Writing vows, from your Photographer’s perspective.

In all my years photographing weddings, I can’t tell you how often I have heard a couples fret over this one! Writing vows can be daunting, but before you head to google, hear me out: You have gone and put such a great deal of much, energy and money into a giant fete celebrating your love story, what could make it more personal than writing your own vows?

Sure you may lose it and cry like Kim K., but that’s ok. This day is all about you and your partner, and the people you’ve invited want nothing more than to share in the story that makes you, you.

I have photographed a lot of intimate moments, wedding vows and love letters are no exceptions. As my seasoned ears have soaked in dozens and dozen of love stories, here are my tips on how to write your own vows:

1. At some point, make sure you say “I love you”. While it may seem like a no brainer, you would be shocked to know just how many couples forget to put those 3 little words in their vows!

2. Share a personal story. For example the moment you knew they were “the one” or something that they do to show you that they love you. it is something that will stick out in your partner’s mind and make them feel seen in that moment.

3. Make promises you intend to keep. Dig deeper than  “I’ll be there for you”. I remember while photographing a wedding one a beautiful farm in Kentucky,  a groom once saying to his almost bride “I promise to not take a bite of my food until you’ve taken a picture of it for your instagram!”. It got a grin form onlookers and bride alike, and was so and personal to them!

4. Don’t sleep on writing your vows. Waiting to the last minute or winging it isn’t something I would not suggest for your wedding day at all.  I know there is a lot of planning that goes into a wedding day, but take the time to focus on these words.

Remember, be heartfelt. This whole day is about you and your partner and WHY you are pledging your life to be together. Some more pro tips:

90 seconds to 3 minutes is the perfect length for wedding vows.

Type them up or write them out nicely so you can save them.

Try to keep them a secret from your spouse until the ceremony.

Remember, you don’t have to say or share everything. Which is why planning in advance can be a game changer.

How should your build it all out, then?

  • Begin with a memory, anecdote, or a treasured memory of a moment in your story when you realized that your partner was “The One.”
  • Flowing from that memory, tell your partner what you appreciate, appreciate, and value about them.
  • Next, express your gratitude for the gifts and memories they have given you.
  • State what you vow to do, and to be, for your partner.
  • Somewhere within those promises, be sure to say “I take you as my husband/wife/partner for life”—these titles turn your words of love into a vow.
And finally, if you think you will be too emotional to read your own vows during your ceremony, you can always put them in a letter and have it delivered to your future spouse the morning of the wedding. Or you can read them to one another at the first look. Or even standing around the corner from one another. Remember, this is your moment, your day, and these are all choices that you can make to build memories that you will cherish forever! I hope this was helpful for any couples out there struggling with vows! What are your tips for penning wedding vows?Let me know in your comments.

Reach Out to Gretchen Bell

I’m Gretchen Bell, a wedding photographer currently calling Louisville, Kentucky home. Capturing your proposal, engagement and wedding through photography is my top priority — I want you to have these memories to hold onto for a lifetime!

I would love the opportunity to photograph your story. Think I could be the photographer for you? Reach to me here or via social media. I look forward to hearing from you and help you along your journey as you start planning for your wedding!

Learn more about Louisville Wedding Photographer Gretchen Bell by clicking here.

Gretchen Bell is an award winning wedding and brand photographer based out of Louisville, Kentucky. She is a believer in serving all couples with romantic, editorial images regardless of race, gender, or orientation. Have a question, blog topic, or wedding inquiry? Email her at

  1. […] noticed that more and more couples seem to be relaxed and focused on their partner, family, and vows on the day of the day of the wedding in a more intimate […]

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