Do you and your partner want to create the best wedding vows ever but you don’t know where to begin? You’re not alone. So many couples love the idea of personal vows but assume they’re not good enough writers to pull it off.

Here’s the truth: Writing heartfelt personal wedding vows is possible, no matter how romantic you think you are or how great a writer you are.

All you need to do is follow a few easy steps. We’ve developed a simple formula to help you express yourself personally and create authentic vows that represent you as individuals and as a couple.

This vow writing formula was born out of our over 10 years of experience officiating weddings and assisting couples with their vows. In fact, our found Shawn Miller, even put together a vow writing course to walk you through it.

Below we’ll share five things to know before you start writing your vows, plus our signature five step formula for writing the best vows ever! 

Kristie and Jo-Ann's outdoor summer wedding at Queen Elizabeth Park, reciting vows to one another
by John Bello Photography

5 decisions to make before you start writing your wedding vows

1. Decide if you’re writing personal vows or choosing traditional vows

Personal vows are unique vows that you write from scratch (though you’re totally allowed to get a little help or borrow ideas). Traditional vows are pre-written vows that you can select to recite. You could also create hybrid vows where you use some traditional lines and add in some lines of your own.

Traditional vows won’t be in your own words and sometimes have deep religious or cultural ties. You can check out some of the top traditional vows here. You can also opt for pre-written modern vows, if that’s more your style.

As wedding officiants who have been front and centre at thousands of weddings, we have to say that personal vows are the way to go. Not only do personal vows allow you to create a deeper connection with your partner, they’re more memorable for your guests and, best of all, more true to your relationship.

After all, if your vows are supposed to be your promises for marriage, shouldn’t those be unique promises specific to your own marriage and not ones you copy/paste from someone else?

Nervous about writing your own personal vows? Don’t be! That’s what our 5 step formula below is for.

2. Decide if you’ll be writing and saying the same vows or if you’ll each have different vows

If you’ve decided to write personal vows, the next decision you need to make is whether you’ll be writing one shared vow (aka common vows) or two different vows.

Most couples opt for two different vows; you write your own vows and your partner writes their own. But if you’d rather collaborate, you can work on one set of shared, common vows. You’ll write the vows together and both say them at your ceremony.

The nice thing about common vows is the exercise of working together to create your shared promises for your marriage. What are you both committing to? It also takes some of the pressure off, if you’re worried about writing.

The downside is you don’t get that feeling of hearing your partner’s special vows for you for the first time. That’s a pretty hard feeling to beat!

3. Decide if you’ll be writing your vows together or apart

If you’ve decided on two different vows, you now have to decide how you’d like to do the writing. Do you want to write them together or apart?

We recommend writing your vows together, even if you’re not sharing them (more on that in the next decision). It’s a fun exercise to crack open a bottle of wine, press play on our video vow course, and sit down to write your vows together. You can sit at opposite ends of the couch or table so your vows stay secret.

Writing your vows together is also helpful if you’re worried one of you will forget or procrastinate. By setting aside time for you to both work on your vows, you ensure they get ticked off the wedding to-do list.

4. Decide if you’ll be sharing your vows with each other before your wedding day

Whether you’ve written your vows together or apart, you can still decide if you want to show them to each other before the big day.

Most couples opt to keep their vows a secret – and we think that’s the right call. Like we said, it’s hard to beat the feeling of hearing your partner saying those words to you for the very first time.

If you do want a second set of eyes on your vows, ask your wedding officiant! Your officiant is a vow expert and would be happy to offer you feedback, give suggestions or answer any questions.

Importantly, your wedding officiant can also ensure that your vows are similar in length and style. While they don’t have to be identical, you don’t want one person sharing deeply emotional vows for five minutes while the other tells three jokes and calls it a day.

5. Decide how you’ll be delivering your vows

Last, but not least, you have to decide how you want to deliver your vows at your wedding ceremony. There are five different ways to deliver your vows, so you can choose what you’re most comfortable with.

For personal vows, we recommend reading them to your partner like a love letter. This is the most personal and impactful way to deliver your vows, without the pressure of trying to memorize them.

You can choose to read the vows to your partner in private or at your wedding ceremony. We prefer the latter, but some couples like to keep things more intimate.

Need more help writing your wedding vows? Check out our online vow writing course! This video course will walk you through the formula, step by step, for how to write your vows and provide you with examples and guidance along the way.

Couple sharing vows at their wedding ceremony; the groom is reading his vows into a mic while the bride wipes a tear from her eye
by Will Pursell Photography

How to write the best personal wedding vows in 5 simple steps

From how to start your vows to how to end your vows, and all the good stuff in between, we’ve developed a simple five step formula that will leave you with heartfelt, beautiful wedding vows.

Step 1: Say your partner’s name and tell them how you feel

Start your wedding vows by addressing your partner by name. Next, give them a compliment and say how this moment makes you feel. (1 line)


  • (Name) I stand here, today, a little nervous and very excited.
  • (Name) you look absolutely beautiful, and I can’t believe the day I get to marry my best friend has finally arrived.
  • (Name) who would have thought when we met that we would be standing here today?
  • (Name) words cannot describe all the emotions I’m feeling right now. I am the luckiest man in the world to be standing here with you today.

Check out our online vow writing course!

Step 2: Share how you met and when you knew they were the one

Talk about how you felt when you met them, what captivated you, and how they’ve changed your life. (1-2 lines)

The section is optional; if you want your wedding vows to be shorter, you can skip this one. However, some people find this part very meaningful. Sometimes it’s nice to take a walk down memory lane!


  • From the moment our paths crossed, you’ve surprised me, distracted me, captivated me, and challenged me in ways I never knew possible.
  • I’ve fallen in love with you again and again, and I still can’t believe that, today, I get to marry you. I am clearly marrying up.
  • We have been through so much together, not all of it easy, but together, we have made it through all that life has thrown at us.
  • Before I knew you, I had no idea what love really was.
A couple reciting their personal wedding vows during their ceremony; the bride is reading from her vow book
photo by Emily Nicole Photos

Step 3: Write your promises into your wedding vows

Share 4-6 things you promise to do or be in your marriage. Remember, this is the main focus of your vows and foundation of your marriage!

You can interchange the words promise/vow/will so this section of your vows doesn’t sound too repetitive. Rather than saying what you think sounds good, be honest and realistic. But don’t be afraid to be a little silly!

Really reflect on who you want to be and how you want to show up in your marriage. The best wedding vows are the ones that come from the heart.


  • I will always remind you how awesome you are at least once a day, especially when you are not believing it for yourself.
  • I promise to be open and honest with you in all things.
  • I will support and protect your freedom, because although our lives are intertwined, your choices are still yours, alone. I will continue to seek a deep understanding of your wishes, your desires, your fears and your dreams.
  • I vow to respect, admire and appreciate you for who you are, as well as for the person you wish to become, and to do my best to meet your needs, not out of obligation, but because it delights me to see you happy.
  • I promise to work together to keep our lives exciting, adventurous, and full of passion, persevering when times get tough, knowing that any challenges we face, we will conquer together.
  • I vow to be there for you, when you need me, and to nurture your goals and ambitions, supporting you through misfortune and celebrating with you in triumph.
  • I vow to love you.
  • I will cook you breakfast for dinner (or other fun, less serious things that are specific to your relationship!).

Step 4: Summarize where you and where you’re going

State what  you know about your relationship. (1 line)

After you’ve made your promises, this is a great way to tie your wedding vows together and focus on the two of you.


  • No matter what life throws our way or how much time has passed, I know our love will never fade, and we will continue to grow side by side.
  • I believe in the truth of what we are.
  • Whatever life throws our way, we will accomplish it together.
  • I know that year after year and wrinkle after wrinkle, our love will just become stronger.
  • I know life will not always be easy, but together, we can make the difficult times a lot more fun.

Step 5: End your wedding vows with style!

You’re almost done! Finish with a closing statement to end your vows. (1 line)

Think of this like the cherry on top of your vows. You’ve made all of your promises and shared everything you wanted about your relationship. Now you just need something short and sweet to close things out.


  • This is my promise, now and forever.
  • This is my sacred vow.
  • I will love you from this moment until my last.
  • You have my heart and my soul, forever.
  • My heart belongs to you, now and forever.
  • Words do not describe how I feel, so I will simply say, I love you – always have and always will.

Congratulations, you’re now the proud owner of your own personal, heartfelt wedding vows!

If you still need a hand, get a step by step guide to writing the best wedding vows ever with our vow writing course. Check out the vow course now and enrol today! 

Help me write my dream wedding vows!