Your wedding vows are a huge part of your ceremony. You want them to be memorable, witty, romantic and most of all, authentic. Everyone should agree they were very ‘you’. And you both want to feel like they were unique to your story and for your future. Writing your wedding vows can feel so daunting, that many couples leave this key part of their ceremony to the very last minute. I hope these top tips will help you enjoy creating yours.

Where do you begin?

I always suggest to my couples that they agree these key points together:

1. Timing is critical with vows. I suggest you agree how long you’re each going to speak for. If one of you is more confident or enjoys speaking more than the other, let the one who is less confident set the time.

2. What are you calling these words? Are they vows, commitments or perhaps something else? There is no right or wrong, simply choice. Choose something that feels meaningful and authentic.

3. Feel and tone. I recommend you agree is by completing your own ‘vow pie chart’ the one below gives you a starting point, but you can create whatever sections of pie work for you.

Then it’s time to think about what you will include in your wedding vows. I suggest you start with a list of short promises that you’d like to make. Remember the pie chart of if you start with a promise for each section, it becomes easier to expand. For example:
* I promise to tell you that I love you more often
* I promise to make our family a priority
* I promise to always laugh at your terrible jokes
* I promise to work with you to achieve our dreams

Take time with each of these short promises, to make them more personal to the two of you.

Add detail and make them yours, for example: ‘I promise to start and end each day by telling you how much I love you. And I promise to show you each day, by listening to you, and by noticing what you need.’
Perhaps, ‘I promise to make our family a priority, especially when I think I’m too busy. I promise, in front of our families and friends, to be a parent who is present. A parent who takes part in sports day. And above all else, a parent who lets their kids know how much they are loved.’

Structure a start and an end

Once you’re comfortable with the vows themselves, think about how you want to start and end. This is a good place to share a short story about the two of you. Perhaps a story about why you fell in love with your partner or the time they did something that made you both laugh until you cried. And remember, these are your wedding vows not your wedding speach. Don’t try to cram everything in. You’ll feel rushed on the day.

You don’t have to create your wedding vows on your own

If you’re not a confident or regular writer, the thought of crafting ‘the perfect words’ can feel overwhelming. Organising a wedding is already a huge deal, so if you’re not enthusiastic about writing the vows, ask your Celebrant to do it for or with you. I often suggest to clients that we meet and write the wedding vows together.

I hope you’ve got some good ideas to help you get started on your vows. And most of all, I hope you have a wonderful wedding day.

From my heart to yours

Dinah