If you keep up with all-things Junebug, you know we’re obsessed with everything about weddings. We swoon over pretty decor, get jazzed when we receive an email from a designer about new bridesmaid dress styles, spend hours researching and predicting wedding color trends…the list goes on. But there’s something more important than all of the adorable little things you can see — and it’s your vows. Your vows are the reason we get to google-eye over all those other things in the first place. With that big of a purpose, we want you to rock them!
So we reached out to our experts and put together this list of vow writing tips to help you get started:
- Don’t overthink it
- Take time to reflect on your relationship
- Write about things you’ve experienced together
- Envision your person in front of you
- Include deeply meaningful and personal promises
Read on to see what our experts had to say about these awesome tips!
Why it can be meaningful to write your own vows
We’ve said it once—and we’ll say it again—writing your own vows can be incredibly meaningful. And, yes, a little scary. The most important thing to remember is that it’s about the two of you. These vows are something you will have to cling to when times get tough, they’ll what you will have to remember when you’re old and grey, and they’re really important.
“Our biggest piece of advice for our couples is this: absolutely write your own vows. Some couples are shy and/or get stage fright, so we see them pass on writing their own. We actually (sadly) did the same thing for our own wedding six years ago, and it’s one of our biggest regrets! The weddings we shoot where the couples write their own personal vows are ten times more romantic and moving to be a part of.” — Matt & Jess, wedding videography team
photo by Henry Tieu Photography
Vow writing tips from the experts
Don’t overthink it.
“Don’t overthink it. The more you stress about finding the right words, the harder they will be to find. Deep down in your heart, you already know what to say you just have to find the best way to express those feelings. Start by just thinking about how the other person makes you feel. Close your eyes and just imagine them standing there – what are they doing? Is there a glow around their head? Are they smiling, laughing, making a funny face? Is their hair blowing slowly in the wind? Are they dressed up or dressed down? Picturing yourself standing there with them will not only help bring out those feelings but it will make the process of actually standing there in front of them easier because it will feel like you’ve already been there before.
The thing with writing, in any context, is that it needs to sound like you – not some polished, professionally-written essay for your high school English teacher. How would you talk if you were talking to a friend? What kinds of words would you use? Would you be funny or would you be deep and poetic? Do you and your partner find yourself quoting TV shows or movies all the time, or maybe you are musical and want to throw that in somehow? Then, just speak from the heart; whatever you decide to say is going to be the right thing.” — Shannon Bellisle, Ontario-based wedding planner (Check out her Junebug member portfolio here!)
Take time to reflect on your relationship.
“It’s often hard to figure out where to start and what to say and how to make your vows authentic. Take some time to yourself and reflect on your relationship and what the other person means to you. Take note of how you feel when you think of your other half and the great times you’ve had together (looking at photos can help!). Once you have everything written down, you can then move things around so that they flow nicely and make more sense.
It also helps to think about the kind of things you would like to hear and then look at it from your future spouse’s perspective. You can write your vows up until less than an hour before you walk down the aisle before the wedding, sometimes it’s easier under pressure and you’re feeling loved and ready to say I do. It also gives you less time to overthink it.” — Louise Schnetler of Runaway Romance, South Africa-based intimate wedding and elopement planner (Check out her Junebug member portfolio here!)
Write about the things you’ve experienced together.
“If you plan on doing a wedding video, beautifully written vows are so important. The more unique and poetic the vows, the more inspired we are to make an equally unique and poetic wedding film. Write about your story – the moment you first saw one another, the qualities about the other person that made you want to commit forever, the places you’ve been and things you’ve done together. Try to skip the generic and get as personal as you feel comfortable with. People love crying at weddings, so help them do it!” — Matt & Jess, Los Angeles-based wedding videography team (Check out their Junebug member portfolio here!)
Envision your person in front of you.
“Envision the person in front of you as you are writing the words of your love story. This is the time you’re able to express yourself in as open, honest, and genuinely as possible. Think deeply about your thoughts and intentions. This should probably not be something you come up with drunk the night before the wedding with your friends, and rarely something you want to make off the cuff.” — Kanoa Utler of Eyeconik Media, Hawaii-based wedding videographer (Check out their Junebug member portfolio here!)
Include deeply meaningful and personal promises.
“These don’t have to be the traditional “for richer or poorer” vows; you can include very personal promises that mean something to you and your partner. What is something in your relationship that your partner always asks you to do? What does your partner love doing with you? What are the things that mean the most to them? How do you want your marriage to look and what can you promise them that will help you both achieve that?” — Maclean & Erin of Hello Tomorrow, Vancouver-based wedding videographer team (Check out their Junebug member portfolio here!)
We hope you’re feeling inspired to start writing your vows! Looking for more?
photo by Henry Tieu Photography