose opinion you value to get some feedback. It might be a parent, friend, or someone in your bridal party. Take on board their comments and adjust your vows if you feel necessary.
8: Sending The Vows To Your Officiant
Now it's time to send your vows to your minister, celebrant or officiant. Let them know if you would like their feedback. It is nice for them to know what you will say as it may affect their introduction.
9: Making It Pretty
Present your vows in nice books with chiffon ribbons and calligraphy font to impress your wedding photographer and videography and add another layer of prettiness to the day.
10: Saying The Vows
For the bride, when it's time to say your vows, you may pass your bouquet to the person sitting nearest you or to your closest bridal party member.
Traditionally the groom will say his vows first, but modern couples may choose for the bride to go first. Either way, if you are using a microphone, hold it firmly but not too close to your face. This will avoid feedback and help your photographer get nicer photos. Take your time and if you get emotional and need to pause, it is fine. Your officiant will guide you as you compose yourself. Remember, a few tears are great for the photos, so don't worry if you cry.