Updated: Aug 23
Your wedding vows are the culmination of your entire relationship thus far. They’re your opportunity to tell your partner—and friends and family—how important they are to you and how much your relationship means. Many people opt for the traditional wedding vows and promise to love for richer and poorer and in sickness and health, but others choose to declare their love in a different way. If you’re one of the latter, here are five helpful tips to get you started.
1. Agree on Tone.
You and your partner should discuss each of your feelings on vows first. Do they want to do the traditional vows? And if so, are they OK with you not doing them too? Do you want them to be funny or heartfelt? Do you want to use broad terms or inside jokes and memories? Agree on this before you start writing or one of you may feel caught off guard in the moment.
2. Get Inspired.
There are endless wedding vow examples at your disposal online and in movies, TV shows, and books. If you find one that speaks to your love on a personal level, don’t be shy about using it. If you find a few that really resonate with you, incorporate the best bits of each into your very own vows.
3. Get Personal—But Not Too Personal.
Remember that you will be reciting these vows in front of family, friends, coworkers, guests’ dates (whom you may have never met before), and even venue staff. Decide how comfortable you are with sharing your innermost feelings about your partner in front of potentially hundreds of people. While sharing some small personal details is sweet, oversharing intimate details can make for an awkward ceremony.
4. Keep It Short.
Resist the urge to put every memory, experience, inside joke, and milestone into your vows. Ideally, they should be no longer than two to three minutes.