One of my favorite things about photographing elopements is the intimate, personalized vows that couples read to each other. As someone who wrote their own vows, I know how intimidating it can be to sit down and write words that communicate how much you love your partner. This guide will help give you some inspiration and ideas as you begin the process of writing your vows!
1. Discuss vow guidelines with your partner.
It’s important that you’re on the same page with how your vows will work. Come up with some guidelines together, including:
How long your vows will be
If you will be reading your vows to each other privately or with other people around (some people are going to be more open and emotional without an audience so this may affect what you include in your vows)
Not sharing your vows with each other until your wedding day (this can make your vows very impactful and emotional)
2. Ask yourself some questions
As you think about your answers to the following questions about your partner and your relationship, take notes! Write down anything and everything that comes to mind.
When and where did you two meet?
What was your first impression of your partner?
How have you both changed and/or how has your relationship changed since you met?
Was there a certain moment that you realized you were in love? Or realized you wanted to spend the rest of your life with them?
What is your favorite memory together?
Are there any fun activities you like to do together?
Is there a quote or song lyrics that make you think of your partner or your relationship?
Do you have any inside jokes?
Think about the hardest time in your relationship together, how did you two help each other through that?
3. Start writing!
I recommend listening to some of your favorite music or your partner’s favorite music as you begin writing out your vows. Find a comfortable, private spot.
Review your notes. Go through the notes you made earlier and highlight/circle/underline notes that stand out to you the most. If other thoughts occur to you as you go through your notes, add them!
Start organizing. Think about what you really want to say to your partner the most on your wedding day. It’s not possible to fit all of the love you have into your vows, so focus on what you want to say the most. Take your time with this – take a break if you need to and come back later with a fresh set of eyes.
Read your vows to yourself. I know it’s awkward, but read your vows out loud! Your vows will sound differently spoken than they do when reading them in your head, and it will help you add/remove things or reorganize your vows.
Practice! I practiced my vows many times before our wedding day, and it helped a lot. Not only was I able to make my vows flow better, but it helped my nerves on the day of our wedding.
Copy the final version of your vows into a vow book. I recommend waiting until the morning of your wedding to do this. It will help you keep your vows fresh in your mind and fill yourself up with excitement and love for your partner.
Remember that your vows don’t need to be perfect. Be authentic to yourself and your relationship! If you’re feeling overwhelmed by writing your vows, take a break and come back to them later or change where you’re writing them. It can also help to go on a date or weekend trip with your partner and begin writing afterwards when you’re feeling extra connected to each other.
No matter how you choose to spend your wedding day, I am here to help guide you through the process of eloping. I will be your photographer, your guide, your cheerleader, and your friend on the best day of your life.
Remember, you can make your wedding day whatever you want it to be!
Looking for some unique activities to incorporate into your wedding day? Check out 50 fun ideas here!