Writing Your Wedding Vows - What to DO!
Regardless of how creative or romantic you are, writing your own personal wedding vows can be easy, and a beautiful way to embrace the feeling of being 'engaged' during your engagement period.
Once you read this list of logistics and tips (and the list of what NOT to do), listen to my video on How to Write Your Own Vows and check out the Vow Writing Template to put everything together for the best vows ever!
1. Start early. I know, I know, it can be hard, but try to start as soon as you are engaged, or even a few months before the ceremony because the month leading up to the wedding is going to very busy. This is as simple as keeping notes on your phone or in a journal when you are listening to the video.
2. Agree on a word count or general length, like 253 words each. It doesn’t matter how long or short they are as long as they are consistent. Some guides suggest a length of 2-5 minutes.
3. Write or print the vows on a heavier stock of paper, like a typical greeting card. Why? First of all, it looks presentable in photos (you can even use your wedding themed colours!) and it puts context to the moment when you get photos back.
Secondly, it’s easier for the Officiant to hand you the vows rather than the bulky Vow Books you can buy online. (Although these can always be held by someone from the wedding party and handed over!)
Thirdly, cards are easier to hold when you are also holding a microphone. It's tough to turn pages with the Vow Books or cue cards, so one card is way more comfortable.
Finally, if the wedding is happening outdoors, a heavier stock of paper keeps it from blowing in the wind.
(Note: Reading your vows from your phone doesn't look great in photos, but also, if your battery goes dead or reception at the venue is poor, you’re stuck.)
4. In the middle of your vows, put a space in the middle. Not only for your thumbs, but also as a reminder to look up, make eye contact, breath, and SLOW down!
5. Be honest. Can you really vow to always treat them like royalty? Probably not, you are human and life has challenges. Use phrases like, I promise to try, I will continue to work on, I will do my best…
6. Read what you’ve written out loud a few times before the ceremony. It will help you hear what parts are harder to get through, and if the sentence makes sense.
7. Ask a common friend to read both of your vows individually to check for a consistent length, a similar vibe (funny, romantic, serious), clarity of the message, and any red flags (again see What NOT to do).
8. And finally, make sure that anything that is in your personal vows isn't information you've asked the Officiant to include in your love story, or in other parts of your wedding speech. It has more impact if it is being heard for the first time and not a repeat of what has already been said.