An officiants guide to writing your wedding vows

Vows. What are they? Sure, everyone’s heard vows are a part of a wedding ceremony, but do you know what they actually entail and what you should be trying to relay to your betrothed?

I am, in fact, the world’s only accordion-playing minister (and, yes, I have googled that . . . many times). At this point in my career, I’ve probably done close to three hundred or so weddings. I like to say I “make people cry for a living.” 😂 Its the best job in the world.

I get asked a lot about how to go about writing vows. Often enough that I figured it was time to write an official statement on the subject. Out of the many weddings I’ve officiated, I’d say about 70% of marrying couples choose to write their own vows.

There are many tools available to help you figure out just what to say to your future spouse. Think about what you love about them. Then go to ChatGPT.com. The special moments and memories you’ve shared and your spouse-to-be’s endearing qualities are now considered “prompts” by the forces of artificial intelligence. Yes, the intelligence here might be artificial, but the love is still real . . . I’m kidding again; don’t do that!! (ps don't mind my cynical Native NY-er humor 😂)

The best advice I can give is to speak from the heart. Here are some ideas that might help you to find the right words:

  • Draw on special moments and how your partner makes you feel.
  • Start with addressing them, who they are, and what they mean to you.
  • Add in some anecdotal stories and musings on special moments from the early days of your courting.

From here you can go into what you are vowing to them:

  • You promise to be there for them.
  • You promise to love and cherish them.
  • You promise to wash the dishes or let them binge-watch SVU (even though it hasn’t been the same since Detective Munch left).
  • You promise to support them and laugh at their jokes . . . even if a particular joke isn’t Top-10-Joke material, and they probably should’ve workshopped it a little more, but you know they need the laugh after a long day of work.

I hope this sheds a little light on the subject for all of you out there getting ready to put a ring on it. I look forward to meeting you, hearing your stories, witnessing your vows, perhaps serenading you with a romantic melody on the ole’ squeezebox, and just being a part of your special day.

I'll leave you with a compilation of some of our favorite vows at Eloping is Fun.

The reading of the personal vows is a special moment, where there’s a break from my banter and all eyes are on you and your partner. At this point in the ceremony, your spouse-to-be now has your undivided attention. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Don’t be afraid to cry. I’ll usually be ready with tissues for you. I’ve witnessed personal vows that have made me cry, made me laugh, and made me think (amongst many things): “This couple is really making a good investment by making it official because these two are clearly meant for each other. Money well spent!”

Our favorite vows of all time

David and Luke

Elopement at the artists loft

"I am so grateful you were there every step of the way with me patiently as I went through my coming out journey to my family so that I could live my true authentic self with them, your words of encouragement and support for the very things keeping me going. And I promise I will be patient with you even if you wanna watch Fire Island or Battee Dritter for the hundred times this year because it never feels repetitive when I'm spending time with you."

Chloe + Matt

Elopement at the NYPL

Chloe and Matt declare their deep-rooted love and commitment to each other as they begin their new life as husband and wife in their cherished city, )NYC represent!!) surrounded by loved ones. Chloe reflects on her longtime love for Matt, expressing her admiration for his understanding, respect, and unconditional love. Matt returns the sentiment, admiring Chloe's pure heart and warm soul, gaining a sense of completion and wholeness in her presence. In their vows they promise to be each other's best friend, lifelong partner, and soulmate.

Farrah + Daniel

Elopement in central park

Daniel and Farah's heartfelt express gratitude for their relationship. Farrah describes Daniel as the love of her life who has treated her like a Disney princess since their first date. Daniel shares how she has changed his life and fulfilled his dreams. Farah returns with her own loving expression, seeing Daniel as her best friend and the only person she has ever loved. She promises to always support, protect, and cherish him as they build a life and grow old together.

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