From Heart and Soul, to Have and to Hold: Tips and Tricks to Writing Your Wedding Vows.
Have you been giving some thought to penning your own vows to speak to your beloved on your wedding day?
Whilst it can seem like an overwhelming venture and you might find doubt creeping in as to your capabilities, I’m here to assure you that you’re more than capable of this exciting challenge to create those lasting lines that will forever remain cherished in the heart of your partner!
It’s an opportunity for you to share your story from a deeper perspective, reminisce about your past and promise for your future. It’s also a way to speak from a place of love that only the two of you share. It’s raw, it’s real, and it’s incredibly moving – and I guarantee that there is no such thing as cheesy or “too much” when it comes to your vows.
Keep reading below for my go-to tips and tricks for finding sources of inspiration, writing your own vows, and ensuring that everything is rehearsed and ready for your big day!
1. Create a list of all of your thoughts and ideas.
Start short and sweet!
This is a perfect way to ease yourself into the writing process instead of jumping straight into the deep end. Jot down all of your favourite moments shared together, memories that you often reminisce about, or significant points of time that stand out to you.
Think about how your partner makes you feel and write down the emotions that come to mind when envisioning a future together – what does that future look like and how will you get there together? Are there any promises you would like to make on your wedding day to your beloved, or what is something about them that you’re excited about spending the rest of your life enjoying?
At this point in your writing journey, don’t worry too much about constructing full sentences, or if everything looks a little disjointed – this is simply the starting point to get the inspiration flowing!
2. Listen to Music, Read Quotes and Poems, and Make Use of External Resources.
Another source of inspiration can come from things around you in your everyday life, from your music choices and the songs you listen to together, to literary inspiration from books, poetry and even television and films.
Do you have a go-to song or film? Do you often quote things to each other that make you smile and laugh? All of these little things can potentially be included in your wedding vows.
We are also blessed to live in a world with endless access to inspirational media and literature, so jump onto the internet, or grab your nearest romantic book and see what resonates with you!
3. Start Creating Your Drafts.
Now, this is where things can start to get a little tricky, but I have faith in you and your creative abilities!
Once you have gotten a comfortable amount of inspiration, it’s time to begin the drafting process. If you’re feeling a little weary of where to begin, or what structure to follow, I would highly recommend looking at templates for wedding vows online, like here and here.
It’s important to take your time when constructing your vows, don’t try to start on one day and expect the finished copy a few hours later – jot some things down, leave it and then come back again. By revisiting your work, not only do you get fresh perspectives on your writing, but you also give yourself the time and space to let your ideas blossom.
Once you’ve created that first initial draft that you’re happy with, I would recommend rewriting it only a handful of times (2-3 max). By doing so, you’re ensuring that your final copy will be polished, perfected and full of heart, but will put a limitation on how much overwriting (and overthinking) you can do.
4. Practice Reading Aloud.
It sounds obvious, but practising reading your vows will not only improve the clarity of your writing, but it will also help with your confidence in speaking your vows out loud! It also helps with the timing of your vows, and when to have appropriate pauses and breaks without affecting the flow of your reading.
Grab a close friend or family member (who is sworn to silence!) and practice reading in front of them. Not only will this allow you to speak in front of another person instead of your mirror, but they can also act as your sounding board as well as provide any advice and feedback.
Whilst the average length of spoken vows are 1-2 minutes, this can vary from couple to couple and is something you can discuss with your partner prior to writing your vows.
5. Make a Fresh Copy.
Now that your vows are polished and ready to go, how are you going to read them on your wedding day?
Whilst there is something beautifully raw about reading from your original copy, there may be mistakes or crossed-out sections that could be difficult to read, especially when you’re standing in front of your partner. To avoid any further stress or uncertainty, I would recommend printing out/or handwriting a fresh copy of your vows.
Vow books are also another beautiful way to present your vows as well as a lovely memento to cherish after your wedding day.
6. Keep Your Vows Secret (but only if you want to!)
Now, this one might be a little outdated and not for everyone, so take it with a grain of salt.
Some couples prefer to write their vows together or share them with their partner for feedback prior to their ceremony, and that’s okay. However, I love the idea of your vows being a gift to your partner at your ceremony, therefore, there is something incredibly magical about keeping them a secret during the writing process.
Tuck them away, somewhere where your partner won’t accidentally stumble across them and watch their joy and adoration when you say them for the first time on your big day!
7. Please, Don’t Leave it to the Last Minute.
I know, I know, this is very self-explanatory, but I have to say it. Please do not leave writing your vows to the very last minute. I understand the temptation to assume that writing them won’t take a considerably long time, but it simply isn’t a risk worth taking.
Give yourself plenty of time and space to sit with your words, and remove as much of the pressure from yourself as possible. There is no such thing as too much time!
Remember, writing your vows is an opportunity to create lasting words that will stay with your partner for the remainder of their days. It’s an opportunity to open up and to wear your heart on your sleeve.
By constructing a piece that is full of love, hope and honesty, sprinkled in with a little bit of your humour, you’re guaranteed to leave a beautiful, lasting impression.