Six Top Tips for Writing Your Wedding Vows

A Wedding Celebrant's Perspective
The Somerset Celebrant - Six Top Tips for Writing Your Wedding Vows

Sammii and Simon saying their vows at the beautiful The Swan Hotel Wells.

Pics Jeff Sham Photography

The Somerset Celebrant - Saying your wedding vows
The Somerset Celebrant - Millie and Ben saying their vows

Millie and Ben saying their vows at the stunning Dairy House on Dillington House Estate. Pics Who is Benjamin Photography

The Somerset Celebrant - Millie and ben saying their vows

Six Top Tips for Writing Your Wedding Vows

The vows that you make are the heart of your wedding ceremony. Simple words full of extraordinary meaning and importance, for they are your words, and reflect the intention and vision that will define and shape your future lives together.

As a wedding celebrant, I work closely with my couples to help them to create wedding vows which are personal and significant to them.

Writing your own wedding vows is an incredible and meaningful way to personalise your wedding ceremony. It’s a chance to tell your story, to give your guests a peek into what makes your relationship unique, and to share deep and meaningful words with the one person you love most in the world.

It’s also a daunting prospect and a pretty challenging task because it’s so intimate. For you are baring your heart to your partner, and are doing so in front of family and friends.

Finding the right words and fitting them into a structure that flows effortlessly isn’t easy, but it’s amazing when you’ve cracked it.

Check it’s possible

All licensed wedding venues require you to say some set sentences, and church weddings are very strict in this regard too.

Using a wedding celebrant gives you the freedom to be as creative and loving with your wedding vows as you wish. You can move away from the set scripts to include elements from a song or a film that was special and meaningful to you both, an anecdote or shared, treasured memory.

Six Top Tips for Writing Your Wedding Vows 

Tip 1  – Write your wedding vows together

Sit down and write them together. Make it a date night, set aside an evening and open a bottle of something.

Take time to really think and talk about your relationship – what it means to you – what do you love most about each other, what do you value most in your relationship – what are you looking forward to most, and what promises do you want to make as you take into your care and keeping the happiness of the one person whom you love best.

Tip 2  – Write your wedding vows separately

You may want to keep your wedding vows a secret from each other until your wedding day, but talk together about the content, the length and the style. Balance and harmony is key to getting it right when writing your vows individually.

So, some questions to ask:

How long should our wedding vows be?
Will we share jokes or rather keep things more generic?
Shall we incorporate elements of traditional vows into our own?

Couples that don’t have this conversation often contact me separately, wanting to know if the vows ‘match.’ 

All I will comment on is the tone and length if there is a HUGE discrepancy  – but otherwise, I keep shtum.

Tip 3 Use a traditional wedding vow structure as a template

Many of my couples have found using this six part wedding vow structure the best way to begin. Chose a line from each part and maybe change it a little too.

The Context

In the presence of God
With my family and friends as my witnesses
In the sight of the sea and the sky
Blessed in the presence of angels
In this special place

 The Declaration

I ………choose you………… to be my husband / wife
i……….. commit myself to you……….in love and marriage
Today, I ………..marry you……….my best friend

 Promises about behaviour and relationships

In our marriage, I will love, honour and cherish you
I promise to live with you, to respect you and honour you
I will stand by your side and sleep in your arms
I promise to respect you, inspire you and love you

Changing Circumstances

For richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health
When love is easy and when love is hard
During good times and bad times, through calms and storms

Timescale

Till death do us part / forever / for the rest of my life
For the whole of our lives together / until love dies
Throughout the adventure of our lives / until the end of time

Closing Intention

This is my solemn promise and on this promise I base our marriage
This is my intention, completely and forever.

 Somerset Celebrant - Millie and Ben saying their wedding vows

A Vow
I cannot promise never to be angry;
I cannot promise always to be kind.
You know what you are taking on, my darling –
It’s only at the start that love is blind.
And yet I’m still the one you want to be with
And you’re the one for me – of that I’m sure.
You are my closest friend, my favourite person,
The lover and the home I’ve waited for.
I cannot promise that I will deserve you
From this day on. I hope to pass that test.
I love you and I want to make you happy.
I promise I will do my very best.

 Wendy Cope

The Somerset Celebrant - Reading their wedding Vows

Gemma and Sam’s wonderful wedding  at Hunstile Organic Farm Pics Ian Jeffrey Photography

Somerset Wedding Celebrant -  Gemma and Sam reading their wedding vows
Somerset Wedding Celebrant - Laura and Karl saying wedding vows to their children

Laura and Karl saying their heartfelt vows to their lovely children in a teepee at Wick Bottom Barn, in Wiltshire.

Pics Nick Church Photography

Somerset Wedding Celebrant -  Outdoor Woodland Ceremony
The Somerset Celebrant - Laura and Karl saying their vows to their children

Tip 4

Don’t put writing your wedding vows off until the last minute. Try to have them written at least a month before the day.

This gives you plenty of time to revisit them and maybe tweak them a little and reflect on their meaning.

You may not want to write down your wedding vows, but to speak straight from the heart on the day. I’ve had quite a few grooms do this,  (but so far never the bride). It’s unplanned, unrehearsed and always heartfelt and emotional, so be prepared to wipe some tears.

Tip 5

Do you really hate the thought of having to speak during your ceremony and find the prospect of having to say your vows extremely daunting?

If instead of looking forward to your wedding ceremony, the thought of your hands shaking as you hold your vows and your mouth drying up as you start to speak fills you with absolute dread.  Don’t worry

It doesn’t have to stop you from writing your own wedding vows and saying what you really want to say.

For I can turn your beautiful promises into questions. So all you need say is, ‘I do’ or ‘I will’    Sorted!

Tip 6

Write vows to your children too. It’s a very special way to include them in the heart of your ceremony and is a particularly loving thing to do. Especially when a new blended family is being created through your union.

After you have said your vows to one  another, we will invite them up for your promises to them.

It’s a very tender and emotional moment, no matter how humorous you make them, and I can assure you, there won’t be a dry eye in the house!

Six Top Tips for Writing Your Wedding Vows

Choosing a wedding celebrant for your wedding ceremony gives you the freedom to write your wedding vows exactly as you wish.

Yes, writing your vows does take a lot of time and thought, but when they are ready and the words truly capture how you feel and what you want to say, the feeling is truly amazing!!

Many thanks

I’d like to thank  my couples featured in this post for their kindness in allowing me to share their wonderful weddings to illustrate my Six Top Tips for Writing your Wedding Vows.

As you have seen, wedding vows come in all shapes and sizes,  I hope my Six Top Tips for Writing your Wedding Vows help and inspire you to write vows that are just perfect and meaningful for you.

Further Reading

Reading your vows to the one you love in front of all your friends and family is the part of a wedding ceremony that many couples find the most daunting.

Follow the links to the posts below, where I  show some different ways vows can be said to make it less so.

Six top tips for saying your wedding vows  

Read or Repeat your Vows

 

T's & C's

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