Your wedding vows are such an important part of your wedding day! There are people out there that may say, “Eh! The moment will be over before you know it and you’ll never remember them anyways!” Let’s be real… those people just haven’t heard meaningful vows that have knocked you out of the water!
As wedding photographers who have attended A LOT of weddings, we’ve heard A LOT of vows! There are couples who stick to the traditional vows laid out by their officiant and there are some couples who opt in to write their own. Regardless, there’s always a certain degree of pressure surrounding vows.
Maybe you’re scouring the Internet right now, looking through anything and everything that shows up under the search results for “HELP ME! I don’t know how to write my wedding vows!” Trust us, we understand that anxiety and it does not go unnoticed.
For most people, writing isn’t their forte! And that’s alright as long as you don’t let it discourage you from writing intentional, meaningful vows! You can be the most terrible writer in the world and still craft words that are meaningful to you and your partner!
So without a further ado, here are five tips from a pair of Minnesota wedding photographers on how to write unforgettable vows for your wedding day!
For most people, we’ve been to weddings, listened to a couple exchange their vows, admired their words, and moved on. But have you really challenged yourself to think of what a vow means to you?
If you’re looking for an answer from us, you’ll be disappointed to know that we’re not going to tell you. One way to start to write unforgettable vows is to search for a what a vow means within yourself. It’s in your own answer to your question that your vows will start to take shape. (Yes… You are going to have to learn to get comfortable talking to yourself and practice self-refelction in order to write unforgettable vows!)
It’s important to try to avoid searching up the definition of a vow or reading examples of wedding vows! Some people will tell you to look up examples of vows so you can start getting ideas. We find that when you do this, you can become discouraged by the strength of other’s vows and even end up plagiarizing that individual’s vows in an attempt to bring yours up to caliber.
In sum, trust in yourself and your own ability to write meaningful, unforgettable vows! If you are really serious about writing unforgettable vows, your first step is to believe in your ability to create unforgettable vows. You can tell when someone isn’t confident in what they write so make sure you work on building that confidence around your writing.
In the past when we’ve been asked for advice on writing your vows, this tip has been our go-to piece of advice. If you’re writing your own vows, that means you’ve most likely opted out of saying the already-written vows provided by the officiant. So if you made the commitment to write your own vows, then that’s exactly what you should do! Making your vows personal is a surefire way of making sure that they are far from forgettable!
That means you are NOT taking cliche quotes or sayings from the internet and adding them to your vows! Someone should not be able to copy and paste your vows and use them as your own. Your vows should be so personal that if a random stranger were to read them, they wouldn’t make sense (I mean, they’d make sense but they wouldn’t be able to take them and use them as their own.)
A great way to personalize your vows is by inserting little anecdotes or inside jokes into your vows. It’s important to recognize that you are not writing your vows for anyone other than your partner. Don’t worry if a joke won’t land with the crowd or won’t make sense to anyone other than your partner! Your vows can be used as a peek into your relationship for all of the attendees. But at the end of the day, all that matters is that your vows will be understood by your partner and your partner only.
Another great way to personalize your vows is by using a poem or song lyric that resonates with what you’re trying to say. Now, it’s important to make sure that you build off of this poem or lyric and avoid letting it take up the majority of your vows. But sometimes a poem or a lyric is a great way to express your intentions and get those words across.
A huge piece of advice for writing your vows (or writing anything formal for that matter) is to make a plan and brainstorm before you even begin drafting. It can be so easy to want to dive right in to writing a draft for something because an idea or inspiration comes rushing over you! But what tends to be the case is that we start writing with the intention of that polished, finished product and end our creatively inspired session disappointed because what we actually wrote falls short of the expectation we had in our mind.
I’ll say it right here, right now: You are not going to be able to write lasting, meaningful, intentional vows overnight! That’s why it’s so important to allow yourself the space and time to brainstorm and intentionally plan out your vows.
Your Notes app or journal will be your best friend when it comes to writing your vows. When you’re feeling emotionally charged or creatively inspired, go into your Notes app, and simply take five minutes to write about your vows. These little blurbs don’t even have to be parts of your vows; it can be talking about how you are going to go about writing your vows.
This is a great way to have a designated place for your thoughts surrounding your vows and begin to hone in on that energy. Once you get over that initial hump of getting started on your vows, the ball will start rolling and you will have your vows finished in no time!
One of the MOST IMPORTANT pieces of advice that we can give you to writing unforgettable vows is to start writing them early! Honestly, it’s never too early to start brainstorming about your vows (even if your wedding is a few years out). But if we catch you writing your vows on the morning of your wedding day, we will not be afraid to scold you!
I’m sure there’s no one out there who really wants to be writing their vows on the morning of their wedding day. But it’s up to you and YOU only to keep yourself accountable in regards to making time for your vows! When you procrastinate writing your vows, you simply are not going to be able to write the best vows you can. And I don’t want to hear a thing about how you work better under pressure or any of that shiz. YOU. SHOULD. NOT. PROCRASTINATE. WRITING. YOUR. VOWS.
If you’re looking for a “recommended” timeline on when to write your vows, we’ll give you a little guidance. At its core, there truly isn’t one solid timeline that you can follow that will lead you on the path to writing unforgettable vows. But if you’re looking for a timeline, you should start seriously drafting your vows six to nine months before your wedding day. A full draft should be done about two to three months before your wedding day. That way, the stress and chaos that comes with a wedding day won’t affect your writing abilities.
Additionally, you should make it a priority to transfer your vows into your actual vow book a few days before your wedding. It is not wise to do this the morning of because you will be pulled every which way and it’s one thing that you can get out of the way before your wedding. This is also a chance for any last minute revisions so you can review what you wrote!
Asking for help is never an easy task. There can be a lot of shame around asking for help, especially for something as special as writing your vows. But it truly is not a task that you have to tackle alone!
Now, I’m not talking about getting someone else to write your vows for you. But it is 100% okay to find a trusted individual who you can bounce ideas off of and run drafts by! It can really help to have another perspective when you’re learning how to write your vows. They can catch things that you may have missed or have thoughts on what to add.
When you’re looking for someone who you can trust to help with writing your vows, you’re not going to want just any Joe-Schmo! This should someone that means a lot to you who you can open up to and express your feelings. Not everyone has this kind of relationship with their friends so make sure you understand your dynamic before asking. Many people will confide in members of their wedding party like a Best Man or Maid of Honor for this task!
We know that writing your vows can be a stressful task to take on! We write this not to scare you into start writing your vows or discourage you but to give you a little guidance! When you begin, writing your vows can feel like a shot in the dark. Your wedding vows should take one of your top priorities when it comes to preparing for your wedding!
Just remember to reflect on what a vow means to you and use that along with anecdotes to personalize your vows! Make sure to keep a Notes app to organize your thoughts regarding your vows and keep yourself accountable regarding a timeline. And if all else fails, don’t be afraid to ask for help from someone you trust! We hope you find some of our tips helpful and you’re well on your way to writing unforgettable vows!
If you’re looking for some epic wedding photographers to capture you exchanging your unforgettable vows and so much more, reach out HERE and let’s get in touch! We’d love to tell the story of your wedding day with out photos!
If you’re reading this, you’re most likely getting ready to get married! CONGRATS! If you want to hear some of our suggested Minnesota vendors, check out the blog HERE to see our two cents!
As always… stay rad, friends! xoxo