How to Write Personal Vows for your Wedding
Are you, in the words of Natasha Bedingfield, standing with a blank page before you? Well, open up the dirty window and let the sun illuminate the words that you cannot find. The sun, in this analogy, is this blog post full of useful tips on how to get the feeling of everlasting and enduring love from your heart and onto a piece of paper so you can wow your partner and all your guests with your poeticism, wit and romance.
Agree with your partner on a general structure for your vows.
Do you want to keep it short and just have 3 promises each that you make to each other?
Do you want to bulk it out a little bit, maybe include a personal story, promises for the future, your favourite things about each other or what you’ve taught each other?
Don’t discuss content, it’s much more special to share that on the day, but if you both follow a general structure it gives you a useful starting point for writing and a lovely symmetry on the day when you deliver them.
Now you have a structure, focus on one part at a time. You can work out how you’re going to knit them together later, but if you know you just have to write a couple of lines for each section, that feels much more manageable. Goodbye blank page!
When going through each section, try to be as specific as possible. Adding in a private joke or personal reference will elevate your vows and make them 1000 times more special. For example “I promise to love you forever” is a generic and non-personal way of saying “I’ll still love you even when times are tough or you’re being annoying”. Now, I’m not for a second suggesting that you call your future spouse annoying in your vows – this is where the specificity comes in. Change it to “I promise to remember how lucky I am that you’re by my side, even when you’ve booked us on to an 11pm Easyjet flight that has, predictably, been delayed.”
This sentence tells a whole story about the couple, one their friends and family will recognise. You can imagine the eager flight booker who wants to make the most of their time away and get a bargain flight. The pragmatic partner who sees the value of paying for a slightly more convenient flight in order to get home before 3am.
Every couple’s version of this will be different but really good vows are ones yours friends and family could pick out of a line up and say “that’s them!!!”
Take your time
Make sure you start early and give yourself one section a week to work on. Block out 20 minutes of your Monday lunch break, use your commute and get your notes app up on your phone instead of reading celeb gossip in the Metro or get a coffee and a pastry on a Sunday morning and find a quiet corner.
Give yourself a goal to have a first draft of a specific section done or just get 100 words down each week. Whatever works for you, just be consistent for a few weeks and you’ll have a great basis for your vows.
Then you can work on putting the sections together and making it sound good. In the couple of weeks up to your wedding there will be a million things to do so having your vows basically finished will be a weight off your mind.
Whether you do it to a mirror on your own or have a mate who you think will give some good pointers, don’t wait until your wedding day to say the whole thing aloud for the first time. Think about your pace - people tend to go too fast when they’re reading out so it’s a good idea to record yourself so you can hear for yourself if you need to slow down a bit.
Enjoy it! You’re marrying the love of your life, the best human you know, the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Your vows are some of the most important and loveliest words you’ll ever say
I offer coaching sessions as standard as part of my packages where I can guide you through what to write and how to deliver it so that you're sure you're saying all the important things to your partner and feeling confident while you do it.
Get in touch if you have any questions or want to find out more.