Writing your own vows is not for the faint of heart! We would know – Larry and I wrote our own vows for our wedding not too long ago. Public speaking is already a tough thing to do, but combining it with being vulnerable, highly emotional, and sharing your love in front of family and friends is extra daunting. There are a few key things to keep in mind if you and your honey have chosen to create personalized vows rather than pull straight from tradition. Here’s how to get started!
Writing your own unique vows can feel like a lot of pressure – what hasn’t been said before? How can I make my vows unlike any other vows our guests or the love of my life has heard? Well, you can start by ditching the idea that you’ll come up with something COMPLETELY unique. Love is love – it’s universal. Instead, you can pull from the one thing that will be completely unique: your love story.
No one else has lived the journey that you two have! Talk about your early days, when you met and how your love developed. Talk about the little things that made you fall in love. Maybe even talk about that major moment when you realized that you’d spend the rest of your life with them. Even better, pull from the values that you both share to create vows that are truly meaningful to you as a couple.
It’s no surprise that what you share as a couple could be unknown to most, if not all, of your guests at the wedding. Possibly only your parents, siblings, or bridal party know the full story of how you met, your first date, and more. They also might not be fully aware of the intimacies of your relationship, like conversations you’ve had about your past and future that have bonded you as the perfect match.
You might realize as you’re writing your vows that it could get really unnerving to say these things in front of all your guests. BUT don’t let that stop you from being wholly truthful and vulnerable! This is your one shot to deliver your vows to your SO on your wedding day, and you don’t want to allow other people to influence this perfect moment. Write like no one is reading 😉
Yes, guests are there to celebrate your love, and they have no right to complain about how you choose to spend the day. However… even the most romantic people will tell you that it’s best to keep it short and simple. Ceremonies are typically much shorter than the rest of the day’s events, and guests will likely be very excited for the reception (and maybe even very hungry, depending on the time). The standard ceremony takes about 30 minutes, and you’ll want your vows to be a powerful part of that. The shorter your vows are, the bigger punch they can pack and the more memorable they could be.
Don’t think about it as watering down your vows either – they’re meant to communicate to your new bride or groom exactly why you’ve made it to the altar with them. Pick the strongest points and expand on those rather than relaying every single detail.
As we’ve said, the vows are not a service you offer to your guests. They aren’t there just because they’re expected. You should be writing your own vows because you want to pour your heart out to your SO on your big day. Because of this, you shouldn’t be trying to stay within the parameters of what people would expect vows to be like. If you have a creative idea or want to do something out of the ordinary, do it!
Before you write your vows for your ceremony, think about how you want to deliver them and whether you’ll want to keep them as a memory. A great traditional way to turn your vows into a keepsake is to buy a little dedicated book to write them in. You can buy pre-made “his and hers” vow books, pick out a special bound notebook that you like, or even get creative and make your own! Then, you’ll be able to display them, keep them with your other wedding keepsakes, and break them out to re-read on anniversaries if you’d like.
At Garden in the Pines, we specialize in creating the most gorgeous, luxe wedding florals for weddings across New Jersey. But we also love starting out with our wedding couples early by answering any questions they have and chipping in for any part of the planning process. Send us an inquiry if you’re looking to chat about your special day!