10 step guide to writing your own wedding vows (top tip – don’t leave it till the last minute!)

10 step guide to writing your own wedding vows (top tip – don’t leave it till the last minute!)

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Spotlight Ceremonies

10 Step guide to writing your own wedding vows

Spotlight Ceremonies

10 step guide to writing your own wedding vows

With planning a wedding, you can feel like you’re at 100% for weeks, if not months before the wedding, especially if you’re working full time and/or have a family to look after. Everything demands your attention, people need answers, and quick, and so the task of writing your vows slips down your priority list.

I’ll write them soon, how difficult can it be?”

However, your wedding, your union, your marriage, is started by these vows. How often, as a couple, do you make such sincere promises to each other? And in front of other people?

They’re kinda a big deal. And an utterly wonderful moment.

Here are my top tips to writing your own vows that you look back on and you’re proud of. You won’t feel regret, and in years to come, when you re-read them on an anniversary, they will still ring true.

1)      Discuss with your partner about the tone you are planning to strike. You’re more than likely to already be on the same page (you have already planned most of the wedding together after all!) but vows are not the moment to surprise your partner with an unexpected joke. If you both have light-hearted moments then that’s fine.

2)      Set some time and space aside. Plan half a day where you have some alone time. If you’re house is busy, go to a coffee shop or a park – it may be busy, but there will be fewer demands!

3)      Get in the mood. Writing vows in a bad mood, on a hungry belly, or after a stressful night shift will not be easy. Before putting pen to paper, make yourself a drink, get yourself a piece of cake, and do anything that makes you feel good (incidentally this ‘me’ time is why I suggest a whole half day for the writing!).

4)      Reflect on why you love your partner. Remember that this is the time in the ceremony where you can talk. They are your words to your partner. They are special. As such, before jumping straight in with the promises, you might want to take a moment to tell your partner why you are marrying them: what they mean to you and why you love them. This sets the vows up nicely.

5)      Brainstorm what marriage means to you. By marrying your partner, what are you promising to do? Think about what essential things HAVE to happen if you are going to make your marriage work, because there will be days when it is more difficult. These ideas should develop to become your vows.

6)      Write each promise/vow as a separate bullet point. Some may be concise and precise (as my science teacher Mrs Fox always used to say – although she was talking about writing up science experiments, and not wedding vows), but some may be more developed.

7)      Proof read for a) repetition, b) sentence length and c) range of vocabulary. Are any of your vows essentially the same? If so, take one out and redraft the one you’ve left! B) and C) concern style and will enable the listener (your partner!) to more easily follow what you are saying. Aim for a range of sentence lengths and variety of vocabulary.

8)      Read your vows out loud. Do they feel meaningful to you? Are you expressing everything you want?

9)      Once you are happy, ask your Celebrant to read both of your vows. Your Celebrant will be able to confirm that your vows work well together – for example, you don’t want one person’s lasting for 5 minutes, and the other just saying two sentences.

10)   Before your wedding day, practice reading your vows out loud again and again. If you’re a cry-er, this may well be the moment your eyes start to brim with tears and the text in front gets all blurry! If you have practised, a bit of blurriness won’t faze you!