First. Decide together whether you will share your vows as you write them as part of your preparation, or surprise your partner in the ceremony. Let your officiant know your choice so s/he doesn’t make the mistake of sending out a version of your wedding ceremony script that contains your vows, if you want to surprise one another.
Focus. Set some time aside in a quiet setting, and remember that if you’re feeling overwhelmed – this is all a labor of love (literally!). It can feel overwhelming to find just the right words – so if you get frustrated, take a break. Keep focused and don’t cut corners – this matters.
Keep it short and sweet. You and your new husband or wife will have plenty of alone time in the years to come to swap long love letters, notes and in-person “I love yous.” For the ceremony, keep things on the brief side – aim for 100 to 200 words.
Add humor, but don’t overdo it. Most romantic relationships include a healthy dose of humor, and it’s fine – even fun – to let that show in your vows. But remember: This isn’t a standup routine. Make sure your vows reflect just how serious your love for one another is.
Include some inside stuff. Some of the sweetest mentions in wedding vows are about the sweet, silly, and, likely, even sad times together. Include a couple of references to private moments that you two have treasured together.
Search for examples online. If you need help, look up some vows online or watch videos of ceremonies for inspiration. The Internet is full of wedding websites, plus chat rooms, forums, and other online communities that couples go to during their planning process. If you’re feeling stuck, look online to see what other brides and grooms said to each other on their wedding day.
Oh, and if you decide not to share your vows before the wedding, do share the length of what you’ve written with your partner. How many lines is a good way to do this – so as not to have one person with a page, the other with just a paragraph.
Finally, if at all possible, have fun, and become more deeply aware of what you two mean to each other. Lovely!