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There are two types of people: those who write their vows a month in advance and those who write them the morning of their wedding. They marry each other. Whether you’re viewing this article a couple of months out or hours before your wedding ceremony, I’m here to help you out. Scroll down for a short and sweet guide to writing your own vows.

Wedding vows and champagne glasses

Brainstorming Your Wedding Vows

Even experienced writers get stuck when looking at a blank sheet of paper or a blinking cursor on an empty document. For this reason, I don’t recommend starting out with full sentences. Instead, let’s jot down some building blocks to get the bigger ideas flowing. Grab your favorite drink, choose your preferred method of jotting down notes (for me, that was an email draft addressed to myself), and fill out the following:

  • One of your favorite memories with your fianc√© (example: a vacation that you both loved)
  • The moment you knew this was your forever person (example: when they helped you with a big project)
  • Little moments that you love with that person (example: when they make your coffee every morning)
  • What they have taught you about love (example: that love it isn’t self-serving)
  • Big promises that you’d like to keep throughout your marriage (example: caring for your spouse when they are ill)
  • Little promises that you’d like to keep throughout your marriage (example: making them coffee every morning)
Escort card in bud vases

Using Existing Vows as Templates

It’s time to put those notes into order. Don’t reinvent the wheel. You can take vows that already exist and alter them to be unique to you and your future spouse. Using the ideas you brainstormed, google examples of vows and change out their words with your thoughts. Typically, the structure of vows is as follows:

  • A story or some thoughts to open your vows
  • A few statements of promises (example: “I vow to….”)
  • A short, one-sentence closing remark

Armed with that knowledge, take a look at your notes. Are there one or two memories or thoughts before your promises that stand out to you? Are there one or two notes you’d have an easy time continuing to write about in paragraph form? Flesh out those ideas into a full story. You don’t need to write all of your notes into your vows – it’s best to pick one or two memories or thoughts that you love the most! Vows shouldn’t take more than 3-5 minutes, so brevity is key. Tell us the story of when you knew they were “the one”, that grand adventure you had together, the things you love about that person, and/or what they have taught you about love. After that, mix up your big and little promises (your actual vows!) and put them in next. Then, close out your thoughts with a short, simple finale sentence such as “I love you and can’t wait to see where our future leads us.” Bam!

If you’ve got to get your suit or dress on in half an hour and need some quick examples of vows to use as a template, here you go:

As a bonus, I’ve included vows from my own wedding at the bottom of this post! I chose to include what my husband taught me about love, statements about commitments I’d make in our marriage, and a (super short) closing sentence.

Groom watching bride walk down aisle

Finalizing Those Vows

You did it! Time to tidy them up. Read them out loud to yourself or a member of your wedding party. If they are lengthy, scratch out some lines or excess words. If some sentences seem out of place, move or delete them. If you are stumbling over some lines, rework them. With each edit, read your vows out loud from the beginning again. Even if you have no modifications, it’s a good idea to read your vows out loud a minimum of five times before you’re in the moment. Trust me!

Everything sound good? Great! You’re not done quite yet. If you haven’t already, transfer your final vows onto a nice sheet of paper or a little booklet. If you have time, you can order some vow booklets off of Etsy. Here are some of my favorites:

Time to hand off your vows to your officiant, take a sip of your favorite drink, and get ready to marry your person.

Wedding vow books

My Personal Wedding Vows

In fiction, love is presented as passionate and all-consuming.  It’s the ultimate goal; the top prize in this crazy life.  It’s those butterflies and fireworks we feel in the early years of a relationship.  It’s what we dream of as children and see in movies – it’s what we are taught to believe is real love.  

No one tells you that something can be more meaningful than that fiery passion.  That something is better than those initial yet fleeting feelings.  It turns out that instead of the flames, love is in the embers.  It’s the warmth versus the fire.  Love is the morning sun splashed on your dark hair when you bring me coffee on a Sunday morning.  Love is watching you work in the yard on a new project.  Love is the corners of your mouth turning upward when you’re trying not to laugh.  It’s easy, it’s kind, and it feel like home.  Together we get to experience one of life’s greatest blessings – real love.

So, in front of our family and friends, I want to promise you that not a day will pass that those embers will smoother.  You will always be my home and I will always be yours.  All the vows that follow this one are privileges, not chores, because it is an honor to get to love you.

I promise to never suppress you from growing as an individual.  You let me explore the world at my own fast pace, and I will continue to let you do that same.  Finding fulfillment as an individual is just as important as finding happiness together.

I promise to celebrate your joys with you and help you sooth your sorrows.  To laugh with you and to cry with you.  To know that on our darkest days, sunshine is always around the corner.

I promise not to love you to the moon and back.  Those 477,710 miles round-trip are not near enough.  My love for you does not and will not have an end destination, date, or time.  Instead, like Buzz Lightyear, I promise to love you to infinity and beyond.

I promise to recognize that as humans we both have faults and strengths.  When obstacles arise, I will step back and look at the bigger picture.

I promise to be the best mother to our future children and any grandchildren.  I will stand with you and conquer the crazy world of parenthood.  I’ll always put you first to form a solid base for our family.

Finally, I promise to be your companion in life.  To explore with you and to build a home with you.  You are my best friend and nothing will ever change that fact.

I love you, I love you, I love you.

Reading your wedding vows