Annabel Staff Photography

What you should know about writing your own wedding vows

Don't start writing until you've read our guide

20 Dec 2018

Thinking about writing your own wedding day vows? You’re not alone, self-written vows are becoming more and more popular, with couples looking to create a personalised touch to their ceremony. If you’re not quite sure where to start, we’ve put together a little guide to help get you started…

Know the legalities of self-written vows

First things first, if you’re looking to have a civil ceremony, legally, your vows cannot include any references to religion. Civil ceremonies must also include the statutory declarations during the exchanging of vows which is the following: ““…Solemnly declare that I know not of any lawful impediment why I, (name), may not be joined in matrimony to (name).” We’d always recommend that you speak to your registrar when writing your customised vows, they’ll be able to advise you of any potential problems before it gets too late. No one wants a last-minute panic.

Werner Harrer

Take inspiration from your favourite examples

Before you hit pen to paper, it’s always a good idea to read as many different types of wedding vows as possible - from the very traditional to the highly personalised and perhaps even those from different faiths. The more variety the better - it will give you a general sense of what you like and don’t like so you can start considering the style that’s right for you.

Decide on a tone and stick to it

You’ll need to decide quite early on what kind of tone your wedding vows will take. Do you want something with a pinch of humour or will they be simple and romantic? You’ll also need to consider whether you’ll write them together or separately. If it’s the latter, will they be kept a secret until the Big Day?

Harvest Moon

Think about your relationship milestones

If you’ve been struck with writer’s block, take some time out to write about some of your best and most memorable moments together. Perhaps a special holiday or spontaneous road trip, maybe the first time you made each other laugh-til-it-hurt. If you’re still struggling, give each other a task of jotting down 10 things you love most about one another. It’s often those unedited, less-well-thought-out lines that sound best of all because they’re completely honest. When you do start writing try not to be too gushing or intimate, some things are best kept behind closed doors. You know what we mean...

Lee Scullion

Do a practice run and time it

Of course your vows are important but no one wants to listen to you going on for 10 minutes, no matter how good they are. We’d suggest aiming for two minutes max and time yourself running through them. If they go over, start editing out the least important bits. At this stage it might be worth running them through with a friend who can give you another perspective on what to keep and cut. Don’t forget, you have a day of speeches and toasts so anything that doesn’t work in your vows might work better later in the day.