Writing Your Own Wedding Vows – Guidelines, Tips, Do’s and Don’ts

Disney themed wedding

Traditional wedding vows are predictable. Life is not. Will I cherish and love my partner when I wake up in the morning and see there’s no coffee left? I don’t think so… It’s only fair to let him/her know right at the start.

We all like the thrill of that moment at a wedding when we realize that the couple is going to say their own vows instead of just repeating the generic ones.

Are you and your partner considering it? Cold feet?

Don’t worry. You are not the only one. Especially if you haven’t had a chance to speak in public that much. With a few useful tips and tricks, you are bound for success.

Disney themed wedding

Prewriting Activities 

The first thing to do is check whether you are allowed to do it at the place where the wedding ceremony takes place. For example, some churches don’t give this opportunity.

There is a general rule of who goes first, and it gives the advantage to the man. However, most venues and cultures will leave it up to you two to decide. You and your partner need to agree on this ahead.

Rings usually come after the vows. This kind of makes sense. It feels like a done deal once you have exchanged the rings. 

Keep in Mind 

If you find yourself at your wits’ end, look for some inspiration. You can read love poems or google famous movie vows. Quite a few beautiful ones you can find listed right here.

As far as the duration is concerned, anything longer than 2 minutes puts you at risk for a yawn from the audience.It can also water down the power of what you are saying.

Don’t let the location limit you. Ok, no anecdotes in churches, we can all agree on that one. However, if you have chosen this Houston wedding venue on a rustic ranch, be funny and romantic all you want. 

The Do’s and Don’ts of Wedding Vows 

Choosing the style of your wedding vow is the first step. It depends mostly on the type of person you are. According to how you see yourself and where you feel comfortable, write romantic, traditional, or funny wedding vows. Maybe try to restrain the cynical part of yourself for this occasion.

Saying a few general words about your partner and pointing out a few of his virtues is always an excellent start. How he makes you feel and how he influenced your life is a logical next step.

By all means, promise something. For better and for worse, in sickness and in health pretty much covers everything, so try to personalize it. ‘Mostly because they told me it’s too late to elope?’

Benign violation and surprise usually work when you want to make someone laugh.

Beware of combining anecdotes with humor, though. This can put you on thin ice. Consider whether the story is going to embarrass your partner. Does he like hearing it? Keep the audience in mind as well. Don’t tell a story that involves your best friend getting plastered…

Try to avoid absolute words. Never, always, must or only sound threatening.

Some people claim you cannot be too cheesy when giving a wedding vow. But we all know that’s not true, right? Some cheesiness could work nicely but cut it quickly. This is another perfect moment for a joke.

Try to avoid clichés. Your partner is one of a kind, after all.

Decide whether you’re going to read your vows or memorize them. Memorizing is a better option because it allows you to make eye contact with your partner. If you would like to learn a few tricks on how to practice and memorize your speech, check out this video. It has some excellent tips. 

The last step could be choosing the bluntest person among your friends. Read or say your vows to her/him. Listen to what she/he has to say. 

Things that Could Go Wrong and How to Get Out of the Woods 

If this is the first time you are getting married and you mess something up, remember: you can always go Jeniffer Aniston: ‘Oh, I’ve never done this before.’

Dry mouth is a widespread occurrence when we get nervous. The easy solution is to bite on your tongue. This is the quickest way to activate your salivary glands. Don’t drink water, it’s counterproductive.

Hecklers… they happen even at weddings. If someone interrupts your speech, the best response could be a joke. Try something like ‘Everybody, please wave, my train of thoughts has just left the station.’

If you lose this train without a heckler, don’t make a big deal out of it. Move on to the next part of your speech that you can remember. Say something like, ‘You still make me lose my mind, just like when I first met you.’ 

The performance depends a bit on how used you are to speak in public. Even if you freak out, try to remember: you are surrounded by your friends and family. They love you, and they are happy to spend this day by your side. It is the love of your life you are addressing. 


Wedding vows are a beautiful way to start a life together. When you think about it, what are the chances that your marriage will resemble any other? Exactly, none.

It only makes sense that you lay the foundation for it using your own words.

Some people prepare the vows with their partners. Some choose to hear what their partner has to say during the ceremony.

One way or another, you are bound to share a very personal and memorable moment with your partner for life.

And the guests… They will enjoy every second of it.

James Barnes


James Barnes is an experienced wedding organizer. He specialized in organizing outdoor wedding events. When he isn’t writing about weddings and marital life, David usually goes swimming or playing squash.

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