Tips for writing your vows from a professional wedding officiant.
As an ordained wedding officiant I have heard many couples share their vows and I can definitely tell who copied and pasted from Google vs who took the time to write out personal vows. Here are some tips to help you write the best wedding vows to share with your partner on your wedding day.
I always tell my couples that your vows are truly the only time during your ceremony that you get to tell your partner how much you love them in your own words. Rather than being scared of what you're "supposed" to say, talk about why you love them and what you're looking forward to in your marriage.
To get you started on writing your wedding vows, here are a few prompts that will help.
Why are the wedding vows so important?: Because they are!
So much focus of getting married is on the wedding day itself and although weddings are beautiful and fun they are really only an added bonus. Think about it, the reason for all the planning is so that you and your partner can formally join your lives in marriage, so let's bring more attention back to the wedding ceremony. During the ceremony, as your officiant, I will guide you and your guests through your love story, ring exchange, and unity rituals but your vows are the only time you get to speak directly to your partner. This opportunity allows you to truly immerse yourselves in the moment and set the tone for your marriage. Through your vows remind your partner why you love them and how excited you are about your future together. And if you're uncomfortable with sharing all of your feelings in front of your family and friends, remember that you can choose to write two sets of vows. Ones that are more personal can be shared during a first look and another, more lighthearted set of vows, can be shared during your ceremony!
What should I include in my wedding vows?
Remember those prompts I told you about, well here they are!
Describe the moment you first met
Oftentimes there is something memorable about that first time you meet. Maybe it was on a first date, maybe it was online, maybe it was when you saw them singing karaoke at your favorite dive bar and you were captivated by their rendition of Sir Mix-a-Lot's 'Baby Got Back'. Whatever it was, those first moments can never be replaced, they are the starting blocks of your relationship.
What are their best qualities?
Of the millions of people in this world you have chosen this person to spend the rest of your life with so tell us why. Are you the serious one and only they can make you belly laugh like no other? Are they the calm to your wild? How do their qualities make them standout and set them apart from anyone else you've ever met?
How do you plan to support your partner and your marriage?
This is the part where you make your vows or promises to your partner. Let them know that you will be by their side through every season of your life, the good, the bad, and even those ugly mornings after a long night out. Try to avoid absolutes such as "I vow to give you a foot massage every Tuesday at 6pm" because life happens and there will come a Tuesday that you aren't able to fulfill that vow. Instead you can say "I vow to support you through our marriage and rub your feet after a long day as often as I can". Whatever you choose to say be sure it is sincere and authentically you!
How long should my vows be?
Once you've answered all of the questions above you can now start to put everything together. You want to try to shoot for your vows to be about 1-3 minutes long. Before your wedding, practice reading through your wedding vows a few times so that you are comfortable with the flow of them. This also allows you to build some muscle memory which gives you the opportunity to look up and see your partner's face as they are hearing those sweet vows for the first time. And for the love of everything please write your vows on something other than your phone! It just looks tacky in your photos.
For more details about how to write your wedding vows visit https://www.anotheronetiestheknot.com/ to purchase a complete and simple to follow Vow Writing Guide.