For me, writing my wedding vows was something I put off until maybe the night before my wedding. Wedding planning is an all consuming task and I felt overwhelmed leading up to the big day. Finally came a rush of emotion, and with it, the words that I strung together to finalize my vows. I have a few tips for writing vows and included a link to watch my own personal vows below (skip to minute 8:55).
1. Draw from a quote that inspires you
When I need inspiration, I head to Pinterest (among other places). I have a whole board of quotes that I've pinned to inspire me and give me all the feels. Search for love quotes that speak to you. Pin the quotes to your own board until you find your favorite. This also works with playlists. Go back and find an album that was released when you first met your partner (or a concert you attended together) and play it from beginning to end and wait for the memories to roll in.
2. Don't sit still
If I sit down to write something, it doesn't come naturally. Give yourself time to process what you want to say. For me, words come together when I'm in the shower, on a run, or in spin class. Of course I don't usually have a pen around when I'm in any of these places. When I write, it usually comes to me in chunks that need to be pieced together later. I remember I was on a run a few days before my wedding and stopped in my tracks, sat along the water and typed a few sentences in my phone so I wouldn't forget. Don't put so much pressure on yourself to write everything in one sitting--that's not how it works for everyone!
3. Think about the day you met
I do this even when I'm feeling frustrated with my husband. It legitimately helps. Thinking back to the day you met your partner, or that first few months of dating will bring you butterflies and happy thoughts. Dig deep--this was back before the sound of them chewing bothered you. Remember the feeling you felt when they sent you a text or when they brought you to meet the parents, the first date you went on, the quirks you noticed? Pull from these memories and feelings when writing your vows and authenticity will shine through.
4. Include a personal or funny memory
Vows don't have to be all mushy, if that isn't your personality, throw a joke in there. Don't be someone you're not. I have always ragged on my husband about a pair of Lee Jeans he had when we met--they made it into my vows. I always appreciate listening to vows when the couple shares a personal memory or inside joke with everyone; just be sure it isn't so personal that the crowd won't understand. Comedy is a nice outlet during vows and a welcomed break from (happy) tears.
5. Practice reading them out loud
You don't have to share them with anyone else ahead of time, but go into another room and read your vows out loud. This will help you build your rhythm and you will feel more comfortable reading them in front of everyone on the big day. Reading your writing out loud is good practice anytime you write something new. I try to write how I would sound, it just makes writing easier. Imagine you're talking to your partner, what do you want them to know?