13 Tips for Writing & Reciting Personal Wedding Vows

wedding vows
Published November 30th, 2020

Many couples that get married at French’s Point choose to write their own wedding vows. Writing personal wedding vows is a way to really customize your wedding and the experience you are creating for yourselves and your guests. Although it’s a great way to personalize your ceremony, it can be a daunting task. Here are some tips on how to write & then recite your own wedding vows:

1. Time
Give yourself plenty of time. Writing meaningful wedding vows from the heart takes time, so start thinking about what you’re going to write well in advance of the wedding. Don’t wait until the night before!

2. Set the Tone
Before you start working on your vows, it’s a good idea to make sure the vows that you and your fiancé take have the same tone. Decide on whether they will be serious, reflective, insightful, humorous or all of the above. It’s also a good idea to agree on any specific or traditional phrases you wish to include, if any, for cultural or religious reasons.

3. Put Your Thoughts on Paper
As you think about what you want to say, put it on paper and write it down. Don’t worry about writing whole, complete or coherent sentences. Start by brainstorming—make a list; adjectives and phrases that describe your love, your relationship, the marriage you hope to have, etc. Putting your thoughts down on paper as you brainstorm will help you highlight what you want to convey in a genuine way.

4. Experiences
Write down significant adventures or experiences you two have shared together, especially if they were turning points in your relationship or if you both learned something from them. Integrate these into your vows.

5. Your Love Story
Use the evolution of your relationship as a guide: start with when you met, how you fell in love, what it was like dating, how your relationship changed over time, when you decided to get married, what it will feel like on wedding day, and what you want for the future.

6. Questions Answer questions like:
What was it that drew you to your future spouse the first time you met?
What is one thing your fiance does that just melts your heart?
What do you admire the most in your mate?
What is something you have learned from them?
What was the moment you knew you wanted to marry them?
What is your one hope for your future together?

7. Keep it Personal
One of the best ways for your vows to sound authentic is to be authentic. Write wedding vows that are personal and relate to your relationship. Make promises that are realistic and avoid random thoughts or tired cliches. By reaffirming the things that you are already doing for your partner on a daily basis, you are actually stating promises you will likely be able to keep forever. Some can be light and fun, like “I’ll always cut the crusts off your toast,” but make sure most of the promises you’re making are solemn, heartfelt & specific to your relationship.

8. Not The Time For Teasing
Keep the teasing of your soon-to-be spouse out of your vows. These comments can be funny to you, but they can also be seen as passive-aggressive, hurtful, and can set a negative tone that may make your sweetie and your guests feel uncomfortable.

9. Acknowledge the People Around You
Besides acknowledging each other, it’s important to pause and take a moment to acknowledge the people around you. You can thank everyone for being there to share in the blessed moment and call out to the significant people who have been a part of your life. Acknowledging all the special people in your life is a meaningful way to say thank you, and make your guests feel they are a part of the ceremony, too.

10. Time is Important
When it comes to your vows, keep it short, sweet and to the point. Even though you may be tempted to go on at length about your true love’s qualities, expounding on them for several minutes may sound insincere. Also, be sure your vows take the same amount of time to recite. Most couples keep their vows at two minutes or less. It may not seem that long, but it’s just the right amount of time to sum up what you want to say to each other.

11. Practice. Practice. Practice.
It’s true that practice always makes perfect, but when it comes to public speaking, it will also make you sound that much more confident and sincere. Practice reading your vows aloud, either in front of a mirror or to friends or family. Practicing will help you enunciate and be heard clearly. Practicing how you are going to deliver your vows is just as important as saying them. The more you practice, the less nervous you’ll be on wedding day.
If you’re going to be holding a microphone during the reading of the vows, then practice reading your vows while holding a mic (a hairbrush will do the trick!). As people get nervous the mic tends to drop and the sound quality diminishes.

12. Cheat Sheet
Print your vows on a 4×6 index card in an oversized font so they are easy to read and ask your officiant to put them in their book so you don’t have to worry about where they are before the wedding. You can even have them printed into a little bound book, which makes them even more special. The officiant will pass you the card or the vow book to read during the ceremony.

13. Be Genuine
Read your vows from your heart. It’s ok if you mess up or have to repeat yourself, as long as your vows feel heartfelt and honest, it doesn’t really matter how they come out.