Featured Image by Blane Marable

For many brides and grooms, the scariest part of planning their big day presents itself through writing the perfect wedding vows. The thought of wrapping up your love, aspirations, and promises to your partner in front of everyone may be overwhelming. Furthermore, it may seem impossible to find the right words to say. As intimidating as creating your own vows may be, your wedding is an exceptional setting to reveal why and just how much you love the person you are marrying. It’ll all be worth it when the two of you are at the altar – all you have to do is put in the work! Follow our tips below to prepare meaningful, original wedding vows!

Photo Courtesy of Blane Marable

10 Wedding Vow Tips

  1. Give yourself time to prep. Don’t wait until the last minute – this will only add to your stress! Plan to have your vows written two to three weeks in advance of your wedding day. This way, the last thing you have to worry about on your big day will be your vows. You won’t regret it!
  2. Agree with your partner on the mood and format. Before writing your vows, discuss with your partner what you both would like to include, or in some cases, exclude. Logistics are just as important – will you be writing separate vows or sharing? Indicate to each other your preferred tone, and if you desire more traditional, romantic, humorous, or religious vows. Don’t want your partner to share that one embarrassing story on your big day? Some surprises aren’t fun, so make sure to establish certain boundaries beforehand.
  3. Take little notes of your relationship. When you start to craft your vows, the possibilities of what to say can be endless. Start by reviewing your relationship with your partner. By jotting down some basics through answering the “five W’s + one H” (who, what, where, when, why and how), you can expand these points into meaningful discourse. For example, where did you first meet your partner, or how did you know they were the one for you? Who has your partner made you into today, and what are your plans with them? Why do you want to spend your life with them? Get creative!
  4. Write multiple drafts. Once you have an idea of what you want to say, you can work on structuring the outline of your vows. By writing multiple drafts, you can explore alternate paths that your vows may take you. Give yourself some space between writing too many different drafts though – you don’t want to overdo it! 
  5. Keep it short but sweet. It is not surprising to want to say every little thing you love about your partner in your vows. However, sincere vows shouldn’t be repetitive, so make edits based on your most important points. Meaningful vows should be between one or two minutes long, and you can always share the rest of your personal thoughts in letters or notes later. Think of all your loved ones in the audience! Most likely, they’ve moved onto craving the wedding cake at the afterparty.
  6. Encourage laughter and sentimentality! There’s no better way to calm your partner’s nerves (or your own!) through humor or a personal story, especially if you expect to feel wedding day jitters. Make sure to say “I love you” in your vows – it’s an unexpectedly common mistake that couples forget all the time! Feel free to be inspired by iconic wedding vows in books, movies, or songs, but try to avoid clichés that overpower your voice on your special day. Share promises you intend to commit to, and reference your future with your partner. Lastly, if you have a crowd witnessing your wedding, remember you invited them for good reason! Don’t cut them from too many inside jokes, code words, embarrassing stories, or personal remarks. Your audience will appreciate being in on some jokes and meaningful stories!
  7. Keep a secret. By keeping your vows a secret from your partner until the ceremony, you are giving the ultimate wedding gift to one another. When they hear your vows for the first time, their reactions are guaranteed to be more genuine, impactful and emotional. It’ll be worth it to see the look on their face.
  8. Practice makes perfect! Make sure to practice, practice practice! Read your vows out loud in order to practice pauses, emphasis, expressions, and timing for laughter or empathetic sighs. You can even ask a close friend or family member to serve as a sounding board or answer your grammar questions. By practicing aloud, you can alleviate day-of stress through making your words familiar and delivering your speech like second nature! 
  9. Make a fresh copy on the big day. Although this may seem insignificant in comparison to all the other steps of your wedding day, you’ll thank yourself later up at the altar. The aesthetic of fresh, legible vows will not only make the presentation appear more organized to the public, but will relieve you of any worrisome distractions or thoughts while you’re speaking. If you have a photographer, this is especially relevant because your vows might end up in the pictures. Or, this applies if you simply want a keepsake.
  10. Ask a trustworthy source to hold onto them. As everything gets crazier the closer the ceremony may get, don’t be afraid to hand your vows to a reliable friend or family member. If you typed your vows, you could even print them a copy as a backup just in case you lose yours or become too emotional to speak. It’ll be one less thing for you to remember!

Our purpose at Weddings in Athens is to show the outstanding selection of Athens, Georgia wedding vendors such as wedding photographers, videographers, florists, wedding planners and venues. We hope that our information will be helpful to you as you plan your Athens, Georgia wedding.  Please contact Weddings in Athens if you would like to have your listing added. Please follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/weddingsinathens

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