How to Write Meaningful Wedding Vows

Expert Victoria Kichuk helps you craft the most verbal love letter of your life.

wedding vows

Vows Photo via Shutterstock

When it comes to your wedding vows, it’s often hard to know where to start. Fear not. Victoria Kichuk can help. Her popular Writing Your Own Wedding Vows: A Workshop for Couples class is back at the Boston Center for Adult Education on May 11. She teaches couples how to craft a truly meaningful message, maintain originality, and avoid clichés—along with what not to share during the vows.

We spoke to Kichuk about putting pen to paper for perhaps the most important love letter of your life.

What should you consider when writing vows?

What’s unique about your wedding vows is that they’re very personal statements that are directed at your significant other while a crowd of people listens in. That crowd will include everyone from your mother and Great Aunt Ruth to your high school besties and college fraternity brothers. And those vows are going to be recorded—not just by your official wedding videographer, but by everyone in attendance with a cell phone or digital camera. So along with the romantic elements, keep in mind a certain air of seriousness—though not totally absent of levity—along with the ability to keep things somewhat succinct.

Speaking of succinct, how long should vows be?

Couples should consult with each other and agree to stick to a consistent general length. If one person writes one paragraph worth of vows and the other person writes two pages, things are going to look very one-sided, out of sync, and incongruent. Communication is important throughout your whole relationship, so starting at the very beginning just makes good sense.

What’s the most difficult part of writing vows?

For some folks, writing about personal feelings is very difficult, especially considering these are going to be publicly received. It’s also important to understand what things don’t belong in vows—inside jokes, long anecdotes, or anything that leans towards a comedic roast—yes, some couples try too hard to be funny. This is imperative to preventing future embarrassment. Remember: all those videos get played back!

What are a few important things to keep in mind?

Discuss the foundational points together—general length, tone, and structure. Are they in the form of promises, a short story, a list? Don’t get too in your head about it. These are important words, but they don’t have to be earth-shattering in their brilliance and romance. Give yourself plenty of time. Don’t save it until the night before, or worse yet, the day of. The last hours before your ceremony you will most likely be fraught with nerves and anxiousness. Start making notes weeks ahead, particularly after you’ve had a pleasant day with your S.O. and your head is filled with loving thoughts and general enthusiasm for the ceremony to come. Write whatever comes to mind, and edit later on.

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