8 Tips for How to Read Your Own Wedding Vows When You Have a Public Speaking Fear

You’ve decided to write your own wedding vows to make your wedding ceremony more personalized, right? Did you know that a large part doesn’t have to do with the writing? To really make personalized vows powerful, you need to hone in on your public speaking skills.

Writing your wedding vows is one thing but being able to read your vows in front of all your family and friends can be the most intimidating part. If you’re someone you has a fear of public speaking, you may be getting second thoughts about reading your unique wedding vows.

Don’t let fear change your wedding ceremony plans. Sharing personalized wedding vows is what will make your wedding day unique and your promises for marriage special. Overcome your public speaking fear by brushing up on speaking skills. Here are eight tips to get you ready to read your vows with comfort and confidence.

Tip #1: Speak Loudly: some of the best public speaking advice given to me: when you think you’re speaking loudly enough, speak a bit louder.

It’s hard to understand how we sound to other people—especially when we’re nervous. We have a tendency to quiet our voices in a subconscious attempt to draw less attention to ourselves.

If you’re reading your wedding vows, own it. Speak loudly. You want everyone from your fiancé to your Great Aunt Dorothy in the back row to hear you.

Tip #2: Speak Clearly: Enunciate each word. Your fiancé and your guests want to hear the unique wedding vows you’ve prepared. When we’re nervous, we often speak quickly. The faster you speak, the faster it’s over with, right?

Slow down. Enjoy the moment. To be clearly understood, avoid mumbling or speaking too fast.

Tip #3: Make Eye Contact: When we’re anxious, we avoid eye contact. The good news is you don’t need to stare out into the rows of guests watching you.

There’s only one person you need to lock eyes with—your love. Look into your fiancés eyes when you read your wedding vows. It will add emotion to the words you wrote. Plus, you’ll want to capture his reaction to your wedding vows.  

Tip #4: Don’t Read off Your Phone: Your photographer and videographer will thank you for following this tip.

The glare from your phone not only looks tacky and dated in photographs but the glow can discolor your face. Slip your wedding vows into pretty vow holders for a more elegant and practical look.

Tip #5: Stand Up Straight: Are you consciously aware of your posture? How you stand sends a message. Stand up straight to feel and look more confident. You’ll especially be thankful you paid attention to your posture when you look back at your wedding photographs.

Tip #6: Practice: The more you practice reading your wedding vows, the more comfortable you’ll become. Try reading your vows in front of your maid of honor and ask for constructive feedback. You can also video record yourself. When you watch yourself on video you’ll quickly spot nervous ticks and areas for improvement.

Tip #7: Work with a Professional Vow Writer: As a professional wedding vow writer, I collaborate with couples to write custom wedding vows. Part of the process is providing a personalized video that walks the bride through how to publically present her vows. This part of the service is especially helpful for nervous brides.

Each video is made custom for each individual bride. In the video I describe how to read your vows to be most effective and confident. Consider hiring Wedding Words to help transform your fear of public speaking into feeling ease and excitement when you think about reading your vows.

Tip #8: Just Breathe: When it comes down to it, sometimes you just need to breathe. Whether you’re feeling nerves just thinking about reading your vows, or whether you’re minutes away from actually reading them—breathe.

Three deep inhales and exhales can be enough to press the reset button on your anxiety. Inhale confidence, exhale doubt. Inhale the present moment, exhale fear. Inhale love, exhale love.

In the end, remember this is your wedding day. It’s about marrying the love of your life—sharing your feelings and dreams for your fiancé and your marriage.

It doesn’t matter if you’re reading your wedding vows in front of a church of 300 people or if you’re reading them at a courthouse in front of a judge and a witness.

Speak from your heart. Be vulnerable. Be authentic. When you embrace these things—you have nothing to fear, and should simply embrace the moment.