Movies and books are the inspiration for most of what we do in life. And wedding ceremonies, dances, and wedding vows are no different. That’s why it’s no surprise that many couples look to them when it comes to their wedding vows.
There’s nothing wrong with being unable to write your own vows. It’s entirely possible that you love your partner to the moon and back but just can’t seem to find the right words to express it. We’ve all been through a writer’s block; sometimes, even the most creative writers can’t find the right words. So instead of feeling guilty and questioning your love for your partner, take some inspiration from some of the sweetest wedding vows ever uttered on TV or written in a book.
But before we dive in, let’s take a quick look at a step-by-step guide to writing vows—all by yourself.
Writing Your Own Vows!
The exchanging of the wedding vows is the most intimate and profound moments in any traditional American wedding ceremony. It’s when the bride and groom express their love, commitment, and promise to the whole world.
Personalized vows are especially heartfelt because they signify everything you love about your partner and illustrate the incredible bond you share every day. Here are a few tips to ace them all by your own.
If you ask “how early?” we’re here to tell you, “it’s never too early.” Okay, so starting right after your first date with your significant other is a little creepy; what we mean is ‘as soon as the engagement.’
Whether it’s you who proposed or your partner, start crafting your words soon after the engagement so you know you’ll have the right words to say before the wedding.
Initially, you shouldn’t be worried about saying too much or too little. Make a voice note of whatever comes to mind or simply add a note in your phone. Once you have sufficient material, you can start working on a more refined draft.
Start off with a Clear Statement
What does your partner mean to you? Bonnie to your Clyde? Meredith to your Cristina? For instance, talk about how you have found a best friend, a lover, a partner for life and a partner in crime in them.
Say What You Mean
Of course, there are tons of things you love about your partner. These can be little acts of kindness toward strangers or toward you; write them down in words as you notice them.
A great advantage of starting early is that you get to notice small moments and have the option to record them or write them down, to be later used in the vows.
Mention When You Fell in Love
Was there a specific moment when you realized “this is who I’m going to marry”? Did a thunderbolt hit you when you figured out you were in love? Put those feelings into words.
Tell a Story
You don’t have to say everything to express your love. A good way to keep guests from dozing off is keeping it short and sweet; a story or an anecdote can achieve that. Pick one of your favorite stories that illustrates what your partner means to you and wrap it up there—or the ceremony will go on forever.
Make Clear Promises
It is, after all, a vow, so you have to tell your partner exactly what you’re promising. This can include witty lines such as “I vow to never steal your fries”; “I promise to take up only half of the space on the bed”; or go the traditional route and vow to be there “in sickness and in health.” There are hundreds of funny and romantic ways to show your love.
If you’re religious, you can also use excerpts and quotes from the bible.
Lay Out a Plan of Your Life Ahead
Talk about everything you’re looking forward to. Activities you want to do together and things you hope to accomplish with your partner. Using words such as “together,” “we will,” “with you” and “I want to” can add definition to your sentences and makes it easier to write down what you want to say.
Get Your Partner Involved
You’re talking about them—and to them—so it’s fitting that your significant other is involved in the process. Many couples don’t reveal their vows to each other until they’re on the altar, so if you’re facing the secrecy problem, ask your best friend for help with editing and polishing.
Till Death Do Us Part
This is meant for your new journey and not for the wedding ceremony. Keep your vows comprehensive and before you say ‘I Do’ and exchange rings, finish off with a promise of eternal love.
Make Some Edits
One advantage of starting early is that you have plenty of time to write and then edit everything. If your wedding is still a few months away and your wedding vows are already touching the end of the second page, don’t panic. Read them a couple of times and highlight the parts that make you smile, laugh and just go ‘awwww’ so you know which lines to keep and which ones to cut out.
Pro-tip: It doesn’t matter how haphazard or unpolished your vows are. What matters the most is what you say and what you mean. As long as you’re honest, your partner will appreciate the effort. But if you want them to be impressive and memorable, there’s no shame in looking for inspiration off the internet.
So here we go!
Our Pick of Favorite Fictional Vows!
Keep your tissues handy because these vows will have you crying waterfalls.
Vanessa & Frankie, Madea’s Family Reunion
Vanessa: “I never thought that I could meet someone like you. You are my friend. You are my smile. You are my everything. You are a breathtaking reflection of God’s heart for me…of how he pursued me and loved me even when I didn’t love myself. You held my hand in the darkness, and you pulled me out into the light. I love you.”
Frankie: “You are my light. And it doesn’t matter what happens in this life as long as you’re with me. When I look at you, I know that there’s a God, and that he loved me so much that he took the time to create you just for me. I love you—past my mind, beyond my heart—I love you for my soul. And that’s the space where only you and God dwell.”
Cory & Topanga, Boy Meets World
Topanga: “I wasn’t sure this day would ever come, but you were. I wasn’t sure love could survive everything we put it through, but you were. You were always strong and always sure. And now I know I want you to stand beside me for the rest of my life. That’s what I’m sure of.”
Cory: “Ever since I was young I never really understood anything about the world, and I never understood anything that happened in my life. The only thing that ever made sense to me was you, and how I felt about you. That’s all I’ve ever known, and that’s enough, that’s enough for me for the rest of my life, Topanga.”
Monica & Chandler, Friends
Monica: Then three years ago, at another wedding, I turned to a friend for comfort. And instead, I found everything that I’d ever been looking for my whole life. And now here we are with our future before us, and I only want to spend it with you, my prince, my soul mate, my friend. Unless you don’t want to. You go!”
Chandler: “Monica, I thought this was going to be the most difficult thing I ever had to do. But when I saw you walking down that aisle, I realized how simple it was. I love you! You are the person I was meant to spend the rest of my life with.”
Paige & Leo, The Vow
Paige: “I vow to help you love life, to always hold you with tenderness and to have the patience that love demands, to speak when words are needed and to share the silence when they are not, to agree to disagree on red velvet cake, and to live within the warmth of your heart and always call it home.”
Leo: “I vow to fiercely love you in all your forms, now and forever. I promise to never forget that this is a once in a lifetime love. And to always know in the deepest part of my soul that no matter what challenges might carry us apart, we will always find our way back to each other.”
Bonus Romantic Lines from TV and Books!
You don’t have to find inspiration from the vows themselves because there are some great quotes and romantic lines—with just as much sweetness and love—that you can use.
- When Harry Met Sally: “I love that you get cold when it’s 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
- Winnie the Pooh: “If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you.”
- The Portrait of a Lady: “It has made me better loving you … it has made me wiser, and easier, and brighter. I used to want a great many things before, and to be angry that I did not have them. Theoretically, I was satisfied. I flattered myself that I had limited my wants. But I was subject to irritation; I used to have morbid sterile hateful fits of hunger, of desire. Now I really am satisfied, because I can’t think of anything better.”
- Tender is the Night: “I don’t ask you to love me always like this, but I ask you to remember. Somewhere inside me there’ll always be the person I am tonight.”
- Grey’s Anatomy: “To love each other, even when we hate each other. No running ever; nobody walks out no matter what happens. Take care when old, senile, smelly.”
- Wuthering Heights: “Whatever our souls are made out of, his and mine are the same…If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger.”
- Anna and the French Kiss: “For the two of us, home isn’t a place. It is a person. And we are finally home.”
- Emma: “If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.”
- Evelina: “You are the friend to whom my soul is attached as to its better half. You are dearer to me than language has the power of telling.”
- Selected Diaries: “In case you ever foolishly forget, I am never not thinking of you.”
- Dangerous Liaisons: “As I got to know you, I began to realize that beauty was the least of your qualities. I became fascinated by your goodness. I was drawn in by it. I didn’t understand what was happening to me. And it was only when I began to feel actual, physical pain every time you left the room that it finally dawned on me: I was in love, for the first time in my life.”