It's the end of a crazy week, and we're here today to share something that may make all of you soon-to-be brides + grooms rest a bit easier! Katelyn Stanis of Wedding Words has graciously shared her top 8 tips for couples who are planning to write their own vows, and friends, her advice is spot on. From setting aside dedicated time to write to how to track your word count, every tips will make this process less stressful and a whole lot more fun! So grab a cup of coffee and get ready to take some notes: you'll be ready to write your vows this weekend!
Want to make your wedding ceremony more personal by writing your own vows? Creating custom wedding vows, while a more unique approach, can be a challenge to complete. How do you decide what to include? How can you convey in just a three minutes how you feel?
Photo by Monika Broz
I’m Katelyn Stanis, creator of Wedding Words, a wedding vow writing service. I collaborate with couples to create beautifully written and completely custom wedding vows. Based in the Tri-State area, I serve couples throughout the country and today, I’m here to serve you.
Here are my eight tips for how to write your own personalized wedding vows.
Tip #1. Schedule Writing Time
Arrange time in your calendar to write your wedding vows the same way you’d schedule time for your dress fitting. Honor your appointment by actually using that time to write. This will help you avoid the anxiety of trying to write your vows the night before your ceremony.
Tip #2. Begin with a Brainstorm
To minimize overwhelm, start your vow writing process with a brainstorm session. Turn up the volume on your most romantic playlist. Start to jot down every memory and emotion that comes to mind when you think about your relationship and your fiancé.
photo by MLE Pictures
Tip #3. Discover Themes
Once you’ve completed your brainstorm, you’ll have material to analyze.
Just like you’d categorize the theme of a movie—thriller or comedy—you can create a theme for your vows. You’ll want to find themes from your brainstorm notes that can serve as the anchor points for your wedding vows. What stands out the most from your brainstorm? Perhaps the term unconditional love comes to mind. What other themes do you see? Supportive? Family man? Adventurous? Brings out the best in you?
These are all potential themes you can center your vows around.
Tip #4. Embrace Specificity
Love is in the details. Use specific stories to illustrate the theme in your wedding vows.
Let’s say unconditional love is the theme. Instead of simply saying, “I appreciate how you love me for me”—get specific. Try something like, “You love me for exactly who I am. Whether it’s laughing at my pun-induced jokes or still trying my cooking despite me frequently overcooking the steak—your love is unconditional. I promise to show you that same kind of love throughout our marriage.”
Tip #5. Interview Yourself
For most people, it’s incredibly difficult to sit down and articulate how we feel. A blinking cursor stares at you and suddenly you’re handicapped by fear and writers block.
While writing our thoughts can be a challenge, talking them through is often easier. So before you begin writing your wedding vows, talk about your relationship. Voice record yourself answering questions like, “What do you love most about your fiancé” and “How do you envision your marriage in 30 years?” Replay back the recording and start to transcribe what you said. This can be the starting point for writing your own vows.
photo by Lindsay Eileen Photography
Tip #6. Track Your Word Count
Wedding vows should typically be about three to five minutes in speaking length. This 390 to 650 written words. To keep your wedding vows concise, reread your vows and remove any sentence that does not make a new point. Reread your vows again and remove any unnecessary words. Editing your work will allow you to hit your word count goal. Plus, your vows will be more articulate as a result.
Tip #7. Hire a Professional Vow Writer
Still struggling to write your own wedding vows? I can help. As a professional wedding vow writer at Wedding Words, we’ll collaborate together to write custom and unique vows that convey what’s in your heart.
Tip #8. Practice
How do public speakers sound so confident? One word—practice! Read your vows in front of a supportive friend who is willing to offer constructive feedback. You can also video record yourself to self-critique. It can be difficult to watch yourself on camera but better to catch those anxious habits now than on the wedding video. The more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll feel and the more confident you’ll look.
photo by Jennifer Larsen