Elopement Planning

How to Write Your Wedding Vows [2024 Template & Examples]

Writing your wedding vows is the perfect way to personalize your wedding ceremony together. Whether you’re planning a traditional ceremony or a commitment ceremony, personalized wedding vows are romantic and the perfect way to start your marriage together. But how do you get started? A lot of couples tell us they get overwhelmed thinking about how to write wedding vows, and we get it! Sitting down and attempting to sum up all your love, promises, and dreams to your partner on such a significant day can be stressful. However, writing your vows doesn’t have to be stressful! This is why we took the time to break down everything you need to know including an easy vow template you can use and vow examples you can steal from other couples.

Reading and writing vows are some of our favorite elopement moments photographers share with us. If you’re up for the challenge of writing your wedding vows, then get ready to save this page to make sure you cover everything you need as you prepare to write your vows.

Disclaimer: This guide was created specifically for couples who are planning an elopement, small wedding, or exchanging their vows in private. 

Are you ready to start planning? Explore our elopement packages.

How to Write Your Wedding Vows

bride and groom exchanging vows on the coast

Photo by Venturing Vows featuring this Oregon Coast elopement

Writing your vows doesn’t have to be scary or hard for anyone. We think wedding vows can actually be straightforward! Follow these steps to prepare and create the perfect template for your wedding vows.

Wedding vow template you can steal:

Start with a warm greeting or a special nickname.
Express your love and gratitude for your partner’s presence in your life.

Share a brief overview of your relationship journey.
Mention key moments that have shaped your bond.

Qualities and Appreciation:
Highlight specific qualities you love and appreciate in your partner.
Recall instances that showcase these qualities.

Articulate the promises you want to make.
Use this section to convey your commitment to love, support, and cherish each other.

Future Together:
Envision your future as a couple.
Share your hopes and dreams for the life you’ll build together.

End with a powerful statement of love.
Consider adding a quote or a line that encapsulates your feelings.

Now let’s build your wedding vow template with our 5 steps:

Step 1: Reflect on Your Relationship

To get in the mood to write your wedding vows, take a moment to sit down and take a trip down memory lane and reminisce about the special moments that have defined your relationships.

Here are some things to consider as you reflect on your relationship:

  • Think about how you both met and how your relationship has evolved since then.
  • Think about milestones and challenges you both experienced together.
  • What are some of the most meaningful memories you have together that bring you joy?
  • Consider the moment you knew that your partner was “the one” for you.

Step 2: Identify Your Promises To Your Partner

Once you reflect on your relationship, you’ll want to think about what promises you want to make during your vows. You can structure your promises however you want, but our best rule of thumb is to reflect on your values and the foundation of your relationship.

Here are some ideas on what type of promises you can focus on during your vows:

  • Structure your promises with “I promise to…” until you complete this section.
  • Consider any bible verses or any traditions you want to incorporate into your promises together.
  • Incorporate words such as commitment, support, and forever… (don’t worry, we’ll share some example structures below).
  • Remember, not all promises you make to each other have to be super serious. You can also promise to be the one to kill the roaches or go on ice cream runs.

Step 3: Express Your Love

Once you make promises, take a moment to communicate your love in a way that is personal and meaningful to your relationship. Talk about what specific qualities you love about your partner during this section of your vows, and don’t be afraid to make your partner laugh. Your vows do NOT have to be super serious. Our best advice is to structure your vows according to the type of couple you are.

Here are some ideas:

  • Include nicknames you call each other, no need to be super formal.
  • Think about the qualities of your partner you really love and honor. You can even touch upon how these qualities have made you a better version of yourself.
  • Incorporate inside jokes only you two know. Couples tend to avoid this during traditional wedding ceremonies, but elopements and micro-weddings allow you to be as personal and intimate as you want.

Step 4: Acknowledge Your Partner

Now it’s time to express your gratitude and appreciation to your partner. Let’s face it, we all aren’t perfect and our significant other sometimes takes a lot of mood swings and overall crankiness. Now is the perfect time to acknowledge how much of cranky pants you have been sometimes and how understanding and patient they have been.

Here are some ideas:

  • Mention a time your partner really helped you out of a hard time. This can be when you are really stressed, depressed, or experiencing any other challenges.
  • Talk about how your partner lights up a room or just makes you happier overall.

Step 5: Paint a Future Together

Your wedding day marks the first “official” day of forever for both of you. Take this moment in your vows to envision your future as a couple. You can also talk about your hopes and dreams here.

Here are some ideas to bounce off of:

  • Talk about the family you one day hope to have, or what you are looking forward to sharing. Then, end your vows promising to love your partner “as long as we both shall live”.
  • Talk about where you hope you both will be 5,10, even 30 years from now. Hey, this is a great time to build an awesome vow template to look back on during your 10-year vow renewal in the future.

Tips for Writing Your Wedding Vows

Now that we have gone over an easy guideline for you to follow, here are 10 tips to think about and inspire you as you start writing your wedding vows.

1. Get Inspired

The best way to write your own wedding vows is to become inspired. Put together a playlist of different romantic songs, read old letters from each other, or look at old photographs. Walking down memory lane could be a useful tool to get in the “mood” and help get the words flowing. Another great way to get inspired is to read poems, and books, or even watch a good romantic movie.

2. Pick Out The Perfect Vow Book

After featuring hundreds of elopements, we have seen it all when it comes to how couples document their vows. We have seen everything from the traditional vow books to popsicle sticks! Nothing is off-limits and you can write your vows down on your phone, on a bunch of papers, or in a custom book.

We personally love vow books from The Keeper Co (pictured above). This is a fun and interactive approach to your basic vow book. Instead of a bunch of blank pages, The Keeper Co. provides enough space for your vows to your honey, and the remaining pages  have fun, interactive, and romantic prompts that will inspire you to remember why you’re saying “I do.” These books also come in three color options: white, grey, and black.

We love these little vow books so much that we snagged a special deal just for you.

Use code WANDERING for 10% off at The Keeper Co.

We also love these vow books from Amazon if you’re looking for another option. If you do end up buying a standard vow book, you can always continue writing your vows for your vow renewal, years later (your welcome for that idea).

3. Make a List of All Your Thoughts

Even if you plan on writing your vows days before or the morning of your wedding day, have a list you can go back to and make sure you have covered all the bases. It’s so easy to forget to write something or skip over it. This list will be a great starting point to help you focus.

4. Don’t Stress

Pro tip: don’t stress trying to cover everything in your wedding vows. While we understand you may want to fit everything you are feeling into your vow book, it’s impossible. You have your whole life to tell your partner how much you love them.

5. Find a Quiet Place

While many may say to write your vows days before your actual wedding, we actually love it when photographers capture the moment where the bride and groom write down their vows before they get ready during their elopement. This is probably the most ideal time because your heart and mind are completely on your wedding day free from any distractions. With that being said, find someplace quiet and comfortable to write down your wedding vows. You don’t want to lose your train of thought because too many people are around you. 

6. Say, “I Love You”

This may sound shocking, but a lot of couples tend to forget to say these three little words in their vows. Often, they will get so wrapped up in all the other details, they forget to say the words that mean the most. Take a moment, more than once, to remind your partner how much you love him or her.

7. Make Promises You’ll Keep

As you sit down at your quiet spot and write down your vows, think about what’s important to both of you. Think about what goals you both want to accomplish and what promises you want to make. Most wedding vows, touch on sticking around through the good times and the bad. It’s nice to bring up that marriage won’t always be sunshine and rainbows, and how ready and you’re ok with that. Promise to stick by their side, but also promise to put down the toilet seat.

8. Get Personal With It

We touched upon this, but you don’t have to make your vows 100% romantic because no relationship is ever 100% candlelit dinners and roses. Your partner also wants to hear about what makes your relationship authentic. Talk about the late-night binge eating to a whole season on Netflix, or that crazy time you both got stranded exploring somewhere new. Make your vows raw and unapologetically you.

9. If You’re Nervous, Practice!

For some couples, writing their wedding vows isn’t the only stressful thing. Reading out loud could be another aspect that makes you feel jittery. Remember, however, the person you are reading your vows will not judge you. If you find yourself nervous, don’t be afraid to go through a practice run or share some ideas with a close friend or family member.

10. Keep Your Vows a Secret

Think of your wedding vows as a wedding present to each other. While we do suggest talking about the length you both should write for each other (you don’t want to write 2 pages and have your partner write 10!), we think everything else should be kept a secret. This is a great time to show your partner how you see them through your eyes.

Wedding Vow Examples

Now that you have written some notes, here are some epic wedding vow examples from gorgeous elopements around the world. We have presented some excerpts from couples and videos, so you both get a great idea of what an intimate wedding ceremony looks like when you decide to elope together.

These wedding vow examples are in both excerpts and video formats. If you are still stuck on how to incorporate your vows into your wedding ceremony, we suggest teaming up with a Wandering Weddings vendor.

Julia and Joseph’s Elopement

Are you wondering how epic it would be to have your vows recorded by a videographer? Julia and Joseph’s elopement day at Mt. Baker in Washington was captured by True Northwest Weddings.  

  • “Standing here on top of this beautiful mountain the day we both have patiently waited for is finally here. You are the most extraordinary person I know. I love your positive care-free attitude towards life and how it infects those around you, especially me. I admire your desire, and commitment, to seeing something through when it peeks your interest.

I love you because of the way you care for our son, being so compassionate, and patient…Engaging with him, teaching him how to love, laugh, and have fun. And whether intentional or not, molding him to be exactly like his mom in all the best ways possible…” [Joseph, the groom]

  • “The love we share is tender and gentle, honest and kind. Your unwavering love is the greatest gift in the world. Thank you for being the person I can always depend on to love and support who I am. You have filled every hole in my heart and then made my soul complete from this day, for the rest of our days I will love you as much as I know how and I will never stop striving to be better for you and for us.

I promise to love you so strongly the word doesn’t even begin to do it justice, but I also promise to love you in such a way that you are free. Free to grow, free to change, free to explore who you are as an individual. We have always been and will always be my best friend. Your heart is my home. I choose you over anyone and I always will, forever.” [Julia, the bride]

Jennifer and Craig’s Elopement

wedding vow examples

Jennifer and Craig eloped in Sedona, Arizona. This elopement was captured by AdventureandVow.

  • I, Craig Allen Tingley the II, take you, Jennifer Elizabeth Sloan to be my lawfully wedded wife. Before these witnesses, I vow to love you and care for you as long as we both shall live. I take you, with all your faults and strengths, as I offer myself to you with all my faults and strengths. I will help you when you need help, And turn to you when I need help. I choose you as the person with whom I will spend my life.
  • I, Jennifer Elizabeth Sloan take you, Craig Allen Tingley the II to be my lawfully wedded husband. Before these witnesses, I vow to love you and care for you as long as we both shall live. I take you, with all your faults and strengths, as I offer myself to you with all my faults and strengths. I will help you when you need help, And turn to you when I need help. I choose you as the person with whom I will spend my life.
  • I, take thee, Jennifer, to be my wedded wife, To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, in joy and sorrow,
    and I promise my love to you. With this ring, I take you as my Wife for as long as we both shall live.
  • I, take thee, Craig, to be my wedded husband To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, in joy and sorrow, and I promise my love to you. With this ring, I take you as my Husband for as long as we both shall live.

Jumi and Greg’s Elopement

This magical elopement ceremony captured by Cinema of Poetry is breathtaking. Jumi and Greg exchanged vows with Crete’s gorgeous landscape as their backdrop.

  • “It’s amazing to be back in Crete, 7 years after falling in love with this beautiful island. Little did I know, the beautiful woman I would be marrying today would come into my life, just 3 months later.

We met just after Hurricane Sandy hit New York City. Much like Sandy, Jumi, you shook up my world and changed it forever. But unlike Sandy, you changed it for the better. You’ve made me feel emotions I didn’t know I could feel. You pushed me out of my comfort zone. You’ve helped me discover and ignite a deep rooted passion for food and travel. Best of all, this is a passion we share together. You put wind in my sails…

We sparked our shared love for food and adventure over that first plate of fried grasshopers! We have traveled over hundreds and thousands of miles to 19 countries together! Even if we just barely made the flight in time for some. We have shared millions of calories together. Jumi, I love you. You make me a better person.

I promise to be faithful to you, listen to you more, respect you, appreciate you, and love you.” [Greg, the groom]

  • “You don’t make my heart skip a beat, you keep it beating. You are patient, you are kind, you are soft-spoken, and never easily angered. You are honest and calm, you never hold grudges and keep no records of wrongdoing. You respect me, you’re loyal to me. Your love never fails. Your love is always faithful.

Wherever you go, I go. I vow to put our marriage and the family we are going to build together first. I vow to rejoice in your happiness and comfort you in your sadness. I vow to never get tired of pushing you to reach your dreams and our dreams. I vow that I will always be the woman beside you. I vow to always dream, hope, and preserve with you. I vow and support and challenge you. Most especially, sing to you, dance with you, and grow old with you.

You may be a tiny speck of dust in this universe, in this world, but to me… you are my world, my home, and my adventure, all at once. I love you very much. I vow to go to the ends of the earth with you. We are a team, today, tomorrow, and always. I’ll be beside you always.” [Jumi, the bride]

Claire and Jason’s Elopement

Yosemite elopement vows

Claire and Jason’s beautiful wedding day at gorgeous Yosemite will inspire you to elope. Just look at that view! This elopement was captured by Nicole Alex Photography. Check out these wedding vow examples from the bride and groom:

  • “Every day you try your very hardest to be the best partner, daughter, sister, student, employee, and person all at the same time. I’ve had the special privilege of seeing all of this and admire so many of your qualities. You are amazing. And to this day, boy am I grateful to be the one you have chosen…

I look forward to traveling the world with you, starting a family together, growing old in that little house around the corner we love so much.” [Jason, the groom]

  • “We could have met each other so many different times before we finally connected. We likely passed each other on the street, in the halls at university but when we finally met it clearly was meant to be. You are the place I feel safest, you are my greatest adventure and I am so excited to start our lives together.” [Claire, the bride]

Jordan and Kegan’s Elopement

This romantic elopement at the Rocky Mountains is a great example of intimate wedding vows. Videography by Backcountry Vows.

  • “Jordan Lee, it’s true what people say that time flies when you’re having fun. Can you believe it’s almost been 11 years since the day I met you in our 9th-grade Biology class? Little did I know that day would be the beginning of something so wonderful. I can still remember the nerves I felt every time I was with you. You were the gorgeous new girl from Colorado, and now I can call you my little Boulder girl. You are an amazing woman who is strong, who dreams big, and who loves unconditionally.

There’s not a day that goes by that I am not blown away by how passionate you are. You give your everything in not only school but our relationship as well. There has not been a single challenge I have had to face without you by my side. You have always been there for me, supporting my every decision, and trusting me even when you were uncertain of what it would bring. There has not been a day that you have let me try less than my best.

We have grown so much together and have overcome so many obstacles. I am so excited to keep exploring this life-long adventure with you from weekend trips playing in the mountains to working side-by-side on our careers. You are what fuels me and you are what I love the most.” [The groom]

  • “Over the years we have built our lives together on a foundation of smiles and laughter, patience and compassion, and most importantly hard work, mutual respect, and trust.

These past 11 years have shown me just how lucky I was to have met you 4,000 some days ago. And just how lucky I am to spend the rest of my life with you.

From the moment we met, I found a new kind of happiness that I seriously thought only existed in fairy tales.” [The bride]

Answer These Questions Before You Get Started

If you are still struggling to get started, then check out these questions to get your ideas rolling!

  • Where did you first meet?
  • What did you think when you first saw your partner?
  • When did you realize you were in love?
  • How has your life changed since you met each other?
  • What is something you both love doing together?
  • What hard times did you both get through?
  • Is there a song or quote that you feel represents your relationship?
  • Do you have any inside jokes?

If you’re worried about each other’s vows, then you both should consider answering these questions before you work on your wedding vows:

  • How long should our vows be?
  • Do you want to personalize it or keep things short and sweet?
  • Is it okay to bring up inside jokes and personal moments together? (this question is a good one if you’re planning a small wedding ceremony versus an elopement).
  • Do you want to incorporate any religious passages or traditional elements into our vows?

Frequently Asked Questions When Writing Your Vows

You have the perfect template, tips, and examples to go off of, but you still have questions. Let’s dive into some of the top ones we often hear:

How long should my vows be?

3 minutes tops each for a more traditional wedding ceremony. However, we have seen couples who elope and have pretty lengthy and emotional vows together. The reason why couples plan on longer vows when they elope is because they don’t have the typical audience that comes with a traditional wedding. If you’re planning a mix of things (a small wedding ceremony and elopement adventure), then you can always save your vows when you adventure together. This way, you won’t have to stress about how long you’re taking or if you should say that one joke that’s a little too “personal”.

How far in advance should I write my wedding vows?

We think 1-2 months before your wedding day is a pretty good plan. This gives you plenty of time to make a couple of drafts if needed. We suggest starting by writing a couple of key points you want to cover during your vows and then expanding from there. Once you finish your first draft, you can leave it there and come back to it 1-2 weeks later to refine it with fresh new eyes. However, we have also seen couples who write their wedding vows on the day of their wedding! Yup, this also makes for great photo ops for your photographer if you plan on going this route. There is no right or wrong answer.

Where should I write my vows?

We recommend to keep things simple and start with some sheets of paper. By starting your vows this way, you’re able to edit them and then transfer the final version of your vows to a personalized vow book (like the ones we suggested above). You can write your vows anywhere. You’ll just have to consider if you want your vows to be saved in a particular way, or if your vows will only be used in that moment.

Here are some ideas:

Is it OK to ask for help with my wedding vows?

100% it’s ok to ask for help! Help for your wedding vows exists in so many ways. You can browse through resources (like this one) to get more ideas or even ask your officiant for advice. If you want to keep things personal, then consider asking your closest family/friends to read over your vows. There is no right or wrong way to write your wedding vows. These vows are personal and only YOU can find the correct words to say to your partner on your wedding day. However, you can always ask for help if you need it!

Who should read their wedding vows first?

Traditional ceremonies dictate that the groom reads his vows first, BUT we are not for traditions on our site. That said, either of you can go first when reading your wedding vows. We have actually had couples play “rock, paper, scissors” to figure out who reads their vows first. This is your wedding day, you can do whatever you want.


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