When it comes to writing your own wedding vows, brides and grooms crave a nontraditional approach. When you write unique wedding vows, you’re better able to capture what’s in your heart and what’s specific to your relationship. After all, you two are one unique couple. Your wedding vows should speak to what makes you special as a couple. If you’re choosing to ditch the traditional, I take you, wedding vows for a more custom approach, you’re likely wondering how to begin. Here is the Wedding Words guide for how to write nontraditional wedding vows.
Brainstorm Your Thoughts: Writing your own wedding vows can be an overwhelming task. Start by having a brainstorm session. Don’t restrict or censor yourself during this phase. Instead, write down any story, thought, or emotion that comes to mind when you think about your fiancé and your relationship. A brainstorm allows you to not overthink things and your subconscious gets put into the driver’s seat. When this happens, material will come to the forefront of your mind that could spark entire parts of your wedding vows.
Find Themes: Review your brainstorm to discover themes. Maybe you notice that you have several examples of your fiancé inspiring you to be a more positive person. Perhaps you wrote lots of detail about how much you both dream of starting a family soon. These themes will serve as anchor points that you can center. your vows around. I recommend circling or highlighting these themes, using a different color to identify each theme type.
Get Specific: Writing nontraditional wedding vows means digging up as much specific detail about your relationship as you can. Instead of simply saying, “I admire the adventurer in you,” get specific. Here’s how you could take that sentiment and add more colorful detail: “Whether it’s inspiring me to try surfing like we did in Costa Rica or watching you train for your first Ironman Triathlon, I admire the adventurer in you.”
Connect These Details with Your Dreams and Desires: Unique wedding vows are all about stating what you love about your fiancé and describing what dreams and desires you have for your future together. Using the previous example, you already stated what you love about him—that he’s an adventurer. Now, connect that theme with your hopes for the future together. It could look something like this: “Whether it’s inspiring me to try surfing like we did in Costa Rica or watching you train for your first Ironman Triathlon, I admire the adventurer in you. I promise to weave adventure into our marriage as often as possible, like traveling through Latin America and starting a family together. I choose you to explore life with.”
Keep is Concise: Your vows should be personal and capture what’s in your heart but they shouldn’t take up half the ceremony. Aim to write 250 to 550 words which is roughly two to four minutes in speaking length. This is enough time to convey what’s most important while keeping it interesting.
Practice: When you deliver nontraditional wedding vows, there can be more pressure since you wrote your own vows and aren’t simply repeating what the officiant tells you to. It’s important to practice reading your wedding vows aloud to become more comfortable and confident. Try reading your wedding vows to a friend who you can trust to provide you with constructive feedback. You can also video record yourself to witness what sort of nervous ticks you may display and work to correct them before you read your vows in front of all 250 guests.
Talk with Your Fiancé: Writing nontraditional wedding vows is uncharted territory for most couples. Talk with your fiancé throughout the process to understand if you’re on the same page for how you plan to go about writing your own vows. This doesn’t mean you need to spoil the surprise of what will be included within your vows. Share logistical details like how long you each plan to make your wedding vows. This will help with ceremony planning and timing. You can also discuss if there are any sensitive topics that should be off limits.
As you prepare to write your own vows, these tips will help you to create nontraditional wedding vows. Your wedding vows are the most personal and intimate detail of your wedding. It’s your unique wedding vows that will create the entrance for your pathway into marriage. Need more help to write your nontraditional wedding vows? As a professional vow and toast writer at Wedding Words, I collaborate with couples to write personal wedding vows. I’d love to work with you to put your heart into words.