wedding vows

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How We Write Wedding Vows

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Why the need for vows?

Making wedding vows is a long-time tradition of marriage dating back to medieval times. In your part of the world, specific wedding vows are a requirement for your marriage to be considered legal. These are usually spoken first to get the "official stuff" out of the way, and the modern approach is to then make your own personal vows. Our focus is on your personal vows.

Although the words of official vows cannot be changed, your personal vows can be anything you want! This means that the structure and content of personal vows can vary greatly. The key to great vows is to include and balance the following aspects:

 

  • Express your emotions

  • Make promises

  • Add lightheartedness

  • Keep it personal, but don't be afraid to rely on the work of others to support your own words

Remember to balance these, and consider moving between these elements. That way, you'll impress the audience (and your bride or groom!) by making them ride a rollercoaster of emotions.

How we write wedding vows

 

Sticking to one structure is a challenge because vows can be very personal. But, we start with the below structure to create a foundation that we build upon. You may wish to move this structure around, or start with some funny points and end with expressing your emotions. As long as you consider this structure, you'll create wonderful vows that breathe loving feelings (and maybe even a bit of fun) into the wedding ceremony.

Remember - there is nothing wrong with trying a different approach. Just make sure it stays within the time limit!

Audience

To create vows that you're proud of and comfortable delivering on the day, it is important to illustrate who you are and the relationship you have with your partner in your vows. But obviously, other people are listening! So, it has to be "tweaked" if it could be too controversial for your audience. As wedding vows are typically emotional and conservative, you shouldn't find this to be a problem, but remember to keep your audience in mind. 

Theme

Given the length of other types of speeches, thinking about a theme (one or two key points you wish to make with your speech) is normally crucial to ensuring your content remains focused on key points and sends a clear message. Given vows are normally only a minute or less in length, a theme is not so important. But, if you're struggling with creative ideas on what to include, consider coming up with a theme. Think - "what is it I'm really trying to say with these vows", and then build on this thought with words that reinforce your theme.

Things you love

Hit the mark with your partner straight away by starting your vows with things you love about them. This is your opportunity to be sincere and leave no questions as to how much your partner means to you. Use a sentence or two, and consider the following ideas:

 

  • Amazing things about your bride or groom that make them "them", such as physical features, personality attributes, or things they say or do

  • The things that make your relationship special

  • How your partner has helped you in life

Something funny

To add some unexpected relief from the emotion, and to keep your vows interesting and connecting with your audience, add something funny! This could be something quirky about your partner, something strange about you and how that affects the relationship, or even something "a bit different" that you are your partner are into. If you wish to add a quick reprieve from the emotional stuff, add a sentence of something funny or quirky. You can add more, but remember that the more you include, the more you'll distract people from your promises and messages of love.

Promises and love

A vow is not a vow without a promise! Tell your groom or bride what you promise for the future. The traditional vows promise being there is sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, for better and for worse. Think about what it is you truly promise to your partner. Perhaps you have an ambitious partner and you promise always to support them. You might be very different from your partner but complement them perfectly, and you promise to always be that person. Or, you might promise to never hog the bedsheets! Use a sentence or two to make your promises, and finish your vows by telling your partner that you love them.

Your Delivery

Consider how you are delivering your vows. There may be times in your vows that you should vary your tone and volume, and times you should pause before delivering a surprise punchline. These techniques will help to get maximum impact, so consider this when you write your vows. For more on how to public speaking techniques, check out our Resources page.

Final thoughts

At SpeechForm, we believe your efforts to write your wedding vows are not to just “get it done”, but to make the vows enjoyable, memorable, and have people singing their praises for your vows. After all, you will have put in a lot of effort. There is something special about making an impact on your audience when you thought your sole job was just to “get through it”. 

 

Remember to rehearse. This is a performance. The more you develop your vows and rehearse, the greater the impression you will make. Confidence through a well-written speech is great, but using your voice and your body effectively only comes through practice. Get it right, and you will leave a lasting impression that your audience will remember long after the wedding.

 

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