I’m often asked how to write great vows

How to write great vows

Without a doubt, ‘how do I write great vows?’ is one of the first questions my couples ask me when we catch up to design their ceremonies. Basically, you’re being expected to do something really important, that you’ve either never done before, or only done once (or twice!) before. Vow writing comes easy to old hands like celebrants because we see them every day. It’s a bit different for our couples though.

Bride and groom laughing as they say their vows while groomsmen look on with Lynette Maguire marriage celebrant
Tears of laughter wedding with <a href=httpwwwlynettemaguirecomau>Marriage Celebrant<a> Lynette Maguire wholl teach you how to write great vows

Firstly, there’s two things to think about:

1.  what will you be comfortable writing?

2.  what will you be comfortable saying?

These two questions will give you an idea of how long your vows should be. Public speaking terrifies most people (I’ll blog about ways to help with this later – I teach public speaking at uni, so I have some handy hints).

So, because I figure you’re not ‘old hands’ at writing vows, I always suggest to start with the Cheat’s Version – which is this:

Design your template together.  How many sentences will you write?  Will they be a mixture of fun and emotional?  Do you have kids? (always mention the children!)

Write the first two sentences of your vows together.  You’ll agree to say the same thing: e.g..

        “bride/groom you’re not perfect ,but you’re perfect for me

        I’m so proud today to become your wife/husband”

Then separate and agree to write, say 5 sentences which you won’t show each other.

If you’re going to ugly cry, I suggest that you intersperse some fun vows in with the emotional ones – trust me, it will help!

white handkerchief with words 'no ugly crying' embroidered in black cotton
HINT!! To avoid ugly crying, start with something fun in your vows and then a mix of emotion and fun – trust me, this will help <3

The real Cheat’s version is that you’ll start each of those 5 sentences with the same line: e.g.

I promise…. Blah blah

I promise…  To not be at work while you’re giving birth to our children….

(humour is BIG in contemporary vows… )

 Then – you’ll agree to say the same last sentence … E.g.. (if you want to be really laid back) –

haha sucked in …


I love you

Have a go at it – try to stay real to your relationship – so if you don’t call each other your ‘twin flames’ with ‘hearts beating as one’, don’t do it for your wedding – you’ll feel like an idiot. Keep it real. Check out the examples of vows below for ideas of ‘real’.

Don’t look at each other’s vows, it makes the emotions more ‘real’ at the ceremony.

Two brides laughing while being married by Lynette Maguire
Tash and Teagan married at The Chapel Montville their vows were funny and honest and full of love just like them

IMPORTANT:  you don’t have to memorise your vows!   You won’t know your name on the day let alone remember your vows!  Don’t stress 🙂  Ask your celebrant to print them off and bring them to the ceremony with the legal line you both have to say.

You both must say before your vows:

I call upon all persons here present to witness, that I, (full name) take you (full name) to be my wife/husband.

Here are three examples to start you off:


I have been lucky enough to find my perfect match,   the girl of my dreams and to stand together today almost makes me want to sing you one of my sappy love songs.

Alex, I have and always will love you.   I love your sense of humour, your infectious giggle, your loyalty and your strength.   I love those silly moments and things that you do that make you – you.

I’d like you to promise me now, in front of all our friends and family that you’ll start doing the housework in the nude, beg me for sex every night, bring me beers without asking and obey my every deviant command.

You’re the most beautiful person I’ve ever met and now I have the honour of making you my wife.   I can’t wait to share the rest of my life with you, my Princess.


 We share a love for each other that is rare and beautiful. I smile when you walk into a room and for the first few seconds I know that I am all you see and I love the way you look at me. I love the way you know me. And I love the way you love me.

 Nothing looks as beautiful unless you see it too, and nothing sounds as funny unless you’re laughing with me. I lay my trust in you, knowing you would never let me down.

 Of course, once we’re married you need to know that I’ll be the boss – still. You’ll have to love me, honour me and obey me and you’ll do most of the cooking and cleaning. And just a heads up: I will have rights to the precious TV remote.

 I thank you for finding me and for being the beautiful man that you are.

You’re my best friend my perfect match and I will love you my entire life.


Two brides laughing as they read their vows as guests laugh and look on with marriage celebrant Lynette Maguire
Emily and Naomi got to write vows twice when they legally married in 2018 after their original commitment ceremony in 2014


Today I ask you, Bec, to be my wife. You’ve been my partner in crime, my partner in love, and now you’ll be my partner in life. The years that we have spent together have made me realize that I am the luckiest, and I couldn’t imagine growing old with anyone else.

 I’m not marrying you just because I love you, I’m marrying you because you are my best friend and you give me a reason to get up every afternoon. You actually like being around me, for the most part anyway!     Keeping that in mind, today I promise you, in front of everyone staring at us, these certainties:

 I promise to support you, right or wrong (not that you’re ever wrong)

  • I will always make you laugh, most of the time at me but some of the time with me!
  • I will listen when you ramble – if I can hear you!
  • I promise to take you in my arms when you need to be held
  • I promise to be there for you even when it would be easier to be somewhere else!
  • I will always do the thing you don’t, or be what you won’t. I am forever un-shy for you.
  • I promise to fix what is broken, especially if I get to use tools to do it.
  • I promise to get better for you, no matter the illness or how painful the cure.
  • I will always appreciate and enjoy everything you cook – especially pavlova!
  • I promise to love you even when you make fun of my car, even more if you take off your bra!
  • I will always think you are one of the smartest, craftiest, and most beautiful creatures on the planet

 Thank you for sharing my life and giving us two wonderful children, Sienna and Brodie. You and the kids mean everything to me and I only hope that the “bad boy you had a crush on” has turned into the good man you love. As we grow older together, as we continue to change with age, there is one thing that will never change…I will always keep falling in love with you.

I am forever yours, but something tells me I always have been. Til infinity and beyond!


Today I ask you Dave to be my husband. To stand by your side and sleep in your arms – you are my best friend, my sounding board, my partner in crime and my soul mate. You annoy me more than I ever thought possible, but… I want to spend every irritating minute with you. Every time I look into your eyes, I see the man I want beside me for eternity.

 I am not marrying you just because I love you, but because you see me with your heart and always make me feel beautiful. I love the way you say good morning and you take me the way I am. You challenge me in both delightful and infuriating ways, but I will always encourage you to chase your dreams. Today I promise you these certainties:

 I will never take you for granted, and I will always share cheesecake with you

  • To always have fun together – even if I lose in the tea towel fights
  • I will try to remember to speak louder to make sure you hear me, and not get too cranky when you don’t
  • I will always hold the ladder for you
  • To always laugh with you, and sometimes at you!
  • I promise to never make you eat peas
  • I will always have your back…and even occasionally scratch it for you too!
  • I will be true to you, throughout our lives, whatever happens, however your back is!
  • You’re the one I want travelling by my side and experiencing new things with
  • Together we’ll build a life full of laughter, passion, creativity, silliness, music and ebay purchases
  • But.. once we’re married I’ll be the boss – still.

 Now here we stand, unafraid of the future – at the beginning with you. You turn me on to the idea of growing old and I know you’re the only one I am supposed to kiss for the rest of my life.

I marry you with my eyes and heart wide open. I love you, Dave.

Til infinity and beyond!

bride and groom kissing on a beach with bride holding her bouquet around his back
Hayden and Hayley had a Bribie Island wedding



Rachel, over the past 10 years you have taught me that a good relationship is a complicated recipe, made up of friendship, respect, infatuation and infuriation, with a healthy dose of humour to help it all come together. Today, I promise you these things:

* I will always love you completely and unconditionally, even when I may require hospitalistion after tripping over your shoes

* I will always appreciate the little things we do together – silly conversations, golden syrup dumplings and 2 up motorbike rides

* I will not stand between you and the little things that make life comfortable… and not check the credit card statement too carefully

* I will always care for and nurture you, feed your soul and mind, as long as you feed me Thai curry

* I will always be open and honest with you….when I can get a word in edgewise

* I will always keep things fun and light hearted and lay off the soppy stuff

* I will always be there when you need me, even if you don’t want me to be there

* Nothing will come before our family, not even the sweetest little cafe racer I have ever seen

I marry you with my eyes and my heart wide open.


Ben, I have loved you for 10 years. We have had some great times together, and together we’ve endured some really shitty times. We have survived living apart, and even living together. We have survived 3 years of sleep deprivation without resorting to homicide. You are an amazing father, my best friend, my grounding force. While we are both a bit twisted, we twist together perfectly. Today, I promise you these things:

* I will always love you, wholly and unconditionally, even if you piss me off to the point that I want to stab you with a rusty spoon

* I will always appreciate the little things we do together, nice coffee, banana pancakes and boring car rides

* I will not stand between you and the little things that make life comfortable… and will not roll my eyes when yet another package arrives from China marked “electronics components”

* I promise to care for and nurture you, and always have liquid gravy in the pantry

* I will always be open and honest with you, even when you think I’m just weird

* I will always keep things fun and light hearted and lay off the soppy stuff

* I will always be there when you need me, even when you think that you don’t want me there

* Nothing will come before our family, not even the best shoe sale ever… maybe.

I marry you with my eyes and my heart wide open.

Bride and groom laughing as celebrant Lynette Maguire speaks with microphone
Kris and Jack had a ball at their wedding and their vows were next level


I hope this helps!  Good luck!