crooked willow farms wedding groom crying during vows

How to Write Great Wedding Vows

Your wedding is rapidly approaching and you have an endless checklist of tasks to complete before the big day, not the least of which is to write great wedding vows. I’m not talking about rote lines you recite after the officiant (“to have and to hold,” “until death do us part,” etc.) I’m talking about the meaningful, tear-jerking vows that come straight from your heart.

But unless you’re a professional speechwriter, this sort of thing doesn’t come easy. How do you sum up in just a few minutes the way you feel about this person you’ve chosen to spend the rest of your life with?

Here are a few simple guidelines for writing (and delivering) emotional and memorable wedding vows.

Memorize your Wedding Vows.

This is easier said than done, but taking the time to memorize your vows will pay off big-time on your wedding day. The worst thing you can do when reciting your vows is to bury your face in a piece of paper the entire time (Scratch that. Burying your face in your phone is the worst thing you can do.)

Making eye contact with your bride- or groom-to-be while speaking your vows is so much more meaningful, and will make your wedding photos a hell of a lot more impactful.

How to Write Great Wedding Vows | Buena Vista Wedding | Colorado Wedding Photographers | J. La Plante Photo

See more of Lindsey and Chris’s Buena Vista wedding

Keep it Short and Sweet.

They say that brevity is the soul of wit and much like any other type of public speaking engagement, less is almost always more when delivering your wedding vows. Write your first draft, let it sit for a couple weeks, then come back and edit with a fresh perspective. Cut anything repetitive or redundant (see what I did there?) or anything that isn’t your absolute best material.

Keeping it short and sweet will also help with memorizing your vows!

Bride and Groom Laughing During Ceremony | Manor House Wedding | Denver Wedding Photographers | J. La Plante Photo

See more of Kristin and Matt’s Manor House wedding

Write Wedding Vows that will Make ‘em Laugh and Make ‘em Cry.

The best wedding vows take the crowd on an emotional roller coaster. Start out by tugging at those heart strings and then flip the script with something a bit lighter. Then get those happy tears flowing again and hit ‘em with a witty punchline. Be sincere, but don’t be afraid to inject your wedding vows with a bit of levity.

How to Write Great Wedding Vows | St. Vrain Wedding | Boulder Wedding Photographers | J. La Plante Photo

See more of Shelby and Brian’s St. Vrain wedding

Avoid Clichés when Writing your Wedding Vows.

“I knew from the moment I first saw you…”

“I’m so happy I’m marrying my best friend…”

“I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you…”

These are all beautiful sentiments, but they’re also overplayed. Think of a new way to express yourself. Be more specific. What’s something that only applies to you and your bride- or groom-to-be that can’t be said of any other couple in the world? Every single one of us is a unique individual and every relationship is unique as well. Figure out what makes your relationship unique and focus on that.

Groom Crying During Vows | Barnstar Wedding | Destination Wedding Photographers | J. La Plante Photo

See more of Andrea and Chad’s Washington destination wedding

Tell a Story.

Sometimes the best way to express yourself is by telling a story. As I mentioned before, every relationship is unique. Think of a moment you’ve shared with your bride- or groom-to-be that perfectly sums up what makes your relationship unique. It could be anything: something funny that happened on your first date, a profound moment you shared while traveling, a challenge you overcame together, etc.

Just make sure that your story is short and sweet, takes your bride- or groom-to-be on an emotional journey, avoids clichés and has been memorized, and you’re guaranteed to bring the house down.

Happy writing! You’re gonna kill it!

Mother of the Bride Crying during Ceremony | Upstate New York Wedding | Destination Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

See more of Lauren and Quentin’s New York destination wedding

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