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How to Write Your Own Wedding Vows for Your Marriage Ceremony

Updated on April 1, 2011

Whether you are having a traditional wedding ceremony, non-traditional wedding ceremony, a commitment ceremony or a vow-renewal ceremony, you will want to have wedding vows that stand out and will be remember for years to come.  Follow the following advice on how to write your own wedding vows.

The most important thing at your wedding will not be your flowers or your dress.  People will eventually forget about the cake and the dinner.  However, your wedding vows will last a lifetime.  These are the words that commit you to your partner for the rest of your lives; what your marriage starts with.  You want to make sure that they are personal and heart-felt.  The best way to do this is to write your own wedding vows.  To make sure it goes well, you should follow some steps.

Beginning

The first question you should ask yourself is if you should even write your own marriage vows. Some officiant and/or churches do not even allow you to write your own vows. If this is the case, you need to ask yourself if you want to write your own wedding vows or be married at that location/by that person. If writing your own wedding vows is approved, then you need to make sure your partner is in agreement with you writing your wedding vows for your wedding ceremony.

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Be sure to present all the details.  Will you need to memorize them, as some traditional wedding ceremonies require?  Is it possible for you to be able to repeat your vows after the officiant or read them from a piece of paper? 

Together, you and your loved one will need to decide on the tone of your vows.  Will you want your marriage vows to come off heartwarming and touching, as would be desired for a traditional wedding ceremony or a vow renewal ceremony.  Will you want your vows to come across as humorous and fun, as would be appropriate in a non-traditional wedding ceremony?  Most likely, you will want your wedding vows to come across somewhere in the middle: touching, heartfelt, and upbeat.  Decide on what degree of religious, if any, reference you will have.

You will then need to decide if you will want the vows to be a surprise to each other or share them in advance.  If you do not want to know what the other person is going to say at your ceremony, make sure you set ground rules well in advance.  Are there any stories or other information that is off limits?  You both need to be respectful of the other.

Crafting Your Vows

Now you can start brainstorming ideas on what to include in your wedding vows for your ceremony. Inspiration can be found everywhere. Questions for a starting point to ask are:

  • Where did you meet?
  • How did you know he/she was ‘The One’?
  • What do you love about your partner?
  • What does marriage and/or love mean to you?
  • How do you envision your future?
  • What is better about your life with your future spouse in it?
  • What would be missing from your life if you weren’t getting married?
  • Where do you see your future in 25 or 50 years?
  • Has anything happened that has strengthened your relationship?
  • How has what you have always thought about your future spouse would be like line up with reality?
  • What are some special memories of time spent together do you have?
  • Is there a song/poem/saying that reminds you of your relationship?

Try to answer in a detailed manner so that you can further evolve what you want to write in your marriage vows.

 

If you are still stuck for ideas, feel free to consult a book or the internet for examples of other marriage vows already written.  You can take those ideas and adjust them to your needs for your marriage ceremony.  NOTES ONLY!  You want your wedding vows to be special to your wedding ceremony.

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Start Writing

Now that you have a ton of ideas of what you want to say, it is time to sit back and start writing. Write in outline form to begin with so that you can organize your thoughts. When you have everything in the order that you want, follow the following rules:

*Keep It Personal

Don’t say things just to sound intelligent or eloquent. Make sure what is said is relevant to the two of you (but can be said publicly).

*Keep It Positive

It’s OK to mention something the two of you have gone through together (battling cancer or a near-death experience) if you are mentioning the bond you have formed. The point isn’t to wallow in your bad events, but to talk about the positive outcome.

*Consider Using Short Quotes

You may have looked towards music, movies, or poems for inspiration, but it should have focused on your relationship. If something means a lot to the two of you as a couple, you might want to include it. It should be meaningful. Whatever you use in your vows should add to what you are saying and not stand alone.

*Be Considerate of Length

Your guests are there to hear you commit your love to each other, not rehash a 500 page book. Presumably, you invited them to your wedding because they are part of your lives. You do not need to rehash every moment you have spent together since you met.

Finishing Your Vows

Now that you have your vows written, it’s time to read them aloud. If you are going to share them with your fiancé, this is the time to do it. You should also bounce them off a close friend or relative or two. You want to make sure other people think it sounds natural and is a reflection of who you are and what your marriage ceremony represents—a tradition wedding, a non-traditional wedding, or a ceremony. Make adjustments as necessary.

Once you have everything finalized for your wedding vows, now it is time to practice, practice, practice, and practice some more.  Even if you are not attempting to memorize your wedding vows, you want to be able to say them naturally and be familiar with the flow of them.  This day is the most important day because it is the day your marriage starts, and it all starts with your wedding vows.

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