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Writing Vows


Say love. Photo from The Wedding Stylist. Wedding of Hse Minh and Hsueh Wei.

At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet.

Ever thought of saying more than ‘I do’? It makes a world of difference saying something you wrote yourself instead of repeating the officiant’s words. Of course there is nothing wrong at all with using standard vows but if you want to make your wedding ceremony uniquely yours - more personal, meaningful, and more ‘you’, we propose that you write your own!

Think the task is daunting? It could well be, but a love worth celebrating is worth the extra work required to pen it yourselves.

You can choose to write your vows together as a couple or separately. Incorporate an element of surprise by not revealing your vows till the big day.

If you are struggling to find the perfect wording for your vows, we have compiled a section of more than 80 variations of vows and 150 verses, quotes and poems just for you. Simply find the one that says the most about your thoughts and feelings, edit as you wish and voila, you have made your very own vow. Read on for pointers to help you get started.

Check with the officiant if it is appropriate to say your own vows. In some religious ceremonies, you may not be allowed to.


  • Try structuring it like a song with progressive build, ‘moving’ through time.

  • Think about how you fell in love, why you want to marry each other, how you envisage life together, what the future might hold, the new experiences you will both share as a couple. An extra bonus is while you incorporate the essential points from this brainstorming session into your vows, you have unwittingly prepared for your speech as well! As speeches are usually longer than vows, you can incorporate most of your ideas.

  • Read poetry and famous quotes for inspiration. Choose a poem or prose that has always inspired you. Even if it has been used many times, don’t worry. As long as you mean it sincerely, it will come across exactly how you want it to.

  • Try a different style - make your own Japanese Haiku love poem!

  • Including family and friends in your pledge to each other can be a good idea but remember that you are making your vows to your other half.

  • Less is more. Vows need not have big words or elaborate promises. Every sentence does not have to be earth shattering. One or two liners, when well phrased, can also mesmerize the crowd. As you have an audience, try not to go too much into ‘secret language’ that only the both of you understand.

  • Try to stay away from ‘I will love you forever’ type sentences or clichés. We know a bride who once said to her groom “I promise to never throw away your toys” and that certainly had an impact!

  • Get a friend who writes well to vet your vows. People who are well read tend to have a good eye for prose.

  • The last thing you need is the stress of having to memorise your wedding vows. No one expects it anyway! Have it written on a little note card and hold it close so you can easily refer to it. If possible, the officiant can hold it for you.

If you are usually able to speak your mind without the need for huge preparation, just say it! Be honest and let it flow. Getting it down on paper may ‘jam’ the mind so instead of having a script, simply say what comes to your mind. This is however not for everyone, especially those who get tongue-tied easily!

You may realise in the end that your vows are not so different from the things people have been saying for so long… but because you did it your own way, in your own words, in your own language, have obviously spent some time mulling over what to say– it definitely makes a difference to your other half. Also, friends and family who are gathered around to celebrate your union would certainly want to hear what you mean to each other. Don’t be surprised if you see a few tears and hankies around!

Extraordinary Weddings Tip
If you are fretting whether your written vow is the perfect one, remember this: As long as it is heartfelt, it is perfect. Sentiments come naturally.

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Keywords: Vows

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