How to write memorable wedding vows

How to Write Memorable Wedding Vows: A Step-by-Step Guide

Wedding ceremony at The Ashes Barn

As a wedding photographer, I’ve witnessed countless different ceremonies. Some religious, some civil. Some led by professional celebrants, one or two were led by a friend of the couple. One involved a horse as a bridesmaid, who kept trying to snack on the bouquets! When it comes to the wedding vows, I’m sometimes left amazed and – dare I say it – slightly emotional by the personally written promises that some couples choose to make to each other. Whether it’s professing undying love for their partner, or vowing to make them a cup of tea every day for the rest of their lives, I love the personal touches that mean so much to them, but also to their family and friends there to witness this special milestone.

But how do you go about writing such meaningful wedding vows? Well, I’m here to help!

Wedding vows are, without a doubt, the heart and soul of a wedding ceremony. They’re more than just a string of promises — they’re an intimate proclamation of your love and commitment, custom-tailored to the unique story you and your partner share. In essence, they’re the words that will guide your journey as a married couple. No pressure, right?

But hang on, before you let that inner panic rise, let’s take a deep breath and remind ourselves: this is supposed to be a joyous occasion, not a scene out of a Shakespearean tragedy. I’m here to help you navigate this task with a dash of humour, a splash of inspiration, and a whole lot of love. So, ready to dive into the world of vow-writing? Let’s get cracking!

Wedding vows at The Cottage Hotel Ruddington

Part 1: Finding Inspiration and Gathering Ideas For Your Wedding Vows

Alright, folks. Let’s not beat around the bush, writing your own wedding vows is a bit like cooking your grandmother’s secret recipe. The secret ingredient is always a dash of love and a good measure of personal touch – and in my grandmother’s case, often a fair amount of alcohol. So, where do you start?

1.1 Reflecting on Your Love Story in your Wedding Vows

First thing’s first, grab a cuppa, sit down, and take a trip down memory lane. Think about your journey as a couple. What makes your love story unique? What are the moments that made you laugh till you cried, or the times that were tough but you pulled through together?

Consider the milestones that mark your relationship. Perhaps it was the first time you said “I love you,” that time you both got lost on a road trip and ended up having the best time, or when you got through a year of long-distance relationship without losing your marbles (or your love for each other).

These moments, big or small, form the fabric of your unique love story. Jot them down, think about how they made you feel, and what they revealed about your partner. You’d be surprised how these shared experiences can inspire lines that hit the right chords and maybe even draw a few happy tears.

Remember, your vows are a reflection of your journey together. So let’s embrace the beautiful, the hilarious, and yes, even the slightly awkward moments that make your relationship the one-in-a-million kind.

1.2 Researching Wedding Vows Examples and Traditions

Now that we’ve taken a lovely little saunter down memory lane, it’s time to put on our research hats. Hang on, research? I can hear you saying, “I thought we were writing vows, not a dissertation!” But bear with me, because this can be more fun than you think.

You see, there’s a whole world of wedding vows out there. From the traditional “to have and to hold” to the more unconventional “I promise to always let you have the last piece of cake” – there’s a wealth of ideas to draw from. Exploring these examples can give you a sense of what resonates with you and what doesn’t. It can also help you gauge the level of emotion or humour you want to incorporate into your vows.

And don’t just stop at wedding vows. Love, commitment, and companionship have been topics of literature, poetry, and music since, well, forever! Remember the line from that poem that always gave you goosebumps? Or that song lyric that perfectly captures how you feel about your partner? These can all be sources of inspiration for your vows. Of course, you don’t want to end up reciting the complete works of Shakespeare or singing the entire Beyoncé album, but a line here or a phrase there can add a touch of magic to your vows. Also avoid that cringe-worthy moment from Gavin and Stacey where Dawn and Pete recite the lyrics to Coldplay’s Fix You!

An example of what not to do, from Gavin and Stacey

So, go ahead, do a little internet trawling, flip through your favourite books, or revisit the playlist from your early dating days. You never know where you might find words that echo your sentiments perfectly. And remember, it’s not about copying and pasting, but about stirring up that creative cauldron and finding the right words to express your feelings. Are we ready for this literary treasure hunt? Let’s get started!

1.3 Seeking Input from Loved Ones

Here’s a little secret: writing your wedding vows doesn’t have to be a solitary mission. In fact, two (or three, or four) heads can often be better than one. So, why not rope in some of your closest friends or family members to help you brainstorm ideas?

Sharing your thoughts with loved ones can help you see your relationship from different perspectives and bring to light aspects of your love story that you might have overlooked. Remember that time your sister spotted the way your partner looks at you when you’re not watching, or when your best mate pointed out how you both laugh at the same silly jokes? These are the nuances that can add depth and authenticity to your vows.

Of course, while you might welcome suggestions and ideas, it’s important to remember that your vows should be a reflection of you and your partner. Aunt Edna might insist that “In sickness and in health” is non-negotiable, and your mate Dave might push for a pledge to maintain the sacred tradition of ‘Football Sundays’. But at the end of the day, your vows should resonate with your beliefs, your promises, and your unique love story.

In short, keep your ears open to ideas, but your heart aligned with what feels true to your relationship. After all, these vows are the words you’ll be coming back to, time and again, as you navigate the beautiful journey of marriage together.

Part 2: Writing Your Wedding Vows

2.1 Establishing a Structure and Tone

Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty – actually writing those vows. A blank page can be a daunting prospect, can’t it? But don’t worry, we’re not about to leave you hanging. Let’s begin by talking about structure and tone.

First things first, your vows need some sort of structure. Think of it as the skeleton that will hold the meat of your promises. A good starting point is to begin with a declaration of love, follow it up with the promises you’re making, and end with a hopeful look into the future. Remember, this isn’t set in stone. Feel free to get creative and play around with the structure until it feels just right for you.

Now, let’s talk tone. Are you a couple that loves a good belly laugh? Or perhaps you’re the sentimental types who can’t resist a good, heartfelt confession of love? The tone of your vows should reflect the essence of your relationship. If you’re the couple who communicates in film quotes, by all means, sprinkle some into your vows! If your love language is quiet acts of kindness, let that sincerity shine through in your words.

The beauty of writing your own vows is that there are no hard and fast rules. If you want to promise to always kill spiders or to let your partner have control of the remote on Sundays, go for it! The key is to strike a balance between the gravity of the promises you’re making and the personality of your relationship.

Remember, your vows should sound like you. They should echo the love, respect, and unique bond that you share. So, whether you’re penning vows that are humorous, romantic, or somewhere in between, let them be a genuine reflection of your relationship. Ready to let those creative juices flow? Let’s dive in!

Hand Fasting ceremony

2.2 Incorporating Promises and Commitments

Now, here comes the meat and potatoes of your vows – the promises. The heart of any wedding vow lies in the commitments you make to each other. These promises are the crux of what you’re vowing, so it’s important to give them some serious thought.

The promises you make should be meaningful and specific to your relationship. You might promise to provide emotional support in times of sorrow, to be a faithful partner in all of life’s adventures, or to always bring laughter into each other’s lives.

Here’s an example: “I promise to always laugh with you, to comfort you in times of sorrow, and to share with you the very best of myself.” Or if you fancy a lighter tone, how about this one: “I vow to make you a cuppa every morning, to always laugh at your dad jokes, and to be your partner in crime in all of our adventures.”

2.3 Adding Personal Touches

Alright, time to sprinkle in some magic! Personal touches are what transform your vows from generic to bespoke. They add depth and authenticity, bringing your vows to life.

Think of the little moments, the inside jokes, the shared dreams. Weave these into your vows to truly make them your own. Do you both share a love for Sunday morning lie-ins or a passion for spicy food? Mention it! Do you have a cute nickname for each other or a shared favourite song? Include it!

Remember the time when your partner drove three hours just to surprise you with your favourite dessert? Or when you both got lost on a holiday and it turned into the most adventurous day of your lives? These stories, these shared memories, they are the threads that make up the fabric of your relationship. Weave them into your vows, and your promises will not only resonate with you but also paint a beautiful picture for your guests.

In essence, personalising your vows is about telling your love story while making promises for your future. It’s about saying, “This is us, this is our journey, and this is how we promise to love and support each other.” So, go ahead and add that dash of personal magic to your vows!

Part 3: Practising and Delivering Your Vows

3.1 Rehearsing Your Wedding Vows

Right then, you’ve penned your vows, and they’re as unique and splendid as a unicorn riding a shooting star. Brilliant! But now it’s time to rehearse them. Why, you ask? Well, practising your vows can make all the difference between “I love you more than…erm…chips?” and a smooth, confident delivery that leaves not a dry eye in the house.

Start by reading your vows aloud. You’ll get a feel for the rhythm and flow, and you can tweak any bits that sound awkward or unnatural. And don’t just do this once – repeat them until you can recite your vows without constantly referring to your notes. You don’t need to memorise them verbatim (unless you fancy yourself the next Benedict Cumberbatch), but do aim to remember key points and sentiments.

wedding vows at Blackbrook House

3.2 Overcoming Nervousness and Stage Fright

Ah, nerves, our old friends. It’s natural to feel a bit jittery before baring your heart in front of a crowd. But fear not! There are plenty of strategies to help you manage those wedding-day butterflies.

Firstly, breathe. Deep, calming breaths can do wonders to settle your nerves. Secondly, visualise a positive outcome – imagine yourself delivering your vows confidently and seeing your partner’s touched reaction. And thirdly, remember that everyone present is there to support you and your partner. They’re cheering for you, not critiquing your performance.

3.3 Embracing the Moment and Speaking from the Heart

Finally, and most importantly, remember to speak from the heart. Your vows are a reflection of your love for your partner, so let that shine through. Maintain eye contact, speak clearly and don’t be afraid to show emotion. This isn’t the time to put on a poker face; if you feel like laughing, laugh. If you feel like crying, let the tears flow.

Remember, authenticity resonates more than perfection. This is your moment, so embrace it fully. Let your words and emotions flow naturally, and your vows will be a beautiful testament to your unique love story.

And there you have it – your guide to writing and delivering unforgettable wedding vows. Now, go forth, vow writers, and create something beautiful!


Well, there we have it, folks – your very own roadmap to crafting and delivering those memorable wedding vows. Let’s quickly recap the main points:

  1. Finding Inspiration: Reflect on your love story, research examples and traditions, and don’t shy away from seeking advice from loved ones.
  2. Writing Your Vows: Establish a structure and tone that reflects your relationship. Incorporate meaningful promises and commitments and add personal touches that make your vows uniquely yours.
  3. Practising and Delivering: Rehearse your vows, manage your nerves, and embrace the moment when you stand up to speak from the heart.

Remember, your wedding vows are more than just words. They’re a heartfelt testament to your unique love story, a declaration of your commitment, and a promise of the life you plan to share. So, embrace this opportunity to express what’s in your heart. Make your vows authentically you, and they’ll resonate not just on your wedding day, but for years to come.

I hope you found this guide helpful, and it has inspired you to embrace the journey of crafting your own wedding vows. As a wedding photographer, I’ve witnessed countless couples exchanging vows and each one has been beautiful and unique in its own way. I’d love to be part of your special day, capturing these unforgettable moments filled with love, laughter, and maybe a few happy tears. Feel free to reach out if you’re looking for a photographer who will tell your unique love story through stunning images. Let’s create beautiful memories together.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please share it with your friends or anyone you know who might be in the midst of planning their wedding. They might find it helpful. Also, don’t forget to leave a comment below sharing your thoughts, experiences, or any tips you have on writing wedding vows. I love hearing from you!

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Here’s to love, laughter, and happily ever after. 🥂📸

The cottage hotel wedding jade and ryan

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