Today's Bride

Traditional Vows vs Personal Vows


Vows can arguably be one of the most difficult aspects of your wedding day. They can easily slip your mind due to the overwhelming amount of details that you’re planning, organizing, and perfecting! You may already know whether you’re complying with the traditional vows or writing your own. If you’re not quite sure which direction you should go in, however, we have some tips to help make your decision easier.

Wedding Vows | Kristen Booth Photography | As seen on

Kristen Booth Photography

If you have a fear of public speaking…

Standing up in front of nearly a hundred (or more) guests can be nerve-wracking for anyone. If you already despise any form of public speaking, it might be best to repeat your officiant with traditional vows. You won’t have to memorize anything or read off of a paper shaking from your trembling hands. Plus, gazing into the eyes of the love of your life will make you forget there’s anyone else there.

If you have a unique love story that you want to acknowledge…

For some couples, the traditional “in sickness and health…’til death do us part” vows just don’t do their love justice. If there are certain things you need to say, this is the moment to say it. You will never be more vulnerable to the person you love than you are at that moment. Don’t hold back! Share every feeling and every thought with the person you’re devoting your life to.

Vow Booklets | B Frohman Imaging & Design | As seen on

B Frohman Imaging & Design

If you’re worried about time…

All officiants are required to know the traditional vows which makes it easy for them to change last minute. If you don’t know if you’ll have enough time to devote to writing meaningful vows, tell your officiant that you’d like to do personal vows but to expect to preach the traditional wording. This way, if you tell them on the day of your wedding that you do have your personal vows to read, they can easily adapt.

If you don’t want to ugly cry…

Sorry, we can’t help you with this. Whether you repeat after the officiant or read your own vows – even if you’ve rehearsed it a dozen times – you’ll probably cry.

Tips for Writing Your Own

While you can’t go wrong either way, we’re huge advocates on writing your own vows. The one caveat being that you devote enough time to them. Odds are, you will never be as open and honest about your emotions as you will be at your ceremony. Take advantage of that moment to portray the depths of your feelings for them. Our biggest piece of advice if you decide to write your own vows: write several drafts. You may write from your heart and think the first draft is absolutely perfect. It says everything you want it to! But trust us, each draft just gets better and better.

Download our Vows Printable.

When you finally sit down to tackle those vows, don’t feel like you have to overdo it. If you’re the type of couple who likes to tease each other rather than declare proclamations of love, don’t feel like you need to write a long love ballad. You also want to keep in mind who you’re writing these vows for. You shouldn’t focus on trying to make the crowd laugh or cry; instead, speak directly to your soulmate and stay true to who you are as a couple.

Wedding Vows | Sabrina Hall Photography | As seen on

Sabrina Hall Photography

One warning: Do NOT wait until the last minute to write your vows. The best vows are written throughout your planning process. When you feel those moments of overwhelming love and joy, sit down and write what you’re feeling as you’re feeling it. Do this every time you feel that way and in the end, you’ll have beautiful, touching, tear-provoking vows.

If you dedicate enough time to really thinking through what you want to say and how to say it, practice wording with a few drafts, and dedicate yourself to revealing your heart onto paper, you can come up with something truly magical. No matter what you decide to do, just make sure to bring tissues.

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