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5 Couples Reveal What Inspired Their Own Wedding Vows

Writing your own vows is a heartfelt and personal way to convey your lifelong promises to each other. But, while the feelings are there in your head, putting them to paper can be hard. Here, some inspiration from real couples on how they came up with what to say beyond, "I do."

Contributing Writer
Photography by: Rachel Thurston Photography

Honest Wedding Vows That Were Also Fun

"We had been together for 8.5 years before we got married and we had so much more to say about our relationship than generic vows would allow. We wanted to say honest things about the ups and downs of relationships and how we would fight for ours no matter what life might throw at us. And we wanted them in our own voice. My voice is different from my husband's voice and our vows reflect that. As a writer, it wasn't hard for me to come up with what I wanted to say—I like to talk about myself, and my husband is really good at writing unique and flowery things. Neither was sappy or cliché and we felt good about that, because our wedding wasn't cliché or sappy; it was a super-fun party that people are still talking about five years later. I had our vows inscribed on the pages of our wedding album so we'd never forget them and so they'd serve as a continuous reminder of the promises we made to be there even when, as my husband says, 'life comes at us in full force.'"— Christina Orlovsky Page, San Diego, CA

Wedding Vows That Were Short and Sweet

"We wanted the whole thing from ceremony to reception to feel like us and not feel like we were going through the typical wedding script. We wanted it to come from the heart and have our own personal stamp just like the rest of the wedding. I came up with the idea that we'd each say three things we love about the other person and three things we promise. It was how we got there (what we love about each other) and where we're going (promises for the future). We didn't exchange until that day of course, so we didn't know what the other person was going to say but we were surprised to discover we both had hair-related promises. I said I'd never cut my hair and he said he'd never grow a comb-over!" —Fern Ronay, Los Angeles, CA

Wedding Vows That Were a Personal Contract

"When Drew and I were planning our wedding, we wanted to write our own vows because we understood the depth and importance of the commitment we were making and pre-written words could never encompass what it meant to us. We thought about what the union of marriage means for our relationship and what we expect from each other, presently and in the future. Our vows were not about love and being faithful but more like a poetically written personal contract. We talked several times and made lists about how we benefited from the other person—what one did that made the life of the other better. We discussed what we needed from others to be happy and fulfilled. We also made notes of what we did for each other that made us feel good in doing it. Fortunately, we both work in marketing so we were able to take those ideas and write them in a way that sounded more like prose and verse than a therapy session. Now and then we refer to items to keep the other on track." —Gail Wilkins, Englewood, NJ

Wedding Vows That Had a Nod to the Bride's Favorite TV Show

"We both always knew we wanted a very personal and customized wedding ceremony and celebration, and one way to do that was by writing our own vows. We did them separately and didn't reveal them until the big day when we said them to one another. We both had separate approaches to writing them, but we relied on online articles for inspiration while ensuring we both wrote from the heart including the most meaningful promises to one another. As I was writing, I thought about all the things I would promise David in our life together, and content flowed from there. I am a longtime fan of Days of Our Lives, so I felt that traditional line, 'all the days of our lives' was personal to me and also a little quirky and fun to include in a way that most guests wouldn't even realize the connection, but my husband and I would." —Samara Finn Holland, New York, NY

Wedding Vows That Were Questions

"I have a degree in Journalism, so expressing how I feel through the written word is like second nature. Rich on the other hand, not so much. So we sat down and thought about things that are important to us in the relationship (laughing and having fun, teamwork, supporting each other's dreams, rubbing one another's back after a long day, being the easiest part of each other's day, family, loyalty, health). Then, I took those and wrote our vows. Since Rich is not comfortable speaking in front of a crowd and he knew we'd be nervous that day, we decided to write the vows in question form so that the reverend could ask us at the same time and we could answer, ‘I do' together."— Natalie Ferro, Rockville Centre, NY

About the Author

Jennifer Tzeses

As an eight-time bridesmaid Jenny knows just a little bit about mitigating a makeup meltdown and distracting a meddling mom. As a former editor for Martha Stewart Weddings magazine, her knowledge of all things weddings extended to bridal beauty and fashion, etiquette, and honeymoons. Her writing (weddings and otherwise) appears in such publications and websites as Martha Stewart...


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