How to write wedding vows: couple holding hands while at their wedding

You’ve found the love of your life, and now it’s time to write your wedding vows. If you’ve chosen to write the vows yourself, you know the magnitude of the moment. This special undertaking offers a chance to express how much your future spouse means to you — in your own words.

Learning how to write wedding vows can feel intimidating, but you don’t have to do it alone. To help you create personal wedding vows that are authentic and heartfelt, discover our tips on structure, tone, and other elements that will showcase your thoughtfulness and personality.

How to Write Wedding Vows That Express Your Love and Show Your Personality

How to write wedding vows: couple reading their wedding vows

Wedding vows are more than just promises. They signify the importance of your love, the path you envision for yourselves, and your commitment to building the future of your dreams. Putting those feelings into words can be tough, but it’s not impossible, especially with a little guidance. 

Here, we’ll show you how to write wedding vows in easy-to-follow steps, whether you’re planning a vow renewal, elopement, or traditional wedding.

Create Your Wedding Vow Structure

Like all writing, your wedding vows should have structure. While there isn’t one specific wedding vow template to follow, sit down and think about what you want to say. Is there a story you can share that encapsulates your relationship? Maybe your significant other once said something to you that made you realize they were the one. Perhaps a fateful event happened that brought you together.

Whatever it is, consider how that story or moment represents your love and then use that to create an outline for your vows. Most couples mention what their partner means to them, share an anecdote about how they met or knew they were the right one, and end the vows with their promises of love and commitment.

In general, wedding vows should be one to three minutes long. Keep this in mind when setting the structure for your vows. And remember, it’s your big day, so if you want to take a little more time, that’s fine, too!

Decide on Tone

Your tone is just as important as the wedding words you choose. Before writing your vows, think about what tone you want. You can choose to be funny, lighthearted, sentimental, or formal. 

Consider matching the tone to your relationship style — if you’re goofy together, feel free to be silly and write funny wedding vows. (If you’re both known for your sense of humor, you can also send funny wedding invitations to let guests know what to expect!) You can also use a couple of different tones to highlight the trajectory of your relationship over the years. 

Use Meaningful Anecdotes

Keep inside jokes to a minimum — or add them to a personal card you can give your partner in crime on the wedding day. Instead, use meaningful anecdotes to share special moments with family members and friends who have taken the time to attend your wedding. Share one or two stories that demonstrate the heart of your relationship. 

Share Solid Promises

Wedding vows aren’t complete without promises. After all, you’re standing at the altar about to spend the rest of your life with your soulmate. That means you may want to write personal vows that aren’t just rosy and fun. At times, life will be hard, and you’ll need to rely on each other. Now’s the time to make solid promises on how you’ll navigate hard times and how you’ll celebrate your biggest achievements.

End With a Memorable Moment

Wrap up your vows with a special moment. This doesn’t have to be groundbreaking. It can be as simple as telling your partner “I love you” and thanking guests for supporting your marriage. 

8 Tips for Writing Your Own Wedding Vows

How to write wedding vows: couple saying their wedding vows

Ready to write your vows? Here are our top tips to ensure the process goes smoothly. Preparing early and getting help from loved ones can help you craft vows as perfect as your love.

1. Start Early

Don’t wait until the last minute to write your wedding vows. By starting early, you’ll avoid feeling stressed out or rushed — and you can get input from friends, family, and other loved ones if you like. You’ll have more time to think of special moments or stories you want to share during the wedding ceremony. Plus, by starting early, you’ll have plenty of time to rework and practice your vows before the big day.

2. Have a Brainstorming Session

Engagement Bands Invitation

Design: Stacey Meacham Design, LLC

When learning how to write wedding vows, one of the first things you’ll need to do is jot down your ideas. Take time to brainstorm anecdotes you want to share or promises you want to make. 

If you’re having a religious wedding — such as a Jewish, Muslim, or Catholic wedding — you’ll also want to consider whether you want to mention God or a verse from sacred text. Make a long list and then revisit it a few days later to see if you’ve come up with new ideas or have a favorite. 

During this time, consider looking at wedding vow examples. You don’t want to copy these word for word, but they can give you inspiration. Think about recent weddings you’ve attended and what you liked about these real wedding vows. Consider TV shows and movies and draw inspiration from those as well. The beauty is that inspiration can be found anywhere. 

You’ll also want to look at traditional wedding vows along with more modern takes. By reading a variety of styles, you may develop new ideas for crafting your own vows.

3. Make Several Drafts

Once you have an idea of where you want your vows to go, it’s time to make a rough draft. The first time you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard!) might feel tricky but try not to focus too much on perfection. The important thing is to get your ideas on paper. 

After the first draft is done, take some time off. This will allow you to avoid writer’s block and give you time to think about the wording. When you’re ready, revisit the document or create an entirely new draft. Compare the two and make updates where you see fit. Continue creating or updating the drafts until you’re happy with what you’ve written.

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Be Sentimental

Wedding Vows Invitation

Design: Erika Firm

Some couples might hesitate to be sentimental because they feel it comes across as inauthentic or too sweet. But whether you’re writing funny marriage vows or romantic wedding vows, there’s nothing wrong with incorporating warm and loving sentiments.

Phrases like “I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you,” “I promise to love and cherish you for the rest of my days,” and “The best days of my life are the ones I’ve spent with you” hit differently on a wedding day. They’re sure to bring tears of joy and express the depths of your love and devotion.

5. Practice Your Vows Out Loud

As they say, practice makes perfect. The best wedding vows are those that people take the time to write and practice. Before the official vow exchange, practice in front of the mirror or with your best friend. 

Read the vows out loud, taking time to jot down notes or changes along the way. While you practice, work on your timing, paying attention to pauses and transitions. You may also want to write down notes and reminders where you want to take a small pause.

6. Get Input From Loved Ones

Man reading his wedding vow to his girlfriend

While you can certainly write your wedding vows all on your own, some people find it helpful to seek advice from friends and family. Ask someone you trust for ideas or to review what you’ve already written. You can also ask your wedding officiant or wedding planner to review your vows and offer feedback. 

7. Consider Keeping Your Vows a Secret From Your Partner

Your vows can be a beautiful surprise for your partner. If you prefer, keep them a secret until the big day for the biggest impact. You’ll love watching your partner react to your words as you join together and start your new journey.

8. Invest in a Vow Book

Romantic Floral Frame Invitation

Design: Claudia Owen

A vow book is a lovely keepsake that adds formality to your promises. These little books will protect your vows long after the wedding day. If you don’t want a vow book, use nice stationery instead. 

At the very least, print a copy of your vows before the big day — without scribbles or edits — for a more formal presentation. Some couples may also opt to read vows from their smartphone. However, we love the tradition of the written word, even for a modern wedding. 

Create Vows That Wow

Writing wedding vows can be intimidating, but these tips will guide you through the creative process. Once you learn how to write wedding vows, you can find the right words to say and share them in a way that reflects your unique love story.

With Greenvelope, digital invitations are just one part of your full wedding stationery suite. You can easily customize wedding save the dates, rehearsal dinner invites, thank you cards, and more.

For more wedding planning help, continue browsing our wedding guides. You’ll find everything from wedding etiquette tips to budget breakdowns and ideas to make all your wedding day dreams come true.