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How to Write Wedding Vows & Examples

How To Write Wedding Vows:

Wedding Vows Examples, Tips, & Important Things to Include

Exchanging wedding vows with your future wife or husband is one of the most important parts of your wedding ceremony. Whether you and your partner decide to have a civil wedding ceremony or a religious wedding ceremony, every couple wants their wedding vows to be heartfelt and memorable. Nowadays, couples are often opting for customized wedding vows instead of going fully traditional, which tends to add a lot of pressure. But don’t worry, this wedding guide will cover everything you will need to know – from important things you should include to examples of wedding vows – we’re here to help make your life easier and your wedding ceremony one to remember!

Putting all the stress of wedding planning aside, preparing your vows should be something you look forward to. These words will serve as a reminder of love and commitment long after your wedding ceremony. This is your chance to express your love towards your significant other and to share your intentions before embarking on your marriage journey, so make it special!


Saying wedding vows with Lake Tahoe Wedding Photographer and Elopement Photography


Tip: Decide on your wedding vows at least a month before your wedding. Don’t wait until the night before to figure it all out. Trust me, this will relieve you from a lot of pre-wedding anxiety!



What Are Wedding Vows? When Are Wedding Vows Said?

Wedding vows are exchanged between you and your spouse-to-be to share your love and commitments to one another. Traditionally, the couple will face each other and hold hands while sharing their vows. Vows are typically said after your officiant gives a sermon or recites religious readings and are followed by the exchange of wedding rings. The officiant will then set the stage for the big kiss and will officially pronounce you as husband and wife!


Are Wedding Vows Legally Required In a Wedding Ceremony?

First and foremost, let’s understand the basics of what makes a marriage legal. In order to get married, you will need a marriage license, an officiant, and witnesses. The witnesses can be a close friend or family member, but each of you will need your own witness. Although wedding vows are often used in traditional ceremonies and for religious wedding services, they are not legally required. The pledge of marriage alone is enough, as long as you have an officiant and witnesses to sign the marriage certificate after your wedding ceremony.


Saying wedding vows with Lake Tahoe Wedding Photographer and Elopement Photography

Should We Use Traditional Wedding Vows or Write Our Own?

This is a question that you and your fiancé have probably been talking about. One of you may practice a religious faith while the other does not. Or some family members might expect a religious ceremony during your wedding while you and your fiancé might want a non-denominational wedding ceremony. Whatever the situation may be, there are options to consider to make sure everyone’s desires for the wedding are met.

If you are a couple opting for a religious wedding ceremony, feel free to peruse through these examples of traditional wedding vows based on religion. Don’t want your wedding vows to be fully traditional? That’s okay too! Just ask your officiant if there are other versions of wedding vows to choose from or if you and your fiancé can offer small changes to make it more personal.

If you both decide to ditch traditional vows and write your own instead, it’s important to remember to take time to do your research – this will mean a lot to your spouse-to-be! Reading examples of marriage vows and thinking about the promises you want to make to one another all go hand in hand in making your wedding vows sincere and meaningful.


Saying wedding vows with Lake Tahoe Wedding Photographer and Elopement Photography


What Should I Include In My Wedding Vows?

Your wedding vows are all about the love you have for your spouse, the commitment you promise to hold throughout your life together, and your intentions for your marriage, no matter what happens in life. Vows can be as romantic and emotional as you want them to be. You can be poetic and intimate or go for the humorous route, if that’s your style. If you decide to have a religious ceremony, be sure to check with your officiant as to what can and cannot be altered and if writing your own vows fits the structure of the ceremony. Remember, your wedding vows aren’t about impressing your guests, but instead, expressing how you truly feel about your significant other and the promises you want to uphold during your married life.


How Long Should My Wedding Vow Be?

Wedding vows typically range from 45 seconds to 2 minutes long and are usually between 100 to 200 words. The sweet spot is around 1 minute long. Practice reciting your wedding vows out loud and time yourself. Try to aim for no longer than a minute and make sure to give yourself enough time for pauses. The last thing you want is to drag on your wedding ceremony with things you can tell your spouse after the ceremony.


Saying wedding vows with Lake Tahoe Wedding Photographer and Elopement Photography

Who Says Their Vows First – The Bride or the Groom?

Typically, the groom will say his vows before the bride. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t switch it up. Just be sure to ask your officiant well in advance if you can make this change. You can also choose to have the marriage commissioner recite your pre-chosen vows and say “We Do” together. If you are having a same-sex wedding, it is totally up to you and your partner to decide who gets to recite their vows first.


Wedding Vows Writing Tips

Ceremony Script Advice:

Give yourself enough time to write your vows. We recommend writing up to three drafts and reading them out loud. Choose which version means the most to you.

Make a list of all your thoughts. This will ensure you don’t forget anything important.

Get inspired by songs, books, poems, and movies. Using quotes or lyrics are great ways to segway into your vows.

Reference memories or inside jokes that you may share with your significant other. This will make it more heartfelt and even get a smile amongst the tears during this intimate moment.

Practice reading your vows out loud or ask a trusted friend or family member to listen.

Print or write extra copies of your wedding vows before your ceremony. The last thing you want to happen is to lose your only copy and say your vows off the top of your head.


Try to Avoid When Writing Your Vows:

Don’t try to include everything. Wedding vows should express how you feel about your significant other but shouldn’t be a novel. Include the main things you want to say and leave all the extra words of affirmation for your honeymoon.

Don’t use absolute language including words like “always” and “never”. Life is full of ups and downs so don’t promise anything you can’t live up to.

Don’t stress out too much or think that your vows are too cheesy. Be yourself and trust that your partner will appreciate whatever it is that you want to say.

Don’t share your wedding vows with your partner until the ceremony. Keeping your vows a secret will make it more special and emotional if they hear it for the first time at your wedding.

Saying wedding vows with Lake Tahoe Wedding Photographer and Elopement Photography

Wedding Vows and Ceremony Script Template

What does marriage mean to you?

How can you be the best wife or husband to him or her?

What can you promise your significant other?

How did you meet? When did you fall in love?

What obstacles have you both overcome together?

How can you inspire one another during your marriage?

Why is he or she the love of your life?

How can you uplift one another when life gets hard?

What has he or she taught you?

How has your partner always been there for you?

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Simple Wedding Vows

Groom: “______, we both know how indecisive I can be at times. Making decisions is one of my least favorite things but there is one decision in my life that I do know. That is, to spend the rest of my life with you. There’s so many things that I love about you. From your thoughtfulness, your cute snort when you laugh, to your ability to keep me grounded, there aren’t enough words to express how I feel about you. I love how you can cheer me up when I’m down and get excited about things that other people might find boring. I promise to be patient with you and be there for you throughout this life, whatever it may bring. I love you, ______ and I’m so excited to spend this life with you.”

Bride: “______, when we first met, I thought you I’d friendzone you. But lo and behold, you swept me right off my feet and showed me that there’s no one I’d rather spend this life with. I love everything about you. Your stubbornness, your stupid jokes, your sense of adventure. I can’t be bored when I’m around you because you seem to find a way to make even the most mundane things interesting. I promise to love you, support you, honor you, and cherish you. I can’t imagine where I would be without you. I am looking forward to continuing this crazy journey called life, with you by my side.”


Romantic Wedding Vows

Groom: “______, as cliche as this may sound, you showed up when I was least expecting you. Who knew I would meet the love of my life on a subway train? I certainly didn’t but I am glad the universe gave us the chance to meet one another. I intend to love you, hold you, and grow old with you. I promise to be there for you and listen to you when life gets hard. I promise to celebrate your accomplishments and remember the good days. I promise to be patient with you and laugh with you all throughout this life.”

Bride: “______, I am so blessed to have met you. You have brought so much joy into my life and I cannot wait to see what else our life unfolds. I promise to encourage you to accomplish your dreams. I promise to celebrate the joys in this life with you. I promise to stay strong for the both of us even during the most challenging times. I promise to be kind to you, to have patience, and to forgive you, especially on days when things get tough. I am so head over heels for you. I love you so much.


Modern Wedding Vows

Groom: “______, you are the Bonnie to my Clyde. My true partner in crime. Jokes aside, you are everything I ever wanted. Your smile brings so much joy and can light up even the darkest rooms. Your patience and understanding is commendable, especially during times when I’m being a total ass. Your creativity takes my breath away. I am amazed by your talents and passion for art. You are truly one of a kind and I am so glad I get to call you mine. As we begin our journey together, I promise to be there for you in the good times and the bad. I will cherish you for as long as I may live. I will love you with all of my heart until the day I die. Sorry, you’ll have to deal with me when I’m a grumpy old man.”

Bride: “______, remember when you made a total fool of yourself at my art exhibit? I won’t let you forget it! That’s the day I realized how much I’ve fallen for you. You aren’t afraid to be yourself and that’s what I love the most about you. You are cunning, witty, and down-right hilarious, to the point where I can’t catch my breath because I’m laughing so hard. You are such a risk taker and I’m not, so good thing we can balance each other out. You are my best friend, my shoulder to lean on, my everything. I am so happy to have met you and cannot wait to see what this life has in store for us.”


Lake Tahoe Wedding Photographer and Elopement Photography

Kimmi Cranes is a Lake Tahoe wedding photographer who offers all-inclusive wedding photography packages, engagement photoshoots, elopement photography and family portraits. Based in South Lake Tahoe, she’s more than happy to travel and capture your special event in the surrounding areas of Reno, Truckee, and San Francisco. She loves to explore the outdoors and take photos of people in front of breathtaking landscapes. Her photos craft a beautiful story of love, excitement, and emotions to be remembered for years to come.

Kimmi Cranes is a San Francisco event photographer and the main photographer of Starscape Studios

Bay Area wedding photographer

You're likely to see me on the dance floor with my camera and laughing with your bridal party who are my new best friends. When you hire me as your wedding photographer, you won't have to wonder if I'm missing those moments - I'll be right by your side.

With dozens of 5-star reviews on Yelp, Google and Wedding Wire, my goal is to document these fleeting moments so that you can cherish them for years to come.

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