How to Write Your Wedding Vows

Firstly, don’t think of this as a daunting task, but rather an extremely rare and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tell your beloved why you love him/her, what makes them the most special person in the world to you, and share that with all of your family and friends without them rolling their eyes and telling you to get a room.

Of course there are some technicalities to take into account. Firstly, you need to check with your wedding officiant to find out if there are any key words or phrases you must keep in your vows. Some officiants will have some very particular requirements that are non-negotiable, but many are very flexible.

Next, you can make life easier on yourself by writing down a few things about your partner to get the ball rolling.

  1. The one undeniable thing about your partner that makes you love them beyond a shadow of a doubt.
  2. What is the absolute best thing about the person you’re marrying?
  3. How did you know you wanted to marry them?
  4. How did you know when you fell in love with them?
  5. What is your best shared memory?
  6. What will change when you are married? What will stay the same?
  7. How do you picture your lives together in 10, 20 and 50 years?
  8. What are your shared dreams?
  9. Most importantly – what promises and commitments are you making to your spouse by marrying them? This is the most important, because this is the crux of a vow, by definition!

Keep the Substance 

Once you have a good handle on the kinds of specifics of your relationship you can include, put a couple of them in your vows. One thing you want to be sure not to do is to take away from the true meaning of the vows themselves. Talking about how much you love each other is not technically the purpose of this exercise, but to make real promises to one another as you make your partnership in life official.

A good balance of sentiments and promises, with a focus on the latter, is the ticket. Feel free to throw in a few cute or funny personal details to keep it light and entertaining for your guests, but always remember why you are there – to make a lifelong commitment. 

Do Your Research

It’s time to do some research and figure out just how you can put these vows together to sound as beautiful as they feel in your heart. Your trusty old friend Google will be able to help here. You can find countless examples of wedding vows online. Try typing not just ‘wedding vows’, but a key phrase that is going to get you something as close to your specific requirements as possible. Eg. ‘Personalised Catholic wedding vows’ or ‘informal wedding vows.’

Consult an Expert

You can also consider consulting an expert. Your officiant is going to be the best person to ask first and foremost. You may also wish to enlist a professional wedding speech/vows consultant. They do exist! And they will be able to look at your individual case and help you every step of the way.


Strike a Balance

Putting everything together – the stuff you have to have, the personal stuff you want to include, and the beautiful wording to make it all come together – is the tricky part. Ensure you have left yourself enough time to go over and over your vows, so you will be 100% happy with them. The great thing about words is they are so very easily changed, re-written, deleted, etc. Up until the day of your wedding, you can make as many changed or do as many rewrites as you like, so don’t worry if you don’t get it all done in one hit.


Get on the Same Page

Lastly, go over your wedding vows with your betrothed. Even if you want to keep the actual words a surprise, it is a good idea to give each other an idea of the direction you’ve taken, so your vows will each stack up against the others’. You might even give each other a few ideas!  

Images by Chesterton Smith Photography

Celebrant for Jaimee + Matthew – Shona Anderson

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Hi, I’m Sally, Founder and Editor of The Bride’s Tree. Over the past 13 years I’ve written thousands of articles about all things wedding from tips and trends to etiquette and ideas. On this blog I bring you the best of Sunshine Coast and Brisbane weddings.