Wondering how to write a wedding vow? Like many couples getting married, you’re not alone in wondering where to start when writing your own vows. Luckily, we’ve got you covered!

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You may have a lot of questions like: What are wedding vows? What’s the difference between personal and traditional wedding vows? When should you start writing and what should you say?

Phew, wedding vows can be overwhelming! To break it all down, we put together a wedding vow FAQ blog post. If you’re totally lost, start there. We also have a FREE GUIDE and vow course that will walk you through how to write a wedding vow, step by step.

Once you’ve got the basics down and you’re ready to write, check out our top vow writing tips below!

how to write a wedding vow, vow exchange in forest ceremony with young hip and married
by Erica Miller Photography

10 tips to write a wedding vow 

Get inspired

Most people struggle with how to write a wedding vow because they don’t think they’re romantic enough. It can be hard to sit down in the middle of the day and force yourself to come up with the most beautiful words that perfectly capture how you feel about your partner.

Start with inspiration! Before you begin writing, take some time to walk down memory lane. Reread old letters or cards you’ve given each other, look back at photos of your best moments, and take time to reflect on the milestones in your relationship.

Even when you’re not about to write a wedding vow, it helps to keep an eye out for inspiration. Start a new note on your phone’s notes app so you can jot down important memories, moments or lines for your vows whenever they come to you. That way, when a special moment comes to mind in the middle of the grocery store, you won’t forget it when you’re writing your vows a few days later.

Set the mood

Just like getting inspired before you write a wedding vow, it helps to create a mood that is conducive to writing. You don’t want to be writing your vows on your phone in the middle of a loud bar or while doing your taxes.

First, block out distractions. Turn off the TV, put your phone away and ask anyone else in the home to not bug you for a little while. While it may be convenient to write a wedding vow on your laptop or iPad, it’s also easy to accidentally open up another tab and spend hours going down a Youtube blackhole instead of doing any writing. Consider switching off wifi while you write.

Second, set the environment. With distractions out of the way, you can now set the perfect vow writing mood. That may include low lighting, soft music, candles and a bottle of wine or maybe you prefer a cup of coffee on the patio with your favourite fuzzy blanket. Whatever the ideal writing environment is for you, try to create that when it comes time to write a wedding vow.

exchanging vows at wedding ceremony
by Erica Miller Photography

Give yourself time to write your wedding vows

Like most things in life, writing your wedding vows isn’t just going to happen unless you set aside time to make it happen. Instead of promising you’ll get to it one day, set aside specific time for yourself to work on your vows. Commit to a regular schedule and put it in your calendar.

You also want to give yourself lots of time to write, polish and practice your vows. This isn’t something you want to be doing the night before your wedding! Get started a few weeks or a few months before your wedding date so you have plenty of time to write without any pressure.

Write a wedding vow in chunks

Another great way to take the pressure off of vow writing is to give yourself multiple sessions to get your vows done. There’s no reason why you need to sit down with a blank piece of paper and not stand up again until you have written the world’s best wedding vows. You can write your vows in chunks instead of forcing yourself to complete them in a single session.

Start with a task for each session. For example, your first session might include watching an online vow course and jotting down a few notes. At your next session, you’ll outline what you want to say in your vows. Then you can spend a session working on your rough draft. Finally, your last session can be for revising, polishing and practicing.

Not only will writing your vows in chunks remove the pressure of nailing it in one go, but it will allow you to be more thoughtful with vows you’ve crafted over time.

Get our FREE GUIDE to writing the best wedding vows ever!

Consider writing with your spouse!

Did you know you can write a wedding vow with your spouse? Even if you want to have separate vows that are kept secret from one another until the big day, you can still enjoy the act of writing your vows together – maybe from opposite sides of the room!

Writing a wedding vow should be fun, so why not make a date night out of it? You and your partner can open a bottle of wine and sit down to watch a  video vow course together. Next, you can reread old love letters or go through your pictures together. Then, slide to opposite sides of the couch to start drafting your wedding vows.

There’s something pretty exciting about sitting in the same room as your spouse-to-be, knowing they are writing all about how much they love you. And even if you’re not able to finish your vows together (remember: write them in chunks!), it’s still a great night spent preparing for your wedding, reminiscing about your relationship and drinking your favourite wine.

One thing to note: Don’t let the idea of writing your wedding vows together cause you any stress. There’s no reason to panic if your partner is writing more than you or faster than you – and also no need to worry if you look over and their page is blank. Trust that both you and your partner will find the perfect words in time for the big day!

exchanging wedding vows on the yaletown seawall
by Erica Miller Photography

Don’t write a wedding vow on your phone 

We do everything on our phones these days, from email and social media to banking and ordering food. But one thing you shouldn’t do on your phone? Read your wedding vows!

While it’s okay to use your phone to jot down notes to inspire your wedding vows, the actual vows should be written or typed onto on a piece of paper or in a vow booklet that will you read from on your wedding day.

We highly recommend not reading your vows off your phone. Why? Two main reasons:

One, phones can fail. Your battery might die, your app might crash, you might lose signal or you might be bombarded with notifications that you have to keep swiping away. Secondly, reading vows off your phone looks bad. In all of your wedding photos, it will look like you decided to scroll through TikTok in the middle of your own wedding ceremony!

Practice makes perfect!

Once your vows are written, your job is still not over. Now it’s time to practice!

Set aside time to practice reading your vows out loud. Read them in front of a mirror so you can watch how you deliver them. Try to practice when no one else is home so you can speak at full volume. Or, if you need a second opinion, practice your vows in front of a close friend or family member.

Practice often. You should be very comfortable with the words that you wrote. Odds are you’ll be a little nervous on your wedding day, so all of that practice will pay off when you deliver your vows smoothly under pressure.

emotional wedding vows, how to write a wedding vow, helicopter elopement with young hip & married
by Erica Miller Photography

Don’t memorize your wedding vows

While we encourage you to practice saying your wedding vows, we don’t suggest you try and memorize them. Yes, it looks super cool in the movies when the couple speaks their vows from memory, no paper or vow booklet in sight. But you know what those actors have that you don’t? The chance for a second take – not to mention years of experience with memorization and less pressure, since they’re not really getting married!

As wedding officiants, we’ve seen up close what it looks like when someone memorizes their wedding vows only to arrive at their ceremony completely blank. We’ve watched as their eyes grow in horror and they stumble through whatever they can remember. It’s not pretty.

Play it safe and stick to reading your vows. Because you’ve practiced so much, you’ll naturally be able to look up and make eye contact with your partner at certain points as you’re reading. You’ll be able to share your vows with confidence, knowing the words you spent time crafting are right in your hands.

Bonus tip: Send a copy of your vows elsewhere for safe keeping. If you’re worried about losing your vows or forgetting them back at your hotel room, have a back up. Send an email copy of your vows to yourself and your officiant and print out a few extra hard copies to have on hand.

Get our FREE GUIDE to writing the best wedding vows ever!

Bring in your officiant 

Remember, your wedding officiant is an expert on wedding vows. Don’t forget to utilize them as a resource! Not only can your officiant provide you with tools for writing your vows, like blog posts and vow writing courses, but they can offer personalized help too.

Before your wedding day, ask your officiant if both you and your partner can send your vows to them. That way, your officiant can read through both sets of vows and make sure they’re similar in length and tone. While it’s okay if one partner is slightly more long-winded or funnier than the other, it can be awkward if one of your writes a 10 page poem and the other opts for a 3 line roast. By sending your vows to your officiant, they can check them both while you still keep them a secret from one another.

Your officiant can also be responsible for holding your vows on your wedding day. You can email them a copy of your vows ahead of time for them to print and hand to you during the ceremony. Or you can give them your printed vows or vow booklets to hold on the day, which they will then pass back to you during the ceremony.

That way, you don’t have to be afraid about losing your vows or fumbling to get them out of your pocket – or worry about where to put them if your outfit doesn’t have a pocket!

Display your vows after your wedding

Congrats, you’re married! So is that it for your wedding vows? It doesn’t have to be!

Your wedding vows are the promises you and your spouse made to one another for the marriage you’re building together. It only makes sense that you’d want to incorporate those promises into your everyday life.

After your wedding, you can choose to display your wedding vows as a visual reminder of the promises you made to one another. You can get them framed or work with an artist to turn them into a visual piece. Etsy has lots of great options for this!

You could also make a pact to revisit your vows every year on your anniversary. As part of your anniversary celebrations, why not reread your vows to one another? Over the years, it will be so special to revisit the foundational words of your marriage and recommit yourselves to those promises.

emotional wedding vows during young hip and married vancouver elopement
by Erica Miller Photography

Ready to write your wedding vows? Don’t forget to check out our free guide to writing the best wedding vows ever and book your wedding officiant for the big day!