When you google the term "vow" you find this definition:
"solemnly promise to do a specific thing"
That is really what vows are - promises of a lifetime.
Your vows are very personal, they are the anchor that holds the values for your marriage & future together. They truly represent the commitment you make to be present in your marriage forever. There are no rules on what to promise to your partner, but this guide should help you write vows that are truly personalized.
There are also 2 examples, they are my own vows and my husband's vows when we eloped a few years ago, remember that your relationship is like no other and your vows should be too.
Here are the best tips to starting the personal journey of writing your own vows:
Talk about your vows with your partner & go over this guide together but keep your final piece a secret!
Find inspiration everywhere, get inspired by books, songs, movies, poems and quotes.
Don't leave it for the very end, you want to enjoy thinking about the reasons you're making this lifelong commitment.
Don't try to include everything, your love is filled with a lifetime of memories & special moments, try to pick what is most important to bring with you into marriage and leave the rest as beautiful memories.
Don't promise perfection, life is far from perfect and so are we, try to remember that while making your promises.
Take breaks, carry your vow notebook everywhere you go because sometimes the best thoughts and the right words comes unexpectedly so try not to push it and write it all down in one sitting.
Look back at the memories you've created together, dig up old photos, videos, special keepsakes, letters and mementos - bring up some of your favorite memories and enjoy being reminded of them together.
If laughing is part of who you two are, make your partner laugh during your vows so include humor or an inside joke.
Write down what comes to mind even if it's not complete sentences yet.
Once you're completely done - practice reading it aloud in the mirror or driving in the car - this will allow you to get a feel for how the flow/sound of reading it to your partner will be.
Ask a friend or family member to listen and give some advice - but don't let them change anything you hold dear and really want to include into your promises.
For the day of, take your time, take a deep breath and don't rush it - you will have plenty of time to read it so do it at a pace that feels comfortable to you
When writing your vows, ask yourself these questions:
Why do you want to marry your partner?
How did you feel about your partner when you first met?
When was the moment you realized that you love or have fallen in love with your partner?
What is your absolute favorite memory of you two?
What are some of your favorite inside jokes or silly memories that you adore?
Remind yourself on when your partner put your happiness first, how did you feel?
How did your partner change your life?
What hard times have you overcome together?
What makes your relationship strong?
What is the most important value of your relationship?
What do you miss most when you're not in each other's presence?
Picture yourself in 5/10/15 years, what does your relationship look like, what goals have you achieved and what obstacles have you overcome together?
How will you strive & try to be the best version of yourself in your marriage?
How does it feel thinking about growing old with your partner?
Guide to the general structure of vows.
Start by saying your partner's name
- to acknowledge the person you're committing your life to & to spark their full attention.
Then continue with a statement of who your partner is to you
- Your best friend, adventure buddy, late night snack bro, your lifetime partner, you peanut butter to your jelly, your everything, your ends of this earth, your forever and always.
Use a personal story to bring your vows to life
- It can be anything, a tough time you went through together, your favorite memory of each other, a funny story about your relationship or your partner.
"When I got back in your arms after all that time apart, you gave me a home..."
Lay out exactly what it is your promising
- Are you promising protection, support, loyalty, fun, adventure, respect, love, happiness, growth, faithfulness, laughter, joy, dreams, safety, care, appreciation, devotion, sanctuary, strength...
Use romantic and/or funny vows to personalize your promises
"I vow to always wipe down your tears and have the pistachio ice cream ready."
"I will love you so deeply that even by the time we are gone, our love will still echo through the mountains in the world."
Mention specific things the two of you will do together in your future
"I vow to always be your adventure buddy & to one day accomplish our dream of exploring all the United States National Parks."
"I vow that one day when our love creates children that I will still be yours for I was yours first, still, I will love our children with every corner of my heart."
Through thick and thin
- Don't forget to add that you'll be there even when times are tough. You want to remind your partner that you're here to stay during the best and the worst.
Wrap your vows with a look towards the future
- Mention your goals and aspirations you have for your marriage, that you will grow alongside each other.
End it with a heartfelt "I love you"
"I love you until the end of days."
"I love you with all my heart, forever and always."
Written Vow Examples
Me and my husband's personal vows
As I stand here before you, looking into your eyes, I see all the things I fell in love with. It makes me remember how complete you make my life. It makes me remember every laugh we’ve ever shared, every hard time we made through together and every beautiful moment. I can’t wait to make a lifetime of wonderful moments together.
You are the woman I fell in love with 3 years ago and today I get to become your husband. When we stood on that beach I couldn’t be more honored to be the one who got to ask you to marry me.
You are what makes me want to be the best man possible, you are my better half, my best friend and my true love. You are an amazing, beautiful and strong woman and I am happy to share my life with you and to soon call you my wife, I know what love is because of you.
I promise to be the best husband to you and father to our kids one day, I know you will be an amazing mother because of how much love you have, I can see it every day in your heart and eyes.
I promise to love you every single day and love our life together through the good and the bad days, I will always be there right by your side.
I vow to protect, respect and cherish you.
I vow to fiercely love you in all your forms now and forever.
I vow to help you love life, to always be there during our happiest times and our worst.I cannot promise that I won’t leave my socks or clothes in the living room or that I’ll always remember to put the toilet seat down, but I promise to do my best.
I vow to always laugh with you especially when I tickle you.
I vow to always wipe your tears and have the pistachio ice cream ready.
I vow to be loyal and faithful to you, every day.
I vow that I will always work on us and myself every day for the rest of our days.
I will love you so deeply that even by the time we are gone, our love will still echo through the mountains in the world.
I vow to re write my vows as we go because one set of vows can’t possibly cover a lifetime of growing and changing with you, and falling more and more in love with you every day, which is what I vow to do for the rest of our life.
I love you Shan, forever and always
My best friend, my home and my husband from this day forward.
Today here with you is a day I have dreamt of ever since I am a little girl.
For all my lifetime I have wished upon and prayed for you, I asked very little from life though I asked that one day I will meet a man that will carry me in his arms and hold my heart gently yet firmly in his hands.
You are the greatest, most magnificent man I’ve ever known.
When I got back in your arms after all that time apart, you gave me a home, a home I can call my own, in our home you’ve loved me every day. I want you to know and always remember that you are a good man, and no matter what happens I will be beside you every step of the way.
I know that you and I will love life together, even though I know I drive you crazy sometimes, well, most of the time, I know you love it.
I promise I will always be your crazy girl.
I vow to hold your heart in the warmth of my hands tenderly and protect it fiercely.
I vow to snuggle up next to you every night and be yours and yours only.
I vow to be there during the best times and the hardest times, even when we are old and wrinkly and can barely even hear each other.
I vow to make sure you have clean clothes every day, with no wrinkles of course.
I cannot vow to you that the dishes will always be clean, but I do promise to make our home as homey as I possibly can.
I vow that I will never stop working on us and myself to be the best woman that I can be for you.
I vow to laugh with you every day as much as my tummy can take.
I vow that one day when our love creates children that I will still be yours too for I was yours first, still I will love our children with every corner of my heart. I vow to love you and no matter what challenges might carry us apart, we will always find a way back to each other.
“The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach out for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. And that’s what you’ve given me. That’s what I hope to give to you forever.” – The Notebook
I love you Ervis, I always will.
Take your time, these are promises that will last a lifetime - don't rush something so important.