Many couples feel pressure to write incredible personalized wedding vows. One safe way to accomplish this wedding planning task is to simply avoid common vow writing missteps.
As the creator of Wedding Words and a professional wedding vow writer, I’ve outlined the most common mistakes couples make while writing their own wedding vows. Avoid these blunders and you’ll be on your way to beautifully written wedding vows.
Using Clichés: We already know that love is patient…love is kind. Avoid overused bible verses, movie quotes, song lyrics, or poetry. You are writing personalized wedding vows so make them custom to you.
If you do wish to pull inspiration from previously published works of art—choose content that resonates with you versus something generic.
Not Using a Microphone: You’ll invest a lot of time and hard work with writing your wedding vows.
Make sure your guests can hear them and that your wedding cinematographer can capture the vows. In advance of the wedding ceremony, receive a confirmation that there will be an extra microphone for you and your fiancé to use.
Winging It: When it comes to public speaking, there are many people who believe they’re better on stage when they are spontaneous and don’t prepare a speech in advance.
The idea of “riffing” your wedding vows may sound like it will give you an opportunity to speak more from the heart. However, the reality will simply sound unpolished and cluttered.
Write your wedding vows down before the ceremony in an organized and thoughtful way to avoid displaying the obvious signs of someone who didn’t prepare.
Not Talking with Your Fiancé: Many couples don’t discuss the vow writing process with their fiancé because they want their wedding vows to be a surprise. Here’s the thing—you can talk about the wedding vow logistics without sharing the context of your specific wedding vows.
The important things to cover are:
· Length: How long will your wedding vows be? Agree on a similar word count so one person’s vows aren’t significantly longer than the others.
· Tone: Discuss what type of tone your wedding vows will have. Should they include humor or not? Are they meant to be more sentimental?
· Topics to avoid: Are there any areas that are off-limits for your wedding vows? Perhaps mentioning certain deceased family members would be too hard for you to hear about or maybe you want to avoid specific anecdotes that are more private.
When you communicate about these key points together, your wedding vows will become more aligned.
Including Inside Jokes: It might feel cute to include whimsical anecdotes in your wedding vows. However, inside jokes rarely stand the test of time.
Before including a story that only you two will understand, ask yourself if this will be important in 30 years. If not, don’t include it.
Your wedding vows should focus on what’s most important about your relationship and future marriage.
Not Being Conscious of Time: Wedding vows should capture and communicate your feelings and promises for your marriage in a concise manner. While one to two minutes is appropriate, for many couples, it’s hard to communicate everything that’s in their heart in such a short timeframe. The couples that I work with like to spend more time on their vows and want the vows to be a focal point of the ceremony.
In this case, your wedding vows should be 390 to 650 words which is roughly three to five minutes in speaking length. This allows you to have more in depth and detailed wedding vows without going on for too long. Wedding vows that go over five minutes tend to lose their impact in addition to your wedding guests attention.
Staying in the Shallow End: While your wedding vows do not need to be a poetic masterpiece, don’t be afraid to go deep with your emotions.
Try to avoid trivial wishes like, “I promise to always let you have the last bite of dessert,” or “I’ll always have your favorite cereal fully stocked in our kitchen.”
These thoughts are cute but they’re not ideal for your wedding vows which should focus on more meaningful and long-term wishes.
Reading Your Wedding Vows from Your Phone: Do not rely on using any digital device to read your wedding vows. The glare from the screen can discolor your face in photographs and video. Plus, if any technical issues happen, you won’t have a copy of your wedding vows to reference.
Instead, print your wedding vows on paper or choose to use a wedding vow booklet.
Not Practicing Your Wedding Vows: Have you ever watched someone speak and you were completely captivated by their speech? Did they make you laugh or feel inspired? Perhaps you even got chills.
The impact a speaker has on us is directly connected to how they’ve practiced giving their speech. Practice reading your wedding vows in front of a mirror or video record yourself.
When you practice, you’ll become aware of any nervous ticks you have. Then you can work to improve things like speaking too quietly or slouching over your vows with poor posture.
When you practice reading your wedding vows, you’ll become more confident in your delivery and you’ll sound more poised.
Writing Your Vows Days Before Your Ceremony: We often procrastinate tasks that we don’t feel confident in or are fearing. I can guarantee this though—if you wait until the last minute to write your wedding vows, it will be a more stressful experience.
Writing your wedding vows does not have to be a daunting task. Trying using our wedding vow writing timeline guide to organize your thoughts and write your vows in a less stressful mindset.
Not Asking for Help: You asked for help with most of your wedding planning. You hired a photographer to capture the day instead of relying on your best friends iPhone. You worked with a baker to create that three-tiered masterpiece instead of cooking up your own wedding cake.
Why not hire help to write your wedding vows?