One of my favorite things about weddings is that each one is different. Different colors, themes, games, decor, food, etc. But each wedding is about two people that really love each other and are ready to spend their lives with each other. Your wedding vows said at the ceremony is the time to illustrate your love to one another in front of all your closest friends and family, but most importantly to each other. Here are some tips for writing your vows.
1. There are many ways to write your vows. There are religious, cultural, and family traditional vows that you may want to incorporate into your vows. Or you can write your own vows from scratch. Either way, make sure what you are saying is consistent and from the heart. Your vows are important words that you will most likely remember for the rest of your life.
2. START EARLY(about a month or so before the wedding) and write it out. A good way to start planning your vows is to start right when you get engaged. Make lists, notes, etc about reasons why you love your finace and keep it in a safe place.
3. Put it in your own words. Make sure what you are saying has meaning for you and you’re being true to yourself.
4. Think about the tone you want to set for your vows. Do you want to be more funny, sensitive, moving, serious, etc. Of course you can have a mixture but you want to think about the overall feeling you want your partner (and the audience) to feel.
5. Make it different and unique. This is YOUR wedding. Make sure to have your personality in your vows and make it as unique and different as you can.
6. Ask your friends, family, and especially officiant for help if you get stuck or to edit it. Remember that in the end they are your vows and be true to yourself, but getting advice from others sometimes helps give a new perspective.
7. Talk to your partner (maybe have a fun date) regarding what you want to incorporate into your vows such as religious vows, quotes, or writing your own vows. Theknot.com recommends answering some questions together to help you get started if you are writing your own vows.
- When did you know you were in love? How did you know?
- When did you say “I love you” for the first time? Where? How did you feel?
- What do you most admire about your partner? What does (s)he bring out in you?
- How are you different? Alike? How do you complement one another?
- What is the hardest thing you’ve been through together? How have you supported one another?
- Why did you propose or say yes?
- When did you first start dating? Why did you start dating?
- What do you want to accomplish together?
- What, to you, is the most important part of marriage?
8. You can write individual vows or write them as a couple like traditional vows.
9. Don’t make your vows too personal or long. You’ll lose the attention of the audience and perhaps your significant other.
10. Practice out loud. Decide if you will memorize your vows (which can be tricky), write them down and read them, or have the officiant say them for you to repeat.
11. Make sure your guests can hear you. Take into consideration location, speaker systems, and outside distractions.
12. Research quotes, books, religious traditional vows, song lyrics, etc. Use these in your vows, but don’t over do it. You want to be yourself instead of just repeating line after line of quotes and lyrics. Below are some ideas of vows, quotes, lyrics to use for your vows:
Protestant Basic Vows- ” I take you, ______, to be my wife/husband from this day forward, to join with you and share all that is to come, and I promise to be faithful to you until death parts us.”
Episcopal Vows- “In the name of God, I, ______, take you, _____ to be my wife/husband,to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.”
Methodist Vows- “Will you have this woman/man to be your wife/husband, to live together in a holy marriage? Will you love her/him, comfort her/him, honor and keep her/him in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, be faithful to her/him as long as you both shall live?”
Catholic Vows- “I, ____, take you, _____, to be my wife/husband. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love and honor you all the days of my life.
“Two are better than one: they get a good wage for their labor. If the one falls, the other will lift up his companion. Woe to the solitary man! For if he should fall, he has no one to lift him up. So, also, if two sleep together, they can keep each other warm. How can one alone keep warm? Where a lone man may be overcome, two together can resist. “- Ecclesiates 4:9-12
“This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you. There is no greater love than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. It was not you who chose me, it was I who chose you to go forth and bear fruit. Your fruit must endure, so that all you ask the Father in my name he will give you. The command I give you is this, that you love one another.”– John 15:12-17
“Your love must be sincere. Detest what is evil, cling to what is good. Love one another with the affection of brothers. Anticipate each other in showing respect. Do not grow slack but be fervent in spirit; he whom you serve is the LORD. Rejoice in hope, be patient under trail, persevere in prayer.”- –Romans 12:9-14
“Love is patient; love is kind. Love is not jealous, it does not put on airs , it is not snobbish. Love is never rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not prone to anger; neither does it brood over injuries. Love does not rejoice in what is wrong but rejoices with the truth. There is no limit to love’s forbearance, to its trust, its hope, its power to endure. Love never fails. Prophecies will cease, tongues will be silent, knowledge will pass away… There are in the end three things that last: faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love.”- 1 Corinthians 13:3-13
“Love has no room for fear; rather, perfect love casts out all fear. And since fear has to do with punishment, love is not yet perfect in one who is afriad. We, for our part, love because he loved us first.” – 1 John 4:18-19
“I, ____, cherish you, ____, for being all that you are, all that you are not , and all that you can be. Know that I am here for you, and that your pain will be mine, and your joy mine as well. I choose you to be my wife/ husband.”
” _____, I promise to be faithful, supportive, and loyal and to give you my companionship and love throughout all the changes of our life. I vow to bring you happiness, and I will treasure you as a companion. I will celebrate the joys of life with you. I promise to support your dreams, and walk beside you offering courage and strength through all endeavors. From this day forward, I will be proud to be your wife/husband and your best friend.”
“I, ____, take you, ___, to be no other than yourself. Loving what I know of you, trusting what I do not yet know, I will respect your integrity and have faith in your abiding love for me, through all our years, and in all that life may bring us.”
“_____, I take you as my wife/husband, with your faults and your strengths, as I offer myself to you with my faults and strengths. I will help you when you need help, and turn to you when I need help. I choose you as the person with whom I will spend my life with.”
” Today, I join my life to yours. From this day on I will be your partner and companion, for you are my dearest love and my best friend. I look forward to the joy we will find in each other’s separate success, as well as our shared ones. I welcome the challenges of whatever obstacles we encounter, for I know that whatever we face we face it together. Because your happiness is vital to me, I will help you grow as an individual. Because you deserve no less than the best of me, I will also strive to be more fully myself. I will be faithful to you all of my days, will be honest with you always, and will cherish and adore you every moment of my life. This is my solemn vow.”
Other Readings/ Quotes/ Etc.
“You are my husband/wife. My legs run because of you. My feet dance because of you. My heart shall beat because of you. My eyes see because of you. My mind thinks because of you. And I shall love because of you.” – Eskimo love song
“Your love contains the power of a thousand suns. It unfolds as naturally and effortlessly as does a flower, and graces the world with it’s blooming. Its beauty radiates a transforming energy that enlivens all who see it. Because of you, compassion and joy are added to the world. That is why the stars sing together because of your love.” -The Couple’s Tao Te Ching: “Transforming Power”
” In discussing love, it would be well to consider the following premises: One cannot give what he does not possess. To give love you must possess love. One cannot teach what he does not understand. To teach love you must comprehend love. One cannot know what he does not study. To study love you must live in love. One cannot appreciate what he does not recognize. To recognize love you must be receptive to love. One cannot have doubt about that which he wishes to trust. To trust love you must be convinced of love. One cannot admit what he does not yield to. To yield to love you must be vulnerable to love. One cannot live what he does not dedicate himself to. to dedicate yourself to love you must forever grow in love.” – Love, Leo Buscaglia
” The goal of life should not be to find joy in marriage, but to bring more love and truth into the world. We marry to assist each other in this task.” – Leo Tolstoy
” The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” – Helen Keller
* The Knot