7 Tips for writing your own wedding vows

Dec 21, 2009 at 7:05 p.m. ET

What better place to inject a little personality then in the most important part of the wedding; your vows. Writing your own vows can give anyone a case of writer's block, but we've got some tips to help calm your nerves and get those ideas flowing.

Couple exchanging rings


1. Talk to your officiant

Different religions have different rules about what you can and can't do at your wedding. Some may require you to say specific vows; others may not have such rules. Either way, remember, your wedding officiant is an expert on wedding ceremonies. He or she can help you get started on your writing, and keep you from saying anything embarrassing or inappropriate.

2. Write it all down

If you even think you might want to write your own vows, start writing down the thoughts that come to you -- whenever they come to you. Don't worry about grammar, spelling, or even having it make sense. Just write.

3. Talk it over with each other

Maybe you've always dreamed of writing your own vows, but the idea makes your fiancé break out in hives. You need to discuss this and make sure you're on the same page in terms of whether or not this is something you want to do, and what sort of tone or feel you want the vows to take.

4. Don't be afraid to cry

Your wedding vows are no place for being hip or ironic. Be romantic, be heartfelt, be honest --this is the time to let your true feelings show.

5. Keep it short

It's a given that you'll be nervous when reciting your vows, so the shorter they are, the more likely you are to stay focused and deliver them without a hitch.

6. Practice

Ironically, the key to sounding spontaneous and truthful is to practice what you're saying. The more you practice, the more natural it will feel.

7. You don't have to do this

There's a reason the same wedding vows have been used for hundreds of years. They work, they express how people feel, and they're appropriate. There's no reason why you should feel like you have to write your own vows.

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