How to Write Your Wedding Vows

Writing your own vows is one of the best ways to personalize your wedding day! But writing your own vows is more difficult than it sounds. Where do I start? What should I say? How should I say it? How do I say it without crying?  Well, I can help you with the first 3 questions. You’re on your own for the last one. We failed at #4.

1. Have a Structure for Your Vows

There are two ways to go about writing your vows. If you and your spouse-to-be are open to reading/knowing them beforehand, you can decide together how you’d like your vows to sound. Choose a length! Anywhere from 10 sentences to 6 paragraphs. Choose a style – do you want to start with a story? Do you want all 10 sentences to begin with “I vow” or “I promise?” Do you want your promises to be free-form, but only two paragraphs in length?

middle beach lodge tofino wedding photos

The other alternative is keeping your vows private from your partner before the ceremony. Even if you’re choosing this option, you can still decide on a structure to aid in your writing. For example, you could decide to keep your vows around 250-300 words each but chose same 3-5 sentences to end your vows with.

I, ______, take you, ______, to be my husband/wife and I promise before God and these witnesses, to be your loving and faithful husband/wife. I will be by your side to share in your happiness and success, and to comfort you in sorrow and disappointment. As your husband/wife, I will seek to be open and honest with you, to forgive you as Christ has forgiven me, and to always remind you of the Lord’s promises, For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and health, I devote my love and my life to you from this day forward.

2. Make Your Vows Personal

Every wedding has a ceremony, every wedding has “Do you take this woman, do you take this man?” and every wedding has the exchange of rings. If you’ve chosen to write your own vows, you’re well on your way to personalizing your day. So use the opportunity to write from a heartfelt place. Ideas for small details to include in your vows:

– Your first impression of your partner
– Your favourite date and why it was your favourite
– The moment you knew you were in love
– The emotions you felt after the proposal
– Your partner’s favourite character traits
– What makes you excited about the future with your partner
– Why you are choosing your partner today
– Unique promises that are funny to you as a couple

3. Practice Your Vows Aloud

Writing beautiful vows is one thing – but if you’re tripping over words and sentences feel too “full” you’ll be uncomfortable reading them in front of a hundred guests. Print out your words and read them at least a couple of times. Do any sentences feel “too much?” You can probably cut out an adjective or two. Time them. Your vows shouldn’t be longer than 3-5 minutes, max. (Ours were on the longer side, but we loved them.)

Another helpful tip. If you’re keeping your vows a secret, have a trusted friend read both of them. If they aren’t a secret, well, just read them together. Ask her/him if the vows “flow” and are around the same length/structure.

4. Enjoy the Process

Lastly, enjoy writing your own vows. If you aren’t enjoying it and it’s causing you both extra wedding planning stress, it’s worth reconsidering. There’s nothing wrong with sticking to traditional vows. Your wedding day is about you. Not “what’s cool” or “what’s expected.” Be sure to have fun! Try setting a date night aside. Go to a coffee shop, order lattes and sit across from one another with your laptops for a couple of hours. If you don’t set a time, it won’t happen. And vows are worth your time.

Other Resources to Help You Write Your Wedding Vows

We found the following links very helpful while writing our vows:

Brock House Restaurant Wedding Photos

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  1. Kate Burzuk says:

    Thank you for this post. My fiancé and I have decided to write our own vows and I had no clue how to start. You have provided me with the first steps, I am grateful

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I’m Jamie! I capture joyful wedding and portrait photos that feel like you—through easy, natural posing. Since 2008,  I've photographed over 270 weddings and nearly 300 family sessions and it’s a joy to spend my career capturing natural, joyful images!

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