How To Write Meaningful (and Realistic) Vows
Let’s just start by saying - the ceremony is tough. It’s often the part of the wedding day that makes couples the most nervous. It takes incredible vulnerability to stand up in front of people and proclaim your love publicly with vows. What do you say, how do you say it?
Over my years of being a videographer, I’ve found that this simple structure helps couples to write their own vows. If you’re getting married soon, or know someone who is - keep reading!
First and foremost - choose the tone that you want to use to express your vows. This ranges on a spectrum from serious to fun. Based on your relationship, decide what reflects you best. While vows are serious and shouldn’t be taken lightly, there is always room to bring in your personality and to make them a true reflection of you.
How to Structure Your Vows
I like to recommend using the story structure to write personal vows. Like a story, your vows will have a beginning, middle and end. Let me dive deeper to explain:
1. Beginning - Where it all began
Use the beginning of your vows to tell the story of how you met, or what you first noticed about your person. It doesn’t have to be long or drawn out, but it is a great opening piece that helps you get into the flow of your vows and can break some of the tension if you bring in some pieces of humour.
This wedding below, has a great opening story that the groom used to start his vows:
Note: your videographers LOVE getting personal details about your story to put into your film.
2. Middle - Why You Are Choosing Them
For the middle, tell them why you are choosing them to be your partner. What qualities do they have that you’ve decided you don’t want to live without. This can be written in a serious or fun matter, and a little bit of both is always good too.
Note: This is often really appreciated not only by your spouse-to-be, but by the guests that you’ve invited to share in the moment. They love and care about you and love hearing the “why” behind this day.
3. End - What You Vow To Do (or not do)
This is the most important part of your vows. I encourage everyone to write realistic vows over romantic ones. This is done by avoiding using the words “always” or “never.” Common lines I hear are, “I promise to always make you happy,” or “I promise to never go to bed angry.” The truth is, you aren’t capable of always making someone happy, and there will be nights that you go to bed angry (because what good ever came out of a 2am fight?)
Instead, use lines like “I promise to make your happiness and well-being a priority,” and “I vow to work through challenges and to love and respect you in the process” Not as romantic sounding, but a lot more realistic to stand by as you journey through your married life.
To bring in some personal touches, you can promise things that are unique to your relationship. For example, my husband vowed to share his food with me and that’s the one I loved the most (and the one I’ve reminded him of the most haha)
Note: If your struggling with figuring out what to vow, there’s nothing wrong with going to Google, or an officiant/pastor to get some sample vows. You can use that as inspiration to write your own (or use some as is!)
In The End - Remember Your partner chose you for you, so be yourself and forget about everyone else.