How to Write Non-Traditional Wedding Vows

Wondering if writing non-traditional wedding vows is right for you?

If you’re a bride or groom that craves unique experiences and want to design a wedding that reflects your personal style, then non-traditional vows are the way to go.

When you write non-traditional 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.

When you opt to ditch the traditional, I take you, wedding vows for a more custom approach, you’re likely going to struggle with how to begin. Here is the Wedding Words guide for how to write non-traditional wedding vows.

Tip #1: 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.

Tip #2: 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.

Tip #3: Get Specific

Writing non-traditional wedding vows means digging up as much specific detail about your relationship as you can.

Vow Script Example:

Generic: “I admire the adventurer in you.”

Specific: “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.”

Do you see how specificity adds a level of personalization for the vows?

Tip #4: Connect These Details to Your Dreams and Desires

Non-traditional 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 your partner—that they’re an adventurer.

Now, connect that theme with what kind of hopes you have for your future together.

Vow Script Example: “I promise to weave adventure into our marriage as often as possible from traveling through Latin America to starting a family together. I choose you to explore life with.”

Now we have a specific vision for the future. This unique angle creates unique vows.

Tip #5: Keep it Concise

Your non-traditional 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 your vows interesting.

If you’re not sure how to articulate your story in this short amount of time, reference these vow script examples for the bride.

Tip #6: Practice Reciting Your Non-Traditional Vows

When you recite wedding vows, there is more pressure since this is something you wrote instead of simply repeating what the officiant tells you to.

It’s important to practice reading your wedding vows out loud to become more comfortable and confident.

Try reciting your vows to a friend who you trust to provide you with constructive feedback.

You can also video record yourself to witness what sort of nervous ticks you may display. Then work to correct those public speaking habits before you read your vows in front of all 150 guests.

Tip #7: Talk with Your Fiancé

Writing non-traditional wedding vows is uncharted territory for many couples.

Talk with your fiancé throughout the process to understand if you’re on the same page.

How do 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 non-traditional 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. Should the vows be on the more romantic side or do you want funny wedding vows? Do you want to include any mention of faith or would you prefer non-religious vows?

As you prepare to write your own vows, these tips will help you to create non-traditional wedding vows that reflect who you are.

Need More Help Writing Your Non-Traditional Wedding Vows?

While these tips are helpful, you might still be overwhelmed at the idea of writing your vows.

As a professional vow and toast writer, I collaborate with couples to write custom wedding vows.

Get in touch to see how we could work together.