The Definitive Guide to Writing Incredible Wedding Vows

Being inspired to write your wedding vows gives you an opportunity to pour your heart out to the one love in front of family and friends. Sure! Your guests know that you love them, but do they know why? Do they know all the special little (and sometimes quirky) things that they do that make you fall in love over and over again, each and every day?

Writing your own wedding vows allows you to share the most intimate reasons why you love them, what they mean to you and your dreams for the future. Since you will be pledging your love in front of everyone, there is a lot of pressure to get it right.

Don’t freak out! We have put together the definitive guide to writing incredible wedding vows. These tips will help you write the best wedding vows ever.

How Do I Write My Own Wedding Vows?

In this guide to writing incredible wedding vows, we will explain the tradition, give you great ideas on what to say, how to structure your vows and how to end your vows. Let’s get started!

Why Do We Say Wedding Vows?

The oldest traditional wedding vows date back to the Book of Common Prayer by Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, published in 1549. The book was the first prayer book to include the complete forms of service for daily and Sunday worship in English. It contained Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, the Litany, and Holy Communion and also the occasional services in full: the orders for Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage, “prayers to be said with the sick“, and a funeral service. Basically a guideline on how to perform these services. Source: Wikipedia 

The Book of Common Prayer basically stated upon agreeing to marry, the church of England usually offered couples a choice. The couples could promise to “love and cherish” each other or they could choose the alternative, the groom promises to “love, cherish, and worship”, and the bride to “love, cherish, and obey“.

So, why do we say wedding vows? Basically, when you decide to “marry” someone you are making “promises” to them. Joining two lives into one requires that each of you understand the importance of what you are embarking on and pledge (or promise) to take care of, love, cherish, respect, obey, etc. Your vows are the backbone of marriage and without them, most unions cannot survive.

These promises are based on Western Christian norms and although many choose to recite the traditional vows that date back to the Book of Common Prayer, they are not universal to marriage and not necessary in most legal jurisdictions. Source: Wikipedia

This is great because it means that you can make your wedding vows unique to your love story.

What Are The Traditional Wedding Vows?

There are slightly different versions of “traditional” wedding vows, these variations are based on your denomination. Your officiant can be a great source for helping you understand what needs to be included based on your faith.

The most popular versions are:

Protestant Wedding Vows

“I, _____, take thee, _____, to be my wedded wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge thee my faith.”

Catholic Wedding Vows

“I, _____, take you, _____, for my lawful wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part. I will love and honor you all the days of my life.”

How Do You Write Amazing Vows?

Writing your own wedding vows is a way to show your wedding guests, what makes your relationship tick. When you are ready to put the pen to paper, schedule some time to work on your vows in privacy.

At this point in the writing, you don’t want to include your fiance because it could influence what you or they write. Get your thoughts together then you two can discuss some of the details to make certain you are on the same page.

You both should have a similar structure and length so that it flows nicely during the ceremony. But don’t ruin the tender moment by letting them read what you wrote. Your wedding vows are “your” private thoughts and emotions and while your fiance knows you love them, hearing all the reasons “why” on their wedding day will forever be ingrained in the heart.

We suggest that you start one month before the wedding that way you are not rushed and end up writing something you don’t love. This will give you plenty of time to put your thoughts together and focus your mind and heart on your emotions. It also allows you time to read and review them over and over to make sure you get them perfect.

How Do I Structure My Wedding Vows?

The first (and hardest) part of writing your wedding vows is getting started. After all, these words are going to be said in front of all of your guests, so the pressure is definitely intense. You want them to embody your emotions and love but how do you put your feelings into words?

When each of you is writing their own personal wedding vows, you should write them privately but in a similar pattern and length. Here are some ideas on how to structure your wedding vows.

  1. Begin with a story or memory of the moment you realized you couldn’t live without them.
  2. Now tell them some of the things that they do that you appreciate, value and treasure.
  3. Express gratitude for the memories you have created together
  4. Share your promises (vows) of what you plan to do, and be for your partner
  5. Include in those promises “I take you as my husband/wife” – that statement is what turns your words into a vow.

Here is an example of real personal wedding vows.


“(Name), it seems like only yesterday we were making awkward small talk on our very first Tinder date. I remember being so captivated by your quiet confidence, witty banter and rugged good looks, and feeling the same butterflies that I feel standing here with you today. 

There are so many things I love about you, but here are a few of my favorites. I love the way you talk to people, the way you treat your friends and family, and most of all, the way you care for me. I love knowing that you have my back, and I want you to know that I will always have yours. I love how ambitious you are, and I promise to always support your goals and dreams (even the crazy ones). 

I promise to always put our relationship first, to keep sharing experiences and adventures together, to laugh and cry together, and to keep our sacred Friday dinner dates alive until we grow old and grey together. I feel so grateful to have you as my partner in life, and I wouldn’t want to embark on this crazy ride with anyone else.”

What Should I Say In My Wedding Vows?

What Do You Promise In A Vow?

Promises are something that is unique to your relationship and should come from the heart. If you have writer’s block and are stuck and not sure what you want to include we have listed some ideas below that can get you started.

Promise to love and respect

Promise to encourage and support

Love you unconditionally

To adventure with you always

Give you all my words when needed, and offer silence when not

I will not take you for granted

To make you laugh

To be loyal and faithful

Promise to nurture your dreams

Promise to always have their back

Should I Memorize My Vows?

The choice to memorize your wedding vows or not is up to you and your soon-to-be spouse. Of course, it will look much better to your guests if you know them by heart but it can be tough to pull off.

Today, there are wedding vow books that you can purchase that are stylish and will look great in photos. Nerves can definitely take over on your wedding day so having your wedding vows written nicely in a beautiful wedding vow book will help ease the nerves not to mention it is a wonderful wedding keepsake to cherish for eternity.

Can My Wedding Vows Be Funny?

Absolutely! Your wedding vows can be anything that you want them to be. They should match your personalities and be filled with all of the things you have felt in your heart but never knew how or when to say. Funny sayings, funny experiences you have shared anything that you want as long as your wedding vows are from the heart.

Where Can I Find Inspiration For My Wedding Vows?

Once you have put together some of your thoughts, you can look for outside inspiration on what you can include in your wedding vows. Things that can make your vows memorable.

Some couples look to poems for inspiration, some have favorite quotes, you can even get great ideas from movies, books and real couples that have tied the knot before you. And of course the internet is a huge source of information and can really help you script your wedding vows.

But remember this, your wedding vows are just that, “your wedding vows”. They are a personal expression of your innermost feelings for the one that you are pledging your heart to forever.

However, you choose to find inspiration and words to describe what you feel is ok. After all, we are not all professional writers. The important thing is to speak from the heart.

How Do I End My Wedding Vows?

Ending your vows should include a few essential words. Make sure to include “I take you to be my (wife or husband)” and “til death do us part” or “as long as we both shall live”.

The truest form of love is the kind that is pure and unconditional. If you write vows that are heartfelt and reflect on the adventure you two have shared they will be honest, emotional and perfect for your love story.

Don’t stress too much about writing them, let your heart tell the story.