20 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Writing Your Own Vows

Kick the writer's block and jumpstart your creativity with these meaningful questions.
by The Knot

Can we guess? You thought writing your own wedding vows would take a breezy half hour, but now you're dealing with a case of writer's block and worried about embarrassing yourself. Don't beat yourself up. You're not the first person to struggle with transforming life-altering emotions into succinct, coherent words. Writing wedding vows that feel worthy of your amazing partner and the love you have for them is hard. Start from the beginning and take it one word at a time. Get inspired by this list of questions about your relationship and what makes it so special. Once you get a little rhythm going, you'll have a string of deep, funny and personalized vows finished in no time, promise.

1. What did you think when you first saw them?

There’s no better place to start than at the beginning. You didn't want to go out and now you're so grateful your friends dragged you out? Now that’s a sweet love story.

Put it into words: When we met at __________, I thought/knew __________.

2. When was the first time you realized you were in love with them?

The more specific you can be, the more touching the story. Was it when they helped you bring your sick puppy to the vet, or when they spent an entire summer inside with you while you nursed a broken leg? And if humor’s more your speed, don’t fight it: Throw in a playful sentiment: Did they endure an entire weekend watching Game of Thrones because they know you wanted to?

Put it into words: I knew I was in love when ____________.

3. What do you have now that you didn't have before you met?

For this one, focus on the heart and head, not material possessions. Really think about how you’re better off with this person in your life. Have they taught you to appreciate beauty differently? Have they helped you learn to cook and savor homemade meals? Have they helped you develope more confidence and self-love?

Put it into use: Before I met you, I ___________. Now I ___________.

4. How has your worldview changed since knowing them?

Life has obviously gotten better since you met and fell in love, so tell everyone about it. Having trouble pinpointing exactly how? Think about the new things you've tried together or because what have you experienced together that you never would have on your own?

Put it in words: Because of you, I see the world __________. 

5. What do you miss most when you're apart? 

This will probably be something simple, but powerful. Is it their smile first thing in the morning, or the way they put out your lucky mug for your morning coffee? 

Put it into words: You're such a part of me that when you're gone, I __________.

6. Where do you see yourselves in 10 years, 20 years and 40 years? 

Go beyond, "Happily married in a big house." What are your long-term hopes dreams and goals? And remember, it could be as simple as enjoying the sunset on a pair of Adirondack chairs, or as big as being there for each other when times get tough.

Put it into words: I can't wait to __________, laughing and __________ as we __________.

7. Is there a line from a movie, song or poem that says it all? 

It's definitely okay to borrow, as long as it's not too much of a cliche. Instead, modify something familiar to personalize. 

Put it into words: Whenever I see you ________, I think, "God only knows what I'd be without you."

8. Do parts of the traditional vows resonate with you? 

Maybe you're not about that whole "obey" part, but can you really go wrong with love, cherish and __________? 

Put it into words: I promise to cherish and honor you ____________, (but add a time frame and funny reference for levity) all the days of my life, especially when curled up on the couch with takeout.

9. Can you think of a funny or touching experience that put your partner in a new light? 

Maybe the way they played with your little cousin or helped your grandmother up the stairs showed you an entirley new side to them that made them even more wonderful in your eyes.

Put it into words: When you ____________, I saw you for the _____________ person you are.

10. What goals and values do you both have?

Stating your common bond may just expose your inner Wordsworth. These ties—whether your shared faith or your mutual love of wine—will also help demonstrate why you're a perfect pair. How to use: We share ___________, so together we can ___________.

11. What about your partner inspires you? 

Is there something about your partner you'd like to improve in yourself? What do you most respect about your partner? 

Put it into words: Your ability/willingness to ___________ has shown me how to be___________.

12. What promise can you make to solidify and encapsulate your devotion? 

Here's your opportunity to personalize your vows. So many couples pledge their endless love, but how many promise to take the dog out in the morning, even in the snow, or to stop Netflix cheating when their partner gets up to grab a glass of water.

Put it into words: I promise to always ___________.

13. How will you change together? 

You know what your goals are—think about the steps the two of you will need to take together to reach them as team. 

Put it into words: I look forward to ___________ as we __________.

14. What metaphor (or simile) would capture your love? 

You might laugh because this can feel a little corny to think about, but brainstorm things that describe or define your love.

Put it into words: Our love is like a ___________ because it ___________.

15. Why are you entering the bond of marriage? 

Think about why marrying your partner is so particularly special. You may be surprised how the answer to this question leads you to the perfect words.

Put it into words: To me, marriage is ___________. With you, it's ___________.

16. What will keep your marriage strong? 

Dig deep and find the bedrock of your relationship. 

Put it into words: I know that even when life gets hard, you and I will __________, because __________. 

17. What makes your relationship tick? 

Is it your resilience, your shared sense of humor or the same passion for life? What binds you and makes you compatible enough to work together forever?

Put it into words: Even when ___________, we will always have ___________. 

18. What do you expect out of married life? 

Defining your expectations will help you make and keep promises. Think about your dreams, and what you'll have to vow to do to make them come true. 

Put it into words: I know our marriage will ___________ and I vow to ___________.

19. What words do you associate with love?

Make a list of romantic terms so you can avoid overusing "love"—too many repetitions dilute its power. 

Put it into words: My devotion/adoration/passion for you is ___________.

20. What are you most looking forward to about married life? 

The wedding is just the beginning of this insanely amazing journey. Maybe you can't wait to raise a family with your partner. Or maybe you're psyched to have a built-in plus-one (that you're totally in love with) for the rest of your life. Be funny, be sentimental—say whatever feels right.

Put it into words: I look forward to ___________ as we embark on ___________.

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