We chose to do our own wedding vows and read them to each other alone at our First Look.
On the morning of our wedding, Josh sat quietly at his desk, pen in hand over a blank piece of paper. Knowing what he wanted to say, he searched for the right words to say it.
“How do you even write wedding vows? Is there a proper format? Where do you even start?”
A quick Google search stimulated some ideas in him and before long he was writing away, pouring his heart and soul into a single document. Before long, his wedding vows were complete. Hand-written on two pages. He neatly tucked the vows into a folder before heading off to the First Look.
Decide If Personal Vows Are Right For You
When it comes to wedding vows, there really is no right or wrong way to go about it. But before you decided on how to do your vows, you first need to decide if you will personalize your vows. The decision to write your own vows is something you will likely know, deep down, if it is the right decision for you. But if you aren’t feeling settled in your choice, look to other areas of your life for affirmation. Ask yourself, do you love to write and receive letters? Does poetry and literature resonate with you on a deeply emotional level? Writing your vows should feel like a natural extension of who you are and true expression of your love for your fiancé. Choosing to write your own vows can make the ceremony more personal, genuine, and emotional, should you choose to read them during that time. Regardless of when you choose to read your self-written vows, choosing to write them in your own words is your personal promise and saying them out loud can make the commitment feel more real, deliberate, and stronger. If you think writing your own wedding vows is something you would like to do, then keep reading for our tips on writing your own wedding vows.
1. Outline It
Before you start to write you vows, take a minute to plan how you want your vows to go. This doesn’t have to be anything formal, but come up with a general idea of the format and tone. That way, before you start writing, you will have some direction.
2. Collaborate With Your Partner
Once you have decided to write your personal vows, you might want to have a discussion with your partner. Even though you are keeping the details of the wedding vows private, you both can agree upon a common theme or framework for a shared tone.
3. Take Your Time
Don’t be like us and wait until the day of to write your vows! This might be one of our biggest wedding regrets. Your vows are a sacred and meaningful thing so don’t rush it! This is especially true if you don’t view yourself as much of a writer. Dedicate some time to write before the wedding day then walk away. Give your ideas time to rest. Take a few hours or the entire weekend before coming back to revisit the vows. You may want to revise and if you hit writer’s block, a break can be just the thing to renew your sense of clarity and deepen your understanding of what you want to say.
4. Look To Your Love Letters
If you are like us, you have been writing little notes to each other for some time now. This is a good thing! These little love notes can be a great source of inspiration for writing your wedding vows. If you have kept a journal over the course of your relationship, this is a perfect place to look! Look back on meaningful moment and memories. You can tie those moments into your vows and those little stories are moments your audience will love to hear.
5. Speak About The Trials
We have all had them. Nothing grows love and intimacy like adversity. And as you write your vows, don’t be afraid to reflect on the hard things you have walked through, together. It is these moments that have defined your relationship. Express what it means to have made it through pain together to this moment of healing, beauty, intimacy, and union. This will strengthen your vow and pull your audience in.
6. Remember Your Why
Remember why you are doing any of this! If you find yourself struggling to write your vows, just look to your everyday life. Endless inspiration awaits you there! Think of the person you love, and what their presence means to you on a normal day. Remember the little things they do for you that really impact your relationship. Maybe it’s spending time together on walks or being intentional about spending time together. Maybe it’s the way you hold hands in crowded places. Therefore, it doesn’t have to be fancy or elaborate, just meaningful to you.
Keep You Wedding Vows Forever
Once you have finally created your wedding vows, make sure you keep them forever. Consider how to preserve them. You can go fancy and have a fine art stationer create a custom illustration and beautiful vow book or you can simply frame them. If you wrote your vows down in a vow book, keep them somewhere safe but accessible! That way, in one year during your anniversary, you can bring them out and read them to each other again. Your, wedding vows will be a memorable keepsake that will last years to come. While it might seem scary to write your own vows at first, once you do so you won’t regret it!
While we may be Grand Rapids wedding photographers, we happen to know a thing or two about writing your own vows! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us and we would love to help you.