Hey you’re here! Wohooo! Ready to rock your vows? I know you can do it. I truly get so overjoyed when couples decide to write and share their own vows… especially with small weddings & elopements, couples tend to really lean into the intimacy and have fun with this part of the day – but that doesn’t mean it’s always a no brainer!
Pro Tip: don’t do what my parents did and NOT write your own vows…their officiant ended up running off the day of their wedding and my great uncle had to unexpectedly marry them. 100% truth. Was it related to not writing their own vows? Probably not. Should you still get creative and write your own vows anyway? Heck yes. Remember, theres no right or wrong here but before we dive into the template for you to swipe as a starting place! I wanted to provide a few tips for rocking the process as a whole.
1. Create a list in your notes app on your phone that you can continually add to and keep a running list of words and phrases that remind you of the love of your life. Feel free to get inspired from poems, movies, podcasts, blogs wedding website, your photographer etc…This will make sitting down to write a whole lot easier.
2. Practice. SAY WHAAAAT? Oh yeah. Just like anything, practice makes perfect. Don’t sit down to write once and call it a day. Type it out, make a brain dump list, write it again, share it with a friend, speak it out-loud when your significant other is away – but just practice! Pick up a little notebook to keep your thoughts and get ya motivated! Leave it next to your bed or keep it in your purse (make the other promise not to peek of course). There’s some super cute recycled notebooks from Etsy.If you’re still feeling nervous, you can read your vows to a (trusted) mutual friend. Reading it aloud is the best way to practice as it helps get those jitters out and let’s you find confidence with the words and the flow. Don’t forget the friend isn’t there to critique but be a springboard for ideas and an opportunity to practice in front of someone you trust. The more you can give the words to your brain in different ways the more you’ll be able to craft something that you’ll be proud of 1, 5 or 12 months from now.
3. Agree on a format! Decide if you want to take a religious, spiritual or purely poetic style approach. What length feels best for you two? I encourage couples to get on the same page about this, yes you want this special moment to be a surprise but it’s important to manage expectations with your partner before you start writing so you feel confident standing up there together knowing that you’re going to be sharing vows that sound cohesive. A good general rule is to aim for two minutes or less (think 280 to 300 words for a two-minute speech) this keeps your guests engaged and more importantly helps you stay on tract and fully in the present moment with your partner.
4. Handwrite those babies! Typing can be a great way to braindump and get your thoughts out, move things around, and get creative! But, when it comes time to prep the real thing, I encourage writing it. Why? Well, for starters its been proven that writing things down helps our brain remember the words better. This will give you confidence to keep the intimate eye contact with your partner during the vows, rather than looking down at your paper the entire time.
5. Think about the little things. Your vows don’t have to be riddled with recasting your big extravagant moments together. Often times, its the little details that make us fall in love with a person. Think about your journey together, the characteristics that make you look at them a little longer in the morning. You’re choosing to love and adore this person through it all. Love stories are great, but the best vows are often steeped in reality and based on the little moments of celebration and joy.6. Put down the armor. If there’s ever a time to be vulnerable, it’s now. It’s not a race, its not a competition – no one is going to be judging you, and even if they are (why were they invited?) this is YOUR day, no one eases. You don’t want to look back and think, I didn’t share my authentic self with the love of my life because I was afraid what others would think. Honor your code, give your promise and love to your forever person in whatever words feels right. There is no such thing as too cliche, too poetic, too funny, too cheese, too straightforward, too romantic…its just yours. Let yourself be creative and be true to you.I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, actually write them out! Even if you have to type them first, what you bring to the ceremony should be in your hand writing, you’ll be grateful you did this later. I offer print credits with all of my wedding packages and I love to see my clients hang their photos next to their framed vows!
I (name), take you _____________ (name) to be my wife/husband; my partner in life, and my one true love. You’re everything that I’ve ever dreamed of & everything I need. You have been my best friend, mentor, confidant, my greatest challenge & inspiration. Most importantly, you are the love of my life and you make me happier than I could ever imagine and more loved than I ever thought possible. I remember when_______________(memory together) and I knew it had always been you. I will cherish our partnership and love you more each day than I did the day before. Your_____________(characteristic) makes me feel__________ (positive emotion) and I am eternally grateful for your kind and unconditional love. I will trust you and respect you, laugh with you and cry with you, loving you faithfully through good times and bad, regardless of the obstacles we may face together, even when you hoard the remote (inset inside joke here _), I give you my hand, my heart, my commitment, and my love – from this day forward for as long as we both shall live. This ring is a symbol of my vow to you (name).
I hope this helps spark some creativity & ease during this process! You got this!!!
Leandra Creative Co Photography is based in New York City and traveling worldwide to capture the legacies of couples in love. Love empathy & a good sense of humor are are the core of this company. Leandra Creative Co. is proudly LGBTQIA+ friendly. I believe timeless and extraordinary photographs look and FEEL different when they are created by someone that takes the time to become more than just your photographer.
Leandra Creative Co Photography is based in North Carolina and traveling worldwide to capture the legacies of couples in love. We believe that y’all means ALL and proudly LGBTQ+ friendly. Timeless and extraordinary photographs look and FEEL different when they are created by someone that truly takes the time to connect with you & your unique story.