Tips for Writing Your Wedding Vows • Carly Totten


As much as I adore incredible details and a great party, it’s during the ceremony that I always feel the most inspired by the couple. I love the bride and groom’s emotions as they see each other for the first time; I adore listening to the readings so carefully chosen by the couple; and I will forever treasure listening to couples recite their vows, especially those they have crafted themselves.

Your vows serve as the foundation for your marriage and oftentimes the most significant moment during your wedding, so the decision to write your own vows can be a difficult one to make. “Where do we even begin?” is likely your number one question. To ease your mind and spark your creativity, here are five top tips to inspire your own vow writing journey: 


1.    Make the decision mutually. First things first, make sure you’re both on board with writing your own vows! Although you don’t have to write your vows together (surprising each other is highly recommended!), it’s helpful to decide together whether to only include sentimental statements or if you would prefer to mix in a few humorous notes. Whatever you decide, make sure you are comfortable making each promise in front of your friends and family – it’s not quite a broadcast, but you don’t want your partner to feel uncomfortable.

2.    Talk with your officiant. Before you begin writing your vows, talk with your officiant. She will be able to walk through your ceremony with you, so you will know exactly when you will be reciting your vows. Plus, your officiant will have notes to share about personal vows she has listened to before, formats that work well, ideas about perhaps incorporating traditional vows with your originals, the length of time you should plan to speak, and more. Knowing all of these details ahead of time will help you to outline the vows you will write.

3.    Leave enough time for inspiration to strike. Although it may feel tempting to wait to write your vows, try to start early! Each and every one of your notes about your journey together, things you love about your partner, and moments you want to continue to share together will add up during the months, weeks, and days leading up to your ceremony. Having a notebook at the ready will allow you to jot down ideas on the go and help to prevent an amazing idea from escaping your mind too quickly. 

4.    Be meaningful and genuinely you. Although inspiration is wonderful, always remember to take a step back and ask yourself if what you love about a quote or verse is something you’re typically drawn toward. Further, think about the tone and words you’re using while writing. If you feel like something doesn’t feel authentic to you, don’t write it or plan to say it to your partner. Remember: your vows are yours, and they should sound exactly like something you would say! Don’t lose yourself in the process.

5.    Don’t feel the need to memorize. Once you complete your vows, you will likely need to edit them in order to include the best pieces and meet your timeline from your officiant. While it’s important to practice and practice some more, there is absolutely no need to memorize your vows. By removing the need to memorize, you will help to keep your nerves at bay, and you will remove the fear of forgetting to say something. Instead, plan to rewrite your vows in a vow book (like this or this!) and encourage your partner to do the same! The books will be something you will treasure and have the ability to read for years to come.  

Are you planning to write your wedding vows? What is a vow you loved from a ceremony you attended? Let’s inspire each other in the comments!

Photography by Clean Plate Pictures + Saltwater Studios

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