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When I planned my own wedding, it was a completely overwhelming experience despite having worked in the wedding industry for almost ten years. As a bride, I stressed over things I never thought I would, like writing my wedding vows.
I knew I wanted to write personalized vows but I was so anxious about it. How could I communicate everything I felt about Scott and do it justice? I was super nervous, but then my friend introduced me to Katelyn Stanis from Wedding Words. She’s a professional vow and toast writer. I never even knew this kind of wedding service existed but it was exactly what I needed! I worked with Katelyn to write personalized wedding vows that I felt excited to recite on my wedding day. We bounced ideas around, she provided edits, and she read over Scott’s vows as well to make sure we were on the same page length and sentiment wise. It was so helpful and such a relief to have her assistance with something so personal and kind-of secretive throughout the wedding process, so I wanted to share her with you all!
I’ve asked Katelyn to share some of her top vow writing tips with my couples so hopefully, you’ll never have to experience any vow writing stress!
Start with a brainstorm. Dedicate 30 minutes to writing down any memory or feeling that comes to mind when you think about your partner and your relationship. Then highlight the ideas that you want to develop further within your vows.
Another way to gather vow material is to interview yourself. Set the recording feature on your phone and record yourself answering questions like:
Transcribe the audio and use this as the groundwork for your wedding vows.
Now that you have a variety of vow material to work from, start to hone in on what themes will anchor your vows.
Review your notes. What stands out? Do you mention a lot about your partner’s sense of adventure or compassionate heart? Maybe you have several notes around your spontaneous lifestyle. Choose one to three themes and center your vows around these main concepts.
Don’t let the fear of perfection stop you from even starting. Use the vow material you have to write your first draft.
Next, begin by addressing your fiancé and state what you love about them. Be sure to include specific promises before closing with a loving wish for your new spouse.
Once you’ve written the first draft, you have something you can edit and polish. Take some time to step away from them so you can come back with fresh eyes. When you’re ready to edit, begin by removing any unnecessary, extra words. If you can read a sentence and it has the same meaning with some of the words removed, remove those words. Don’t include anything that doesn’t add new meaning to your vows.
Also, speak with your fiancé throughout the vow writing process and align on the tone, length, and sentiment. It can be very awkward if one person wrote long, romantic vows while the other person focused on writing short and funny wedding vows.
Practice reciting your vows in front of a friend like your maid of honor who you can trust to provide you with constructive feedback. If you’d prefer to keep your vows a secret, video record yourself. Then watch yourself and make improvements based on what you notice from the video.
When you use these five vow writing tips, you’ll be in a better position to create personalized vows without any of the stress. And if you feel like you still need a hand, reach out to my friend Katelyn at Wedding Words for some assistance!
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Whether you’re working with a wedding planner on a multi-day event or you’re planning an intimate affair, you’re still dealing with many moving pieces right up until your big day. Having photographed more than 200 weddings, we’ve come up with the answers to our most frequently asked questions and turned them into this guide, from day-of timelines to inclement weather, from engagement sessions to first looks.