couple reading letters before wedding

Expert Tips for Crafting Heartfelt and Unique Wedding Vows

Writing your own wedding vows can be a scary task, but it’s a beautiful way to personalize your wedding day and make promises that are meaningful to you and your partner. Personal vows are an important part of any wedding ceremony, as they show the unique and special bond between the couple. They are a way to share your love and commitment to each other and set the tone for the life you plan to share together.

The Importance of Personal Vows

At the weddings I see, most couples tend to stick to the generalized traditional wedding vows that everyone says. There’s nothing wrong with that, but there is a huge difference when the couple writes their own vows. Personal vows are a chance to really tell your deepest feelings and promises to your partner. It’s something that you really mean and care about. It’s also means so much more to the guests to hear something new. 

outdoor ceremony at Mattlane farm

How long should vows be?

Just like speeches, vows should be a certain length. You don’t want them to be too long or too short. That’s tough, though, because what does that mean? In general, your vows should last 1-2 minutes. Longer than that people will start to get distracted. Shorter than that, and it will seem like you didn’t put in enough effort or have anything to say. 

Different Times you can Share Your Vows

Once you’ve written your marriage vows, there are several different times you can share them. The most common is during the wedding ceremony. It’s when people would expect to hear them, and your guests will love hearing what you wrote. 

couple reading letters before wedding

One of the big reason people don’t write their own vows, though, is because it’s a lot of pressure to read them in front of a crowd. That’s why many couples decide to share their vows privately. This can be done a few different ways as well. You can read them out loud to each other after a first look or if you don’t want to do a first look, you could write letters and exchange them. Another option is to have the wedding officiant read them. Usually, they give kind of a summary of what all was said. All of these ways work, but you have to choose what’s right for you. 

Don’t wait until the last minute.

I was never a procrastinator in school, but my brother was. I would get things done early and he would wait to the last minute. Your wedding isn’t a time to mess around like that. Start writing your vows well in advance to give you enough time to make it what you really want. If you are writing them the day of, it will be very obvious to everyone. 

Pick a Tone Before You Start

We all have different personalities and that also goes for couples. Before you start writing your wedding vows, think about the tone you want to create. Is it going to be completely serious? Romantic? Funny? It’s ok for the tone to jump around a bit, but deciding on the tone will help you write vows that reflect your personality as a couple.

mother crying during father daughter dance

Reflecting on Your Relationship

Your vows should tell the story of your relationship. When writing your vows, think back on the journey you’ve been through. Recall the good times, the challenges you’ve overcome, and your hopes for the future together. Let these memories guide the promises you make to each other.

Throw it back to your first date

When you are looking back at everything, make sure to tell about your first date. These stories are usually a lot of fun to hear and will bring back memories of the first time you were together. Don’t worry if the first date wasn’t anything special or even a complete wreck, people will still appreciate hearing how things started. 

outdoor wedding ceremony at the Ravington

Getting Started and Using Examples

Not everyone is a good writer, and many couples will have no idea where to start. That’s ok! That’s why we have the internet and now artificial intelligence. Look at other examples or even get a first draft from AI, and then you can work your own thoughts and feelings into them. 

Practice Your Reading and Delivery

If you do plan on reading your vows out loud, please make sure to practice it. Even the most well thought out and well written vows will flop if you struggle reading it. Don’t wait until the last minute to practice your vows. Rehearse them with a trusted friend who can provide valuable feedback. This will help you speak confidently and sincerely on the big day.

Go after laughter.

I love to laugh, and my favorite speeches and wedding vows have humor thrown into it. The whole thing doesn’t have to be funny, but try to add at least one moment in there.  Usually there are funny stories or personality traits that can be built in to give everyone a chuckle. For example, if the bride is known for her love of shoes, you can make a vow about loving her no matter how many shoes she buys. 

bride laughing at groomsmen prank

Get inspired by books, songs, movies, and poems.

Just like I love to laugh, I love quoting movies or making connections to stories or music. If you’re struggling or if you really are into those things, feel free to connect to things you like. I’ve heard vows that used lines from Lord of the Rings and others that had lyrics from a song. This can help you find the perfect words to convey your love.

Think about what you want the future to be like

When writing your vows, consider your shared dreams and aspirations. Think about what the next 5, 10, and 50 years will look like. That should inspire you, but you should also share some of those thoughts in your vows. 

Share What you Like About Them

One great way to brainstorm is to make a list of all the things you love about your partner. It could be the way they laugh, how hard working they are, their dance moves, or how they make you feel loved. This list will get you feeling emotional and help you write, but it’s also nice to share these qualities in your vows. 

first look at dickson Street Inn

Write Down Your Vows or Memorize Them

Cell phones are awesome for a lot of things, but for some reason, I feel like you shouldn’t read your vows off of them. I think there are two better options: write them down or memorize them. Yes, you would still be holding a vow book or piece of paper if you wrote it down, but it doesn’t look as bad as holding a cell phone. Memorizing is tough, but then you could keep eye contact the whole time. 

Don’t Forget the Promises.

Part of your vows should be telling stories and talking about your feelings, but make sure to do what vows are meant to do: make promises. That’s what vows are. Your promise of what you will do. When you are writing it, have a section where you make your promises about what you will do for each other. This again should be thought out. Don’t say things you don’t mean. Pick things that you plan on doing forever, and it will be perfect. 

illinois wedding photos


Writing your own wedding vows is a special and personal job that requires thought, reflection, and creativity. By following these expert tips you can craft heartfelt and unique vows that truly reflect your love and commitment to one another.

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