Couple at The 228 standing in front of white draped wall laughing as officiant talks

One way to make your wedding more personal and meaningful is by writing your own vows. Take a few steps to make the process easier. This makes it more likely you’ll end up with exceptional wedding vows.

Check With the Officiant

Check with the officiant before writing your own vows. They may not even allow this, but if they do, they may have some good advice for you. If you don’t want to memorize the vows or read them from your notes, the officiant may feed them to you one line at a time.

Decide on the Ground Rules

Talk with your fiance and decide whether you want serious or funny vows. Decide whether you want to write the same vows for both of you to use. Will you share them before the big day? It might not work well if the bride writes very serious and romantic vows and the groom fills his vows with jokes. Also, agree on the proper length. This will be important for planning the wedding ceremony.

Check Out Lots of Examples Before Writing Your Own Vows

If you’re not sure how to write your own vows, check out lots of examples of vows used by other people. Figure out which ones you like the best and why as a starting point. Some people use different formats, such as poems or songs, when writing their own vows.

Don’t Leave It to the Last Minute

Writing your own vows takes a lot of time and effort. Don’t leave it to the last minute. You want to show how much you care. Take the time to do it right and don’t try to ad-lib your vows on your wedding day. Start about a month before the wedding.

Consider What You’d Like to Promise Each Other

Vows are promises, so think about what you’d like to promise your spouse when writing your own vows. The number of promises, or vows, you make will depend on you. Some vows should be serious, but you can inject a little humor with your vows.

Review Your Relationship

Think about the high and low points of your relationship, where you want it to go, and any challenges you’ve faced. This type of information can serve as inspiration when writing your own vows. Include both high and low points to make your relationship seem more realistic.

Keep Things Clear and Original

Skip any comments all the guests might not understand and leave out anything embarrassing. Stay away from cliches and write something more original. You can also use an appropriate short quote, however.

Make It Short and Sweet

Your vows shouldn’t be super long. Stick to only one or two minutes to keep people paying attention. You don’t want to ramble. Have a clear beginning, middle, and end. An outline can help keep you organized.

Write Multiple Drafts

When writing your own vows, your first draft probably will not be perfect. Once it’s done, let it sit a while, and then go back to it and make any needed edits. However, don’t do this endlessly. Three drafts should be plenty.

Consider Using a Friend as a Sounding Board

While you may want to keep the vows secret, it’s helpful to have a friend listen just to make sure that what you’re trying to say is getting across loud and clear. A friend may have some advice to improve your vows before the big day.

Write Out a Final, Clean Copy and Practice Out Loud

It may seem obvious, but write out your completed vows neatly (or type them out. This way you have a clean copy that’s easy to read on your wedding day. Then start practicing out loud. You may need to make some extra edits if sentences prove too difficult to say without stumbling over your tongue.

Save a Copy

Don’t forget to preserve your vows. Put a copy in a scrapbook or save it with other wedding memorabilia. You went to all the work of writing your own vows; you don’t want to forget them.

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