No matter how long your engagement, it’s never too early to begin the vow writing process. Most couples procrastinate and leave writing personalized wedding vows until weeks, sometimes hours, before their wedding ceremony. This direction creates more stress and fear around writing your own vows. Instead, to feel more confident and in control, take this huge task and break it out into smaller, actionable chunks. This will help—the Wedding Words ultimate timeline guide for writing your own vows.
12+ Months: Think of this period as uncensored time where you can simply “brain dump” all your thoughts, emotions, and memories. This is not the time for perfection or judgement. It’s simply the time for you to begin! As a romantic thought comes to mind, jot it down. You never can predict when a memory about your relationship will surface and inspiration may strike so be prepared while you’re on the go during this time in your engagement. I recommend keeping a small notepad with you to scribble down thoughts as they arise or use a notetaking app like Evernote or Google Keep.
9 Months: Begin to organize the collection of notes you wrote by sectioning notes into categories or similar themes. A theme is simply a way to identify groups of your thoughts. I often view themes as characteristics that could describe your relationship or fiancé. Things like sentimental, humorous, thoughtful, or acts of service. You can use various colored highlighters or pens to differentiate each note. Maybe yellow represents examples of funny things, while purple represents romantic gestures. The point is to recognize the themes that come up for you. Then you’ll be able to use these themes as anchor points when you write your own wedding vows.
6 Months: Make a first attempt at writing your own vows. This can be the most intimidating step. But this is why you’re starting early and beginning 6 months out from your wedding ceremony. You’ll have plenty of time to rewrite, edit, and practice. As you begin writing your own vows, remind yourself that the vows won’t instantly be perfect. It may take you trying a few different drafts. You’ll become overwhelmed and uncertain. Let these thoughts sit with you, without controlling you. During this phase of the vow writing timeline, the purpose is just to start to form some thoughts on paper. It’s about progress over perfection right now.
3 Months: By now, you may have a few various drafts written of your unique wedding vows. Now it’s time to narrow down the several drafts you’ve started to one draft you want to focus on editing through to completion. Choose the version that you feel most touches on the direction you want to take with your personal wedding vows.
2 Months: We’re now entering the editing phase. This is where you’ll trim away parts that don’t resonate with you and polish the points you love to become even more articulate. Editing your own work can be a challenge. It can often take a professional who is not as close to your work to collaborate with you. At Wedding Words, in addition to offering custom wedding vow writing services, we also offer editing services. If you’re struggling to edit your own wedding vows, reach out and we’ll help!
1 Month: Reread and rework any final parts that need it. Order your wedding vow holders now too. There are several cute wedding vow accessories on Etsy you can choose from.
2 Weeks: Practice, practice, practice! You can never practice reading your wedding vows out loud enough. I recommend video recording yourself so you can watch yourself and witness things like your speaking pace and volume. It can be really difficult to watch yourself on camera but I always say it’s better to see these things now while you have time to adjust instead of seeing it on your final wedding video for years to come.
Writing personal wedding vows will be one of the most unique touches you can plan for your wedding day. Make time within your wedding planning schedule to articulate what your fiancé and your relationship means to you. Your wedding vows will mark the occasion in a personal way that the cake cutting and bouquet toss just won’t be able to compare to so take the time to make it truly special for you both.
Still struggling to write your own wedding vows? I’m a professional wedding vow and toast writer and I’d love to collaborate with you to help write your unique wedding vows. Come visit me at Wedding Words to learn more about our vow writing services.