Need inspiration for creating unique wedding vows? We’ve got you covered. Read on for all our top tips.
By Rachel Varina
Photo by Unsplash
One of the most romantic parts of any wedding, whether it’s a giant bash or an exclusive elopement, are the custom wedding vows. But selecting promises and passages that feel both worthy of the day and true to your relationship can prove to be downright tricky.
The good news? There’s no right or wrong way to share your vows at your wedding ceremony. Maybe you’d prefer to write your wedding vows together and have your officiant read them aloud. Maybe you like the idea of surprising each other with custom wedding vows from the heart? Chat about what feels right for your celebration, and then find your inspiration for your wedding day.
Whether it’s a quote from the movie you watched on your first date, a passage from the book you bonded over in school, or just an inside joke about who steals the covers, lean into what makes your bond so special for unique vows that will make your guests say “that was so them.”
Still need some guidance to get there? Whether you’re aiming for something short and sweet or hilarious and heartwarming, here’s everything you need to know about crafting unique wedding vows for your love story.
Photo Credit // Unsplash
Pick the Format
Traditional wedding vows (or their equivalent) symbolize the moment when the couple forms a married union. If you’re a quirky couple, consider going the non-traditional wedding vow route to keep things interesting. Your own vows can be recited a variety of ways, including:
Being spoken as a monologue, one at a time.
Being spoken first by the officiant, then repeated back, one after the other.
Asked as a question by the officiant to each person getting married (this is where the “I do” portion comes in).
However you choose to format your unique vows, opt to keep it somewhere between 30 seconds and three minutes (and have a chat about general length, so they’re comparable).
After writing your marriage vows, have a friend give them a once-over to ensure the jokes will land and the references will be understood.
Put Pen to Paper
Now, if you’ve got your pencil ready and are searching for inspo, here’s a look at some quotes, passages, song lyrics, and humorous quips to use in full or as jumping-off points to make your unique vows truly stand out.
Take a Page From a Book
Literature is full of vow-worthy phrases from both timeless classics and modern tales. Consider some of these favorites:
“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” — Wuthering Heights
“Poets often describe love as an emotion that we can’t control, one that overwhelms logic and common sense. That’s what it’s like for me. I didn’t plan on falling in love with you, and I doubt that you planned on falling in love with me. But once we met, it was clear that neither of us could control what was happening to us. We fell in love, despite our differences, and once we did, something rare and beautiful was created. For me, love like that has happened only once, and that’s why every minute we spent together has been seared in my memory. I’ll never forget a single moment of it.” — The Notebook
“You’ll stay with me?” “Until the very end.” -Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows
Quote Your Favorite Movie
Whether it’s a rom-com you watched when you were young or a drama you quote endlessly, don’t be afraid to look to unexpected films for a source of marriage inspiration.
“I love that you get cold when it’s seventy-one degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle in your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night.” — When Harry Met Sally
"People call these things imperfections, but they're not. Ah, that's the good stuff. Then we get to choose who we let into our weird little worlds. You're not perfect, sport, and let me save you the suspense. This girl you met? She isn't perfect either. But the question is whether or not you're perfect for each other. That's the whole deal. That's what intimacy is all about." — Good Will Hunting
"I vow to help you love life, to always hold you with tenderness and to have the patience that love demands, to speak when words are needed and to share the silence when they are not, to agree to disagree on red velvet cake, and to live within the warmth of your heart and always call it home." — The Vow
Bring It Back to That TV Show You Binged Together
Love means never watching a new episode of your favorite series without the other, so showcase your fandom with a quote from the small screen.
“The things that you have done for me, to help me, support me, surprise me, to make me happy, go above and beyond what any person deserves. You're all I need. I love you and I like you.” — Parks & Recreation
“I wasn't sure this day would ever come, but you were. I wasn't sure love could survive everything we put it through, but you were. You were always strong and always sure. And now I know I want you to stand beside me for the rest of my life. That's what I'm sure of.” — Boy Meets World
"You make me happier than I ever thought I could be. And if you let me, I will spend the rest of my life trying to make you feel the same way." — Friends
Make It Funny
The key to many happy marriages is to keep each other laughing, so get started on the right foot by causing your SO (and your loved ones in the crowd) to giggle during your handwritten vows.
But you want to strike the right balance. Katelyn’s Wedding Words, Professional Vow and Speech Writer, advises couples to use the 80/20 rule. "80% of your vows should be sweet and serious while 20% should be more playful and humorous. Consider including fun differences like how you root for rival sports teams or how they are the only person you’d be willing to go camping with. Pet peeves that you can playfully poke fun at can be good too. But it’s best to highlight the ones they have about you rather than the ones you have about them!”
“I promise to love you, not despite your faults but because of them, including but not limited to your inability to put your stuff away, the toe prints you leave on my dashboard, and your tendency to steal all of the blankets in the house.”
“I vow to try my best not to schedule anything when the New England Patriots are playing.”
“Roses are red,
My devotion is true.
I love everything about you,
And your butt is awesome too.”
Make It Honest
Ultimately, as husband and wife, your vows are about your promises to each other, so if that means swearing to always put your socks away or sharing the last piece of pizza, use it!
“While most people say they fell in love at first sight, for me, it was the first laugh. Because that’s our foundation. That’s what makes us work. At the end of the day, it’s true: You are my absolute favorite person, and I can’t believe how much I love you.”
“I promise to spend our days exploring foreign lands, eating delicious foods, and watching Netflix on the couch.”
“Let's forget when to shut up, forget being polite. Let’s dance when there’s no music, laugh when there’s silence, and toss out the rulebook without any regard to the norms. Let's be that couple, those people, and have the time of our lives until we drop dead."
Quote the Unconventional
Your love story is one-of-a-kind, so pick some phrases for your vows to match. Whether it’s from a Halloween movie, a song from your middle school days, or a sci-fi flick, there’s outside-the-box inspo everywhere.
"My dearest friend, if you don't mind, I'd like to join you by your side. Where we can gaze into the stars, and sit together, now and forever. For it is plain as anyone can see, we're simply meant to be." — The Nightmare Before Christmas
"I think anybody who falls in love is a freak. It's a crazy thing to do. It's kind of like a form of socially acceptable insanity." — Her
“If heaven and hell decide that they both are satisfied. And illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs. If there's no one beside you when your soul embarks. Then I'll follow you into the dark.” — “I Will Follow You Into The Dark.”
Make It Romantic
If your wedding is all about the romance, don’t be afraid to share what’s really in your heart. Now’s the time for all things rose petals and heart-eye emojis.
“I promise to cheer on your successes, comfort you during loss, and stand steadfastly by your side through it all.”
“I will strive to always understand you, giving you comfort when you seek it from me. I will try never to say in anger that which I wouldn’t say in friendship. I promise that when you talk, I'll really listen. And when each night comes, I’ll go to sleep with thanks for your presence at my side and renewed love for you in my heart.”
“I promise to forever offer you my unconditional love and encouragement, my trust and respect, as together we create our future.”
Quote a Song
Whether it’s a classic love song or something a little more modern, music lyrics are a great way to share your feelings for your other half.
“When you need some shelter from the rain, when you need a healer for your pain, I will be there time and time again.” — “Here I Am”
“I could make you happy, make your dreams come true. Nothing that I wouldn’t do. Go to the ends of the earth for you to make you feel my love.” — “Make You Feel My Love”
“And when you’re needing your space to do some navigating, I’ll be here patiently waiting to see what you find.” — “I Won’t Give Up”
Photo Credit // Unsplash
Keep It Simple
You don’t have to go big and bold. Sometimes the simplest sentiments are the sweetest.
“I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m living, my soulmate you’ll be.”
“I promise to be your friend until the end.”
“I vow to love you forever.”
Whether your unique vows quote your favorite song, make your guests and loved ones double over in laughter, or are spoken entirely in TV show references, there’s no right way to share your unique love on your special day.