7 Tips for Writing Wedding Vows
If a bride and groom agree to write wedding vows, it may take some time for them to decide what they’re going to say. It may be that they want to have them short and sweet, while others may take their time and tell some personal stories of the relationship.
No matter what you want to say, your guests will always appreciate hearing about how you met, how you’ve grown together, and how you’ve made it to this very special day. And, while some people are really great at writing speeches, others may have a harder time putting their feelings onto paper.
If you need some help writing your vows, then consider the following list of 7 things that may help you. You can use a few of them or all of them; whichever helps you to best share your feelings with that special someone. Here are 7 tips to writing your wedding vows:
- Jot down notes.
Once he/she says yes, you can take advantage of the time you have until the wedding to start planning your vows. Keep a little diary or pad of paper handy so that you can write down points that you think of or memories you want to share.
If you wait until the last minute, you might be overwhelmed with all of the things you want to say. Working with your speech over time, you can start to go through your notes from the last little while and start cutting down to the most important things you want to say. This can help you keep the speech organized, and full of a variety of moments and memories you want to share.
- Stick with your language.
Just because people are going to be listening to your speech, doesn’t mean that you have to use big words or change the way you speak. This is a verbal love letter to your partner. He or she will know if you’re not being genuinely you.
Use language that you normally would, and keep things simple. This will sound much better and also probably will make it easier for you to remember and say. If you have inside jokes or words the two of you use, then feel free to throw those in. Guests may not totally follow, but your partner will appreciate those little things.
- Do some research.
There are lots of examples of people’s vows and speeches online, and it doesn’t hurt to take a look to get an idea of what you want to say. This, of course, doesn’t mean that you take their exact words or memories, but rather use this research to find a flow that works for you.
Some may start with a few jokes and funny quirks that they love about their partner, and then finish with a heartfelt quote. Others may start with a poem and have a quick personal message at the end. Remember, your vows should be personal, but you can certainly research other vows to get an idea of their structure and flow to re-create your own.
Keep it short and sweet.
The length of your vows does not represent how strongly you feel about your partner. This should be about quality and not quantity. Guests will appreciate something that is short and sweet, and which showcases the best things you love about your partner or the best memories you have.
If you have a bit of a longer speech, this is fine, but don’t forget that you will have time later on during the speeches to say something else to your bride. For the ceremony, a good goal is to stick to 2 minutes or less; this is enough time for 4–5 important stories or statements.
A lot of people have a hard time in front of an audience, even if they don’t have to say anything at all! The good thing, here, is that you’re at your wedding and, no matter how your speech comes out, your partner is going to think it sounded perfect.
The same thing goes for your guests. They know that your emotions are flying — everyone’s are! Take a breath and look out at the audience; it’s all of your closest friends and family. You have no one to prove anything to. Instead, try to embrace this moment. Use those emotions you’re feeling and put them straight into your speech. This way, it will come out genuine and extremely special, just the way you wanted it to. Still getting nervous as your big day approaches? Try some relaxing techniques leading up to your wedding to keep your anxiety at bay.
Discuss it with your partner.
It will be very helpful to discuss your vows with your partner, to get an idea of what they’re planning and what they’re expecting. You wouldn’t want to go up there with a five minute speech when theirs is only one minute.
You don’t have to divulge what you’re going to say, but talk to your partner about length and number of points. If you can agree on a certain structure or format for the vows, then this may help you to feel more confident on the day of your wedding. If your partner knows what you’re planning and thinks it’s a great idea, chances are you’re going to feel much more confident with your vows.
Practice out loud.
This is very important. You don’t want to be standing at the alter sounding like you just jotted your points down a few minutes ago! Once you’ve put your vows together, write them all out neatly and practice them over and over until you’re comfortable with the wording and timing.
It’s also a good idea to type them out in a font size that you are comfortable with. This ensures that you won’t have trouble seeing the words when the big day comes. Preparation is key, for vows, so show your partner that you’re taking them seriously, and nail that speech when it comes your time.
Wedding vows are a beautiful way to let your guests know why you’ve brought them all together, and for your spouse to know how much he or she means to you. After all of the invitations, pre-wedding parties and wedding favors are taken care of, it’s really these special words that your partner will be most looking forward to. While they are an important part of the ceremony, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Your day is supposed to be fun! Relax and take a deep breath. Your future husband or wife isn’t setting standards for you. They just want to get up there and get married!