When you start wedding planning, you'll do all the big-ticket items first, like figuring out a budget, coming up with a guest list, securing a date, and booking a caterer and venue. Assuming you have about a year to plan the event, writing your vows comes much later, from two to six months before the wedding. If you're throwing a big celebration, you may still be catching up on other details, such as hiring a florist and finding an officiant, at the six-month mark; in that case, you'll put off creating custom vows until the two-month mark. Those planning a smaller wedding, can start earlier if they want. Regardless of how much time you have, some brides and groom will wait until the very last minute to pen their ceremony exchange. While this works for some people, it's advisable to give yourself a little more buffer room.
Regardless of when you actually plan to start writing, it's a good idea to start keeping track of things you might say in your vows from the moment you get engaged. Here's how to make the most out of your pre-writing time.
Keep track of sudden ideas.
No matter when you officially plan to sit down and write the vows, you could start thinking about what you want them to say much earlier. Use a notes app on your phone to jot down song lyrics you hear, poetry that comes to mind, or lines from movies that could be incorporated into your vows. Does he send you romantic texts with sentiments that might be appropriate in your vows? Add them to the list!
Start early with a reluctant groom.
Since your groom may not be as eager as you to put his feelings down in a very personal way for the world to hear, don't wait until the last minute to get him to write. When he's not under a tight deadline, he (and you) will feel much more open and creative.
Factor in time to get approval from your officiant or to make revisions.
If he or she has asked to see your vows ahead of your wedding day, keep that in mind and allow enough time for the officiant to read them and get back to you with any changes. Even if your officiant doesn't need to see the vows, you may want to ask a trusted relative or friend to give it a read. Depending on their feedback, you may want time to make revisions.