How to write your own wedding vows

From a legal perspective each person getting marriage in Australia must say a mandatory vow like: ” I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, Full Name to be stated here take you Full Name to be stated here to be my lawful wedded husband/wife/spouse.”
A ceremony can also include vows that are more personal. Writing your own vows is a special touch to your Wedding Ceremony. Here are some ideas to make it easier. It’s a good idea to discuss this with your Marriage Celebrant too.
You could:
• Share the same vows where you write them together and repeat them to each other during the ceremony or
• Have different vows but work on them together. Write individual vows for each other but then share your vows with each other in advance so you both know that they are similar in length and tone or
• Write different vows and keep them a surprise for the day

Regardless of which you choose, remember there’s no right or wrong in what you say. Importantly, write your own wedding vows from the heart.

Amanda and Sam wrote their own wedding vows

The format
Deciding how to structure your vows will give you a good jumping-off point. You don’t have to both have to write your own wedding vows in the same format but it does tend to help keep them consistent so that one person isn’t reciting something pages long while the other is done and dusted in two sentences.

[Vow-starter] The first time I saw you, I…

[Promise] I promise to be…

[Promise] I promise we’ll…

[Promise] I promise to love you…

[Vow-starter] You give me…

[Vow-starter] Together, we’ll spend our lives…
Consider giving yourself a word count, say 200 words max. That way, you know you’ll both have vows similar in length.
Whatever the format, if you both do the same, then you’ll be fine.

Thought-starting questions
When writing your wedding vows, these thought starters will help with filling the gaps. You’ll find yourself coming up with some pretty good stuff that you can include or reference in the vows.
What did you think when you first saw them? Was it love at first sight?
At what moment did you know this person was the one you wanted to marry? Why?
When did you realise you were in love?
What are the little things they do for you that you appreciate?
What are the little things you do for them that they appreciate?
What do you want to work on in your relationship to make it even stronger? Tip: this can be serious – or not.
What do you have now that you didn’t before? Tip: think head and heart, not material things. For example, ‘an appreciation for homemade pasta’ or ‘a newfound open-mindedness and acceptance of people, thanks to our time exploring the world’.
What have they taught you? Tip: be serious and lighthearted too. For example, ‘You’ve taught me to stand up for the things I believe in. And you’ve taught me the many virtues of watching cricket. Actually, no, we’re still working on that’.
Have you gone through adversity together? What did it mean to you to have them by your side?
What inspires you about them?
What do you respect most about them?
What does marriage mean to you?
What are you most looking forward to for your shared future?
What goals and values do you both share? Tip: again, feel free to get playful. For example, you might share a mutual appreciation for a crisp craft beer to kick off a Saturday, or a Wednesday night Netflix-and-chill – but with actual Netflix.
What do you miss most about them when they’re away?
What’s your favourite thing about them?
What’s the most annoying thing that they do?
Where was your first date? How did it go?
What’s the most embarrassing moment you’ve had together?
How about the most romantic moment?
What special quirk do you love about them that no one else would realise?
Have you traveled together? What did that teach you about them?
Did you guys have a rocky start? Why, and what made you guys overcome it?
Do they have a sporting team, band, clothing item or event they’re obsessed with?
What have you experienced together that you never would have on your own?

That’s seriously the hard part done. Now that you’ve fleshed out some of your relationship history, highlight the answers that stand out to you as the most poignant, insightful, heartfelt and fun. You don’t need to do this immediately – return to it in a few days’ time and then review. Your favourite answers will stand out. These are the answers you want to take elements from to weave into your vows.
Next step: agree on a format. The earlier one is a great start. Then, pick some promise starters and vow starters from below, or make up your own and write your own wedding vows.

Promise starters:
I promise to give you…
I promise to treat you…
I promise to tell you…
I promise to love you…
I promise to respect you…
I promise to laugh at…
I promise to be…
I promise to always encourage…
I promise that we’ll…

Vow starters:
I vow to…
I’ll always…
Together, we’ll…
When you’re up, I’ll…
When you’re down, I’ll…
Our future will bring us…
I will never let…
You make me…
You give me…
Because of you, I see the world…
We share…
Life is better infinitely better with you in it because…
I’m proud of…
Your smile makes me…
I admire…
You’ve taught me…
I look forward to…
I’m crazy about…
I value your…
I can’t believe that…
The first time I saw you, I…
I realised I loved you when…

The decision whether you write your own vows is entirely your choice. Your Marriage Celebrant can help with the range of choices you have.

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