Wedding Vow Guide

Writing wedding vows can be intimidating and thrilling at the same time. A lot of couples become overwhelmed thinking about how to write wedding vows. It can be stressful to sit down and attempt to sum all of their love, promises, and dreams to their partner. However, it’s well worth it once you are in front of each other exchanging words. Reading and writing vows are some of our most favorite elopement moments photographers share with us.

If you’re up for the challenge to write your wedding vows, then get ready to pin this page to make sure you cover everything you need to as you prepare to write your vows.

Disclaimer: This guide was created specifically for couples who are planning an elopement, intimate wedding, or exchanging their vows in private. While there are many guides out there, our wedding vow guide was created specifically for couples who want to enjoy an intimate ceremony together.

How to Write Wedding Vows

groom writing his vows

Photography by Zaitography

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

1. Talk about what you love about your partner.

Who is your partner to you? Define who your honey is, and what he or she means to you. 

2. Think of writing a short story about your love life.

As you draft your ideas together, think about how you met or fun and adventurous moments between you two. This will give a personal touch to your vows and show your partner how you see your relationship through your eyes.

3. Dedicate a section where you define what you are promising to your partner.

Writing your own vows can easily turn into a mini-rant. To keep yourself focused, after the first two steps, think about what promises you want to make to your partner. You can also mix in some religious wedding vows, bible verses, or traditional pledges here.

4. Break the ice and make it personal.

After you made your promises, make sure to break the ice and make your partner laugh. Don’t be afraid to bring a little humor into your vows. By adding a few laughs, you are creating wedding vows that help relieve some nerves and stay true to the two of you.

5. Set some goals and wrap it up

After all the steps above, make sure to think about your goals and future as a couple. Think of yourselves as a team, and don’t be afraid to talk about the family you one day hope to have, or what you are looking forward to sharing together. Then, end your vows promising to love your partner “as long as we both shall live”.

Tips for Writing Wedding Vows

Now that we went 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, 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 a custom book.

We personally love vow books from The Keeper Co. 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.

Take a look inside The Keeper Co. Vow Books:

The Keeper Co. Vow Books

 

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 lives to tell your honey 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 making 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.

Brainstorming Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Write

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?

Wedding Vow Examples

Now that you wrote 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 how an intimate wedding ceremony looks like when you decide to elope together.

Find the location you are interested in and jump over to view the example…

Julia and Joseph’s Elopement at Mt. Baker, Washington

Jennifer and Craig’s Elopement in Sedona, Arizona

Jumi and Greg’s Elopement in Crete, Greece

Claire and Jason’s Elopement at Yosemite National Park 

Jordan and Kegan’s Elopement at Rocky Mountain National Park

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 member.

 

Julia and Joseph’s Elopement at Mt. Baker, Washington

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.  

 

Jennifer and Craig’s Elopement in Sedona, Arizona

wedding vow examples

Jennifer and Craig eloped in Sedona, Arizona. This elopement was captured by AdventureandVow, and the official was Jen Paul of Life Passages. If you are looking for short and sweet vows, then this is the perfect wedding vow example to follow:

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 in Crete, Greece

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

 

Claire and Jason’s Elopement at Yosemite National Park

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:

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.

Bride: “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 meant 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.”

Jordan and Kegan’s Elopement at Rocky Mountain National Park

This romantic elopement at the beautiful Rockies is a great example of intimate wedding vows. This elopement was captured by Backcountry Vows.

 

If you need more elopement planning tools to help make sure your day goes by smoothly, we recommend:

5 Valuable Tips for Announcing Your Elopement

Creating an Elopement Timeline

Best Honeymoon Destinations for Elopers