5 Steps for How to Write Civil Wedding Ceremony Vows

Have you decided to tie the knot at your local courthouse? Civil wedding ceremonies can be an intimate and personal way to celebrate your commitment into marriage.

One of the most meaningful ways you can personalize your wedding is by writing your own wedding vows.

Here’s how you can write your civil wedding ceremony vows in five easy steps.

Civil Wedding Ceremony Vow Writing Step #1: Get Permission

Not all local courthouses or city hall establishments will allow nontraditional wedding vows to be recited as part of the ceremony. Research your local branch to learn what is accepted.

Be sure to talk with your civil wedding officiant well in advance of your wedding date too. In some cases, with enough notice, the facility will allow you to read your own vows in addition to the legal declarations that are required.

Civil Wedding Ceremony Vow Writing Step #2: Follow an Outline                                                 

To organize your thoughts into a concise package, utilize a vow writing outline.

·      Introduction—Address your fiancé and note how you feel as you’re about to get married.

·      Talk about your fiancé—Detail out the things you love about your fiancé and why you’re choosing to marry him or her.

·      Talk about your relationship—Communicate what you appreciate about your relationship and what makes it unique.

·      Make marital promises—Highlight your civil wedding ceremony vows by listing out your promises or wishes for your marriage together.

·      Closing—End your vows with one sentence that summarizes how you feel.

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Civil Wedding Ceremony Vow Writing Step #3: Practice Reciting Your Vows

Once you’ve finished writing your wedding vows, practice reading them out loud. I often recommend using the voice recording feature on your phone to capture yourself as you read your vows. Replay the recording. Listen.

Do the vows sound like you? Are these the vows you can imagine reciting during your civil wedding ceremony? Is there anything you’d like to add or remove?

Also take note on how long it takes you to recite your vows. Make sure your courthouse has allotted the correct amount of time for both you and your fiancé to recite your vows.

Civil Wedding Ceremony Vow Writing Step #4: Reference a Vow Sample

It can help to read examples of other wedding vows to become inspired to write your own. Here are two samples of civil wedding ceremony vows for you to use as a point of reference. Notice how these vows follow the outlined mentioned in step number two.

Civil Wedding Ceremony Vow Sample #1—

Robert, I never imagined that the boy I befriend in kindergarten would one day become my husband.

You displayed selfless kindness to me back then when you’d offer to share your lunch on the days I forgot mine at home—which was often. And you’ve since showered me with kindness and support. I’ve never felt more loved or admired than when your hand is slipped into my mine and your eyes are locked on me.

Our relationship has been built on friendship and it’s that unconditional love connection that I know will be the basis and strength for our marriage. We share no secrets, we celebrate our successes, and we respect and admire each other for exactly who we are. For that, I am deeply grateful.

I promise to be there for you through your most stressful days and your most joyful moments. I promise to nurture the evolution of our relationship and our love. Most of all, I promise to continue being your best friend.

I love you and am so happy to become your wife.

Civil Wedding Ceremony Vow Sample #2—

Meredith, you’ve captivated me from when we were just five years old. I’m so grateful that our story will continue and that are titles will extend from “best friends” to “husband and wife.”

Your beauty goes beyond your stunning eyes and mesmerizing smile. Your beauty flows from the way you treat others, how charitable you are with your time, and how you can always manage to make me feel so special.  

I appreciate how we’ve always been there for each other—you are my soundboard and safety net. As we enter into marriage, I feel calm and blessed, knowing that with you I will always be at home.

As your husband, I promise to be your loyal confidant, your best friend, and your loving husband. I promise to express how you make me feel and to show you how lucky I am that you said yes to marrying me.

You are my world. I love you my beautiful bride.

Civil Wedding Ceremony Vow Writing Step #5: Hire a Vow Writing Service

Are you still having a hard time writing your own civil wedding ceremony vows? Consider hiring help. I created Wedding Words, a wedding vow writing service, to help in-love couples put their heart into words. I also offer a digital vow writing course for couples who prefer to take a more hands-on approach.

If you plan to tie the knot at your local courthouse and want to make sure you are able to strongly communicate how you feel, let’s get in touch. Together we’ll collaborate to write vows that will be the heart and soul of your civil wedding ceremony.