Your wedding vows are a big deal, and there are approximately 3 bazillion ways to go about them. Some couples choose to exchange pre-written vows, while others opt for writing their own. Others keep their vows more general and to the point. Some prefer to throw in a bit of personal razzle-dazzle or humor. Some read poetry or song lyrics, exchange musical vows or recite movie quotes. Despite the endless possibilities for variation, vows all inevitably tend to have one thing in common: they stress couples out. Big time. So we decided to hop in and make things a bit easier for you! If you’re feeling a bit of vow anxiety (whether it be about writing your vows or exchanging them), we’re here. You’re welcome. We’ve come to the rescue. Do we get a sticker for this?
What are Vows?
Vows are promises. When you and your partner exchange vows on your wedding day, you’re making promises to one another about your future marriage. Your vows can be pre-written by someone else (there are lots of vows out there that are timeless, and have been used for decades). Or, you can write your own vows that are more personal and specific to your relationship. Typically, vows are made about the way you’ll treat one another, grow together, carry yourself in hardship, and commit to one another.
But vows, just like every other aspect of your wedding day, can be done however you want. Some couples like to share stories as their vows, or simply prefer to declare their love for one another. We’ve seen couples exchange musical vows, write one another private notes to read alone, or skip a vow exchange altogether! The moral of the story here? There’s no one “right” way to do wedding vows. However you and your partner choose to do them is absolutely perfect.
If the idea of pre-written vows sounds good to you, we recommend a quick Google search to find some that best suit you and your partner. If you’re interested in writing your own vows, keep reading for information on how to write them intentionally and meaningfully.
Writing Them With Intention
If you feel stuck on the question “How do I pick the most meaningful vows to make to my partner?” the answer is simple: if you write your vows with intention, they’ll be heartfelt. Here are some ways you and your partner can write your vows to one another with intention …
For many couples, finding a quiet space to practice mindfulness and stillness is a great way to reflect and write with intention. Join your partner for a couple’s yoga session. Or, set aside some time to meditate with one another, be present, and write.
Having a comfortable place for mindfulness and presence is a great way to clear your thoughts, and reflect with clarity on your relationship with your partner and your future marriage. If you’ve never taken time to practice yoga or meditate with your partner, we recommend giving it a shot even if you don’t plan to write your vows together afterward! It can be surprisingly intimate and emotional — it’s a great way to cancel out the noise and simply be there with your person. Feel your emotions, listen to your thoughts, and let the vows come to you. Namastay, y’all.
Discuss your intentions
It’s as simple as that. By taking the time to talk with your partner about what your intentions are for your vows and your relationship, you both can write your vows with more clarity. Many couples feel that a major factor in their vow anxiety is the uncertainty of what their partner is writing or feeling. The fix? Talk it out! Carve some time out of your day to have an open discussion about what your expectations are for your vows to one another, so you can move forward with writing.
Go to a special place
If you’re comfortable writing your vows together, doing so in a place that’s meaningful to you both is a great way to get you all up in your romantic feels. Here are some ways to make your vow discussion especially meaningful …
- Grab your favorite carryout and some drinks, light some candles, and turn down the lights
- Go back to the place where it all started (a first date location, where you met, etc.)
- Create a playlist together of your favorite songs and let it play in the background
- Cook your favorite meal together, and chat over dinner
Don’t have a place that’s especially meaningful to you? No sweat! Here are some ways to create a meaningful place …
- Go for a picnic
- Find a spot you both find serene/beautiful (a beach, park, hiking spot, coffee shop, library, etc.)
- Build a fort, and have a top-secret vow meeting inside
- Turn it into an adventure! Do something fun beforehand or during (go kayaking, skydiving, hiking, ax throwing, etc.)
- Have a staycation — find somewhere near your home (but not your home) to create new memories and explore your home as a tourist
Vow Prompts & Ideas
Ready to get this party started but have absolutely no idea how to actually start the party? Yeah, we’ve been there too. We’ve put together some vow prompts (and ideas for how to make them unique and meaningful to you) below to help get you started with your writing.
- When did you know that your love was forever?
- What are some quirks about your partner that make them extra lovable?
- Was there a specific moment when you realized you were in love with your partner?
- What is something that you are always working on doing better to make your partner happy?
- What qualities do you love most about your partner?
- What do you value most about your relationship?
- When times are tough, how do you work toward being your best for your partner?
- What are some ways you can go above and beyond for your partner to show them you love them?
- It can be easy to get complacent in a relationship — how do you plan on keeping things fresh and continuously appreciating your partner?
Ways to make your vows unique
- Ask your partner some questions so you can write your vows more easily
- What qualities about me do you never want me to lose?
- What do you value most about our relationship?
- How do you want me to support you when times get tough?
- How do you see our relationship changing as we grow old together?
- What’s something about our relationship that you hope never changes?
- Write a letter to your partner separate from your vows, so they can read it in private on your wedding day
- Write out a journal describing your feelings about your relationship, how you see your marriage looking in the future, and how you feel about writing and exchanging your vows. You can share this with your partner afterward or sometime in the future, or keep it for yourself!
Preserving Your Vows
Here’s one thing you shouldn’t do: please, for the love of all things good in this world, don’t write your vows down on a sheet of paper for your wedding day then lose them forever.
Your vows are important. You and your partner will want to revisit them over the years to remind yourself of the commitment you’ve made to one another, which is why we think it’s sooooo flippin’ important to preserve them in some way. On top of that, we think it’s equally important to have your preserved vows in a place you won’t just forget about them or shove them into storage. Rather, find a way to preserve them so that both you and your partner are reminded of your love and commitment to one another regularly.
For example, if you want your preserved vows to be in a place where you see them on the daily, perhaps consider a framed piece of vow artwork to be hung in your living room or above your bed. Or, if you’re more of a daredevil, you can get your vows tattooed on your forehead! Just make sure to get them tattooed backward so you can read them when you look in a mirror.
That last one’s a joke, but if you do actually get your vows tatted on your forehead, just know that we’re giving you the biggest virtual chest bump ever because we think you’re awesome.
Here are some fun ways you and your partners can preserve your vows to one another …
- Print them out and frame them
- Have them engraved into a wood slab
- Print the soundwave of you and your partner saying your vows
- Use Etsy (or any other art vendor service) to have your vows nicely rewritten and turned into artwork
- Embroider your vows into a quilt
- Engrave a part of your vows into a piece of jewelry
Renewing Your Vows
People change, and couples grow together. Your commitment to and love for one another will always remain, but it’s completely normal (and honestly, it’s encouraged) to renew your vows regularly so you and your partner can continue to be your best for one another.
A vow renewal is exactly what it sounds like! You and your partner agree to exchange new vows to one another in some sort of ceremony. Typically, a vow renewal ceremony is treated as a “mini wedding” of sorts, but just like your wedding, your vow renewal can be as formal as informal as you’d like (although we’re always partial to elopement-style vow renewals … ). By choosing to renew your vows, you’re showing your partner that you recognize the ways in which you two have grown, and you want to continue loving and caring for them unconditionally. It’s pretty dang beautiful if you ask us.
You can renew your vows as frequently or as infrequently as you’d like. Really, it’s just a matter of how often you and your partner feel like you want or need it. You could add to your original vows in a vow book, so you can look back and see how your vows have changed over the years. Similarly, you could start fresh and tell your original vows to take a hike. You could renew your vows yearly, on milestone days (5 year, 10 year, 20 year anniversary), more or less frequently than that, or never. Are you catching the theme here? You and your partner should do what’s best for you!
And the best thing about vows? You can renew them every day through acts of love for your partner. Show them that you care for them, that you’re growing with them, and that you want to love them in the way they need every day with your actions and your words.
Ready to start planning your big day or vow renewal?
Well, you’re in the right place. At Ascend Together, unique, intimate, adventurous, and unconventional is kind of our thing (actually, it’s really our thing). If you and your partner dream of a stress-free, intimate day for either your wedding or your vow renewal, drop us a line and we’ll make it happen for you. Zero stress, total luxury, maximum romantic goodness. What more could you ask for? Click here to learn more about what we do!