Here is a nice article on Zola.com about writing your own vows:
Writing your own wedding vows is one of the most personal ways to add a romantic and intimate touch to your wedding day. While traditional wedding vows have stood the test of time and represent the beliefs and sentiments of different religions and cultures, they might not be right for every couple, especially if they don’t speak to your heart. Vows that you pen yourself are specific to your relationship—whether you share precious memories or illustrate just what defines your love—in a way that adds an extra layer of meaning to your wedding ceremony. However, as you may have already learned, writing your own wedding vows isn’t as easy as you’d expect. These tips on how to write wedding vows will help guide you through the process from start to finish.
Writing Your Own Wedding Vows: How to Start?
Knowing where to start when writing your vows might be the toughest part: when staring at a blank sheet of paper, just getting a few words down can feel like a huge hurdle. You might be putting a lot of pressure on yourself to write the perfect set of sentences, considering your vows are a reflection of your marriage and the promises you intend to keep for the rest of your days.
If you’re stuck getting started, try these suggestions to get your creative and romantic ideas flowing:
1. Start Writing Early
Do yourself a favor and give yourself plenty of time—this is a point that we cannot stress enough. Perhaps you have months until your wedding day, but this a task that you want to save for the last minute. By starting early, you’ll give yourself plenty of time to overcome any nervousness or writer’s block, make revisions to your first draft, and practice reading vows aloud before your big day.
2. Establish Your Tone
Before you really get started writing, establish what sort of tone you want your wedding vows to have. Your vows should reflect your personality, whether that’s quirky and romantic or more tear-prone and sentimental. Or maybe you’d rather keep your vows light and humorous. It doesn’t matter what style you choose, just make sure the tone you choose for your vows makes you happy and excited to share your words with your spouse-to-be on your big day.
On that note, it’s also a really good idea to decide on the tone of your wedding vows as a couple. You might not be thrilled if you bare your soul with heavy, heartfelt words while your partner goes a completely different direction with a hilarious or semi-embarrassing story. Make sure you and your fiancé(e) are on the same page here.
3. Seek Out Inspiration
Love is one of those confounding topics that humans grapple with constantly. How can we describe how love feels? How can we capture it through words? What does it mean to be in love? Thankfully, over the past few centuries many famous poets, writers, playwrights, and screenwriters have come very, very close to getting at the heart of those questions through beautiful, relatable, and transcendent works of art. Don’t let these resources go to waste when you’re battling writer’s block or struggling to put your feelings down on paper. If there was ever a time to return to your favorite pieces of literature or beloved films, it’s now. Once you find something that speaks to you, feel free to try to mimic that sentiment in your own words or quote it verbatim in your wedding vows.
4. Talk to Your Partner
One of the best ways to figure out a direction for your vows is to sit down and have a heartfelt talk with your fiancé(e) about your relationship, your feelings for each other, and your marriage goals. Discuss what you want your ceremony to feel like and how you’d like your relationship to be portrayed in front of friends and family. Talk about what makes your relationship yours. You might remind each other of special or defining moments in your relationship, or even come up with the very words you’ve been struggling to find. This conversation will not only help guide the focus of your wedding vows, but also verbalize your promises to each other.
5. Reflect Alone
After your talk with your fiancé(e), find time to be alone and reflect on that conversation. Tackle the big questions, such as how he/she makes you feel, what inspires you about him/her, and how he/she has made a positive impact on your life. This is no easy task (hence why we recommend starting this process early), but once articulated, your responses will give you lots of material for your vows. A little bit of quiet meditation might just reveal the language you’ve been carrying deep in your heart.
6. Take Trips Down Memory Lane
Another great way to personalize your wedding vows is to highlight specific details of your relationship. Think back on special moments with your spouse-to-be, beyond some of the obvious ones like when you first met or your first kiss. What was the first trip you took together? When did you first make each other laugh so hard you cried? Think of your private jokes, hilarious stories, and even embarrassing moments. Whether or not you choose to mention these memories in your vows, remembering them will absolutely help you define what makes your relationship—and, thus, your vows—unique.
7. Don’t Worry About What Others Think
When you start writing your own vows, it’s easy to wonder (and worry) what others will think about what you have to say. “Will guests think our inside jokes are dumb?” “Will they get bored if we go on too long?” “Will Grandma and Grandpa judge us for foregoing traditional vows?” We know it’s hard to not take your guests into account after addressing and sending all those save the dates, but your ceremony is no one’s but yours and your partner’s. Let your vows reflect who you are together and what you want to celebrate about your relationship.
8. Create an Outline
Without a bit of organization, your wedding vows can easily turn into stream-of-consciousness rambling. Stay on track by crafting a brief outline that will organize your thoughts chronologically or thematically and ensure your vows have a clear beginning and end. Something as simple as the following will do just fine:
9. Keep It Short and Sweet
When it comes to wedding vows, often less is more. Don’t feel pressured to write lengthy vows when a few short, from-the-heart thoughts can be just as moving. After you’ve finished writing, it’s a great idea to practice speaking your vows aloud while timing yourself. If you go over two minutes, try cutting them back. We know 120 seconds doesn’t seem like much time, but when it comes to speaking in public, that minute will last a whole lot longer than you expect. Plus, there is no need to try to impress the crowd by showing off your prose skills—your vows are a message to your partner, after all.
10. Embrace Free Association
Unless you’re a walking thesaurus, it can be hard to find the exact right words to express yourself. A great vow-writing exercise that will keep you from looking up words every 30 seconds is to write with free association. This means writing down the first few words that pop into your mind when you think of your fiancé(e), your relationship, your feelings for each other, etc. and leaving the narrative editing for later. This practice will help you make natural word choices without fear of misunderstanding.
11. Include Sincere and Meaningful Promises
Wedding vows are, in essence, a list of promises that you make to your partner. Whether it’s loving him/her always or guaranteeing that you’ll do the dishes every Monday and Wednesday night, your vows should incorporate the promises you swear to uphold, and demonstrate the sacrifices you are willing to make as an equal half of your union.
12. Think to The Future
In addition to making promises, make sure that your vows also include a look to the future of your relationship. Where will you go from “I do?” What do you expect or want your marriage to look like a year from now? Fifteen? Fifty? What will you do to keep your bond strong over the years? Even if the phrase “’til death to us part” doesn’t make the cut, don’t forget to anticipate the joys and challenges of marriage ahead. These important details will both guide the promises we mentioned above and give weight to your wedding vows.
13. Speak from Your Heart
Above all, your wedding vows are about expressing your true feelings about, and to, the person you’re about to spend the rest of your life with. When it comes right down to it, nothing is more important than saying what you truly feel in a style, length, and tone that defines your and your partner’s relationship.
From the arousing applause for Graham as he entered and took his place in front of his family and friends, to the overwhelming applause as Stephanie and Graham stood before their congregation as I introduced them for the first time as husband and wife, the love and joy in this room was exciting! Throughout the ceremony, Stephanie and Graham were whispering, laughing, and enjoying every minute of their magical ceremony, which took place at the Vennebu Hill Event Venue in Baraboo, WI. What a beautiful venue that was very professional and well organized! David Charles Productions , who ran the sound system and music during the ceremony, was great to work with, too! Thank you, David!
It was an honor for me to be a part of this couple's journey to becoming husband and wife. Thank you, Stephanie and Graham! Rev. Sarah
The second wedding I did last weekend was at the Madison Children's Museum. What a super fun venue for a really fun couple to work with! Wishing Claire and Brendan all the best in the years ahead!
Thank you Hannah and Kyle for this very great review you wrote for me on The Knot.
"Pat was absolutely amazing to work with! We were able to customize our ceremony to make it really personal. She made sure we were comfortable and prepared for the day. The number of compliments we received on our ceremony blew me away. Thanks so much!!"
Hannah and Kyle married on October 19, 2019 at the Barn at Harvest Moon Pond, Poynette, WI
On Saturday I had the pleasure of marrying Mary and Chris at Blackhawk Country Club. What an amazing family and a pretty amazing day. The leaves are just starting to turn as we looked over the golf course and Lake Mendota.
I also had the great pleasure of working with two fantastic vendors- Bailey with Blackhawk Country Club and Katie with MatKat Productions! Simply the best!
What a great experience it was working with Bob and Clouds North Films! We will be sharing the videos we created in the upcoming weeks!!
Here is what they wrote in a recent Facebook post:
"We couldn’t wait till Thursday to show this throwback of our summer shoot with Koru Ceremony: Celebrating New Beginnings. Keep checking back for more updates on our production process with them." 🎥 #production
Kelsey and Kyle, you are the BEST. Thank you for writing this great review for me on both Wedding Wire and The Knot. I really appreciate your taking the time to do this for me.
"Pat was absolutely amazing! She was wonderful to work with throughout the entire process. She was available to meet several times prior to the big day and helped us customize our ceremony just the way we envisioned. Everyone at the ceremony said how beautiful the readings were and how nice the ceremony was. We could not recommend Pat more :)."
Kelsey and Kyle were married at The Osthoff Resort, Elkhart Lake, WI
Thank you Anne Marie and Michael for writing this glowing review for me on The Knot. It was a complete joy to work with both of you. You are an amazing couple and I was honored to be there on your wedding day.
"We chose to work with Koru after meeting with Rev. Pat. We were blown away by her organization and felt she was the right fit for us because she was flexible in what we wanted to do with our ceremony. She helped us create the most meaningful ceremony we could have imagined! We met with her a couple different times to align on everything we wanted and felt like we really got to know her. At the rehearsal dinner, she really helped orchestrate our big wedding party and helped us all feel prepared. The ceremony was perfect and we had so many people comment on how special it was. In addition, she is an excellent resource for post wedding to-dos! Our only wish was that she could have made it to the reception and dinner :) she was an excellent addition to our special day!"
Photo by Dave Stremikis Photography.
Anne Marie and Michael were married at the Bridle Barn and Gardens in Mt. Horeb, WI.
Amanda and Will wrote this super nice review for me on Wedding Wire. I greatly appreciated it and truly enjoyed working with this really sweet couple that were married at the Monona Terrace.
"Pat from Koru Ceremony was awesome! She helped us design our whole ceremony and was so organized and helpful through the entire wedding experience! Would definitely recommend her (and Koru Ceremony)."
On September 28, 2019, I had the privilege to officiate Taylor and Jeff's wedding. It was truly a joyful event for all present. The rain stopped, the clouds parted and the sun shined upon this beautiful couple as they stood before their family and friends and declared their love and faithfulness to each other. To add to this special day, the Father of the Bride is a dear friend of mine. And so, from my heart to theirs, I send Jeff and Taylor wishes of a full life together filled with health and happiness.
Welcome to our blog. As an officiant and wedding coordinator I delight in assisting couples celebrate one of the best and most memorable days of their life. I hope you find this blog to be a source of inspiration and joy.