One of the aspects of a wedding day that gets left to the end is how to write your vows. Our parents likely didn’t have it this hard. They stuck with the traditional vows! However, most weddings now feature personal vows written by the couple to each other. Like love letters. It can be hard to capture everything you want to in such a short amount of time, but that’s what I’m here to help with.
Writing your vows doesn’t have to be painstaking. Even though it’s a solo activity, and you can’t bounce ideas off your partner, there are things to think about that will make it easier.
How to Write Your Wedding Vows
#1 How do you begin?
My first tip, is don’t try and do this the morning of your wedding. You’d be surprised at how many couples sit down in their getting-ready room to bust out the vows. Best practice is to spend some time prior to the day thinking up ideas. With that said, allow yourself a couple days to write your vows. Even if it’s only five minutes a day!
Use a list if it’s easiest. Or a stream of consciousness. Whatever gets your creativity flowing, try that method first. Write down all the things you love about your partner. Come up with three of your favorite memories together. List out a couple of promises you’d like to make on your wedding day.
Getting all that information out on paper is the hardest part! Once you’ve done that, parring it down to the essentials will feel like a breeze!
#2 How long should they be?
Long enough to be impactful, but short enough that your partner’s eyes don’t glaze over. Once you’ve gotten your vows down to where you THINK they should be, try reading them aloud and timing yourself. Remember, most people’s attention span these days is short, so if you can capture what you want to say in less than 5 minutes, that’s great!
#3 When do I say them?
Personal vows sometimes feel too personal to say in front of a huge audience. If that’s the case, you and your partner may decide to say them privately. A popular time to do this is during the first look. Just make sure you let your videographer and photographer know if this is the case! You’ll want to be able to hear the audio of those vows in years to come so the videographer will need to mic you up!
However, if you want to keep with tradition, saying them during the ceremony is great. It’s also special to be able to declare those vows aloud in front of your friends and family. They’ve come to witness your love, and saying personal vows in front of them is a great way to include them in that.
There’s a lot more advice to writing your vows, and if you need help, try Tapestry Event Co’s handy Vow Writing Workshop! It’ll help you from start to finish so you feel confident on your wedding day.
How to Write you Ceremony
In addition to writing your vows, you may end up writing or helping write your ceremony. If you don’t hire a professional officiant, and instead have a friend or family member do it, they’ll need your input.
#1 All the things to consider
There is a lot that goes into a ceremony, but most importantly, ask yourself these questions: how long do you want it to be (remember the attention span we talked about above)? What parts of your relationship do you want shared? Like how you got together or why you love each other. What traditions do you want to keep or get rid of? If you’re concerned about your family’s opinions, asking what traditions are important to them is a good start. What’s the vibe (funny, serious, romantic etc)?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll be off to a good start!
#2 It’s not all about the writing
There are so many other aspects to a ceremony that are good to think about and decide before you get to the day-of. You have to decide what music you want and when you want it played. Not to mention, is your DJ in charge of the music or is it someone else?
Then, it’s good to think about the processional order. Who is walking down the aisle? Is there even going to be an aisle? All of these seem obvious, but it’s good to have it all written down for your own peace of mind. These questions will come up at the rehearsal.
At the end of your ceremony, how do you want to be announced after the kiss? Does your officiant need to make any announcements after the recessional? For example, they could announce that all family stays behind for pictures. They could direct everyone to cocktail hour.
Other things to consider, especially if you’re not hiring a professional: have the officiant move aside during the first kiss so they’re not in between you or above your heads in every kiss photo. Also, have them give themselves a note to direct people to sit if they’ve stood for anyone coming down the aisle. Too many times, a friend won’t remember or know to put that in their notes, and guests are left standing for half the ceremony. Not only is it awkward, but it can block some of your videographer’s cameras.
If you’re still wanting help, use Tapestry Event Co’s handy Ceremony Writing Guide! It’ll make the whole thing seamless.
Do you have other wedding planning questions and need some extra help? Not everyone has budget for a wedding planner so book a Planning Power Hour and knock some details out with someone experienced.