So you decided to write your own wedding vows… now what? As daunting as it may seem, writing your own vows gives you the opportunity to share what you love most about your partner and your relationship in an intimate and unique way! It allows your audience a glimpse into your past, present and future as a couple and gives you a tangible form of your thoughts and feelings from that special time in your life. As a wedding and elopement videographer, I have witnessed countless couples share their heartfelt promises at the alter and have learned a thing or two about the elements great vows.
1. Choose a theme
The best wedding vows always tell a story. Think of the underlying theme of your relationship- love, kindness, choosing each other, learning and growing together as one, being ‘perfectly imperfect’, etc. and tie that in to your writing. A common theme, gives your voice direction, meaning and sense of cohesiveness.
Pro Tip: Sometimes it’s easier to come back to this step once you’ve finished writing. Often times you will find your theme poking out at you and can make the needed adjustments afterwards!
2. Set the scene
Every good story starts by setting the scene. How did you meet? What were your first impressions? Describe your first date or other memorable moments in the beginning of your relationship. What were the qualities about your partner that drew you in? Don’t be afraid to go into detail and mix in a little humor here and there!
Don’t hold back! Poor your heart out here as you list off all of the things you love about your fiancé, big AND small, serious AND goofy. If there ever were a time to tell your partner what makes them special, the alter is the place to do it!
3. Share what you love about them
4. Recount the moment you knew they were the one
Tell the story of the moment you realized they were your forever. If there is no definitive moment, that’s okay! Think of the collective moments that defined your relationship and describe them. (These are the things you might forget in 20-30 years and writing them down will preserve them!!!)
5. Describe your future
Tell your S.O. what makes you excited about your future life together! Is it more pets? Babies? Traveling? Tell them all the things you foresee- big AND small, that make you giddy for the years to come. Recognize that their might be some trials that come your way and acknowledge your willingness to overcome those together as a team and a partner.
6. Share your promises
“For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health…” Put your own twist on the classics. They don’t all have to be serious, either! You can promise to re-watch all the seasons of their favorite sitcom, to take them to the beach as often as you can or go on nightly walks, just the two of you.
7. Make sure to say “I love you”
This may be a no-brainer, but be sure to mix in those three little words at LEAST once throughout your vows. It’s easier than you might think to get caught up in the stories, humor and sentimentality and forget the basics.
To write your own wedding vows is an opportunity to not only express your unwavering devotion to the love of your life, but to share with your loved ones a piece of your forever. Draw them in with setting the scene of your first date, share the things you treasure about your partner the most, recount the day you knew they were the one, describe your future aspirations, share your heartfelt promises all tied together with the theme of your relationship, whatever that may be.