If you’ve been sitting in front of a piece of paper, staring at it for the past hour, with not a single idea what the heck to say in your elopement vows, this guide is for you. It’s not that you don’t love your partner. Obviously you do. But let’s be honest: coming up with elopement vows that truly capture your feelings for your significant other can seem like a daunting task. I know, because I’ve been in your shoes too, trying to sum up my relationship with my partner into a few little pages in my vow book in the weeks leading up to our own elopement.
I love writing, but I’m no poet (and I’m guessing you probably aren’t, either). And to be completely honest, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to do justice to our relationship with my words. But in the process of writing my own elopement vows, I came up with a few key tips that helped guide the way and resulted in me crafting a set of adventure wedding vows that felt like they genuinely described us and our story.
When I was writing my own elopement vows, I chose a few things about my partner that I personally love about him. Things that stood out and made me a firm believer that he was the perfect person for me.
These were the things I focused on in my elopement vows. The person you’re eloping with has made a difference in your life in some big ways, and when you write your adventure wedding vows, you get to speak to that and let them know.
I think this tip is particularly fun, especially if you have an interesting or unique story to how you met. First impressions aren’t always right, but sometimes they’re also spot-on.
Speak to that in your elopement vows. Share your first impressions of the very first conversation or interaction you had with your partner. Was there an energy you experienced in that moment? Talk about that in your adventure wedding vows.
One of the best things about elopement vows compared to wedding vows is that you don’t have to worry about a giant audience listening in. And this means you get to be truly vulnerable when sharing your vows.
No need to censor your thoughts or curate what you think an audience wants to hear. You get to truly be yourself when you write your elopement vows.
I get it, we all want to be able to write elopement vows that will show our partner just how much we care about them. But I’d be lying to you if I said putting that feeling into words was easy. It takes time to get it right, but I know you can do it. I promise. The wedding vow tips below will help you nail those vows, no matter whether you consider yourself a professional writer or just a person in love trying to do their best to share that feeling in a way that does your relationship justice.
I’ve noticed that with traditional wedding vows, we tend to get wrapped up in making promises like, “I’ll promise to wash the dishes more often” or “I promise to not always hog the blanket.” And don’t get me wrong those are cute and totally funny and relevant to include in your vows. But, I think there’s also a huge opportunity to make some bigger promises too.
When the eloping couples I work with are stuck on a direction to take their vows, I advise them to create what I call a “marriage bucket list”. Think of all the incredible things you want to accomplish in life with your partner by your side.
Do you want to hike all the 14ers in the continental US together? Write that down. Do you two have plans to road trip across the west coast with one another? Share that. Do you have dreams of starting a business together that changes the world? That’s absolutely worth mentioning.
A huge part of elopement vows is speaking what you want your marriage to look like into existence. You’ve chosen to marry this person for so many reasons, and you two likely have a lot of similar hopes and dreams. Turns those into promises in your elopement vows. It’s okay if not all of them become a reality, but there’s power in speaking it out loud.
If you’re the type of person who finds inspiration when they procrastinate, this one isn’t for you. But I’m guessing if you found this article, you’re probably the type of person who wants to plan out what you say well in advance of your elopement day (hey friend, me too).
I knew when writing my elopement vows that doing everything in one sitting probably wouldn’t be the way to go. If that sounds like you too, I’d recommend jotting down little notes here and there in the weeks or months leading up to your elopement.
Did your partner do something super special that you want to speak to on your elopement day? Write that down as a note. Do they always crack crazy dad jokes that have you rolling on the floor giggling on a regular basis? Write down your favorite one, and re-share it in your vows.
I’ve found that writing elopement vows is like collecting little gold nuggets about your relationship as you live those experiences together.
One of the coolest things about eloping is that elopements break tradition. When you elope, you get to craft your own wedding rules, and the same applies to your elopement vows.
You and your partner can certainly keep with the tradition of writing vows in private and only sharing them on your elopement day itself, if that’s what you want. But there’s also something to be said for writing your vows together.
Remember that marriage bucket list I mentioned earlier in tip #4? Creating that bucket list collaboratively with your partner can be a very powerful experience. Talk with each other about your hopes and dreams for your marriage. Make this a collaborative process, because after all, that’s what a marriage is, right?!
The promises you make to one another in your elopement vows can actually be even stronger when you come up with them together.
It’s okay if you don’t consider yourself a writer. Writing your elopement vows isn’t about creating the most beautifully crafted sentences that read like poetry. They’re about being honest and true to one another. They’re about making promises to each other. And they’re about sharing your story authentically.
I knew when I wrote my elopement vows that what I said didn’t need to be perfect. My partner has never expected perfection from me, and I’m guessing yours doesn’t either. But what they likely do want to see is you knowing you can be your truest self around them. So when you’re writing your vows, before you curate anything, literally do a giant brain dump on a piece of paper.
Write down all your thoughts. Don’t worry about how it sounds. Just write. You can clean it up later. Those honest, pure emotions you generate during the brain dump? Those are what matter the most.
I know speaking from the heart and being vulnerable can seem scary. But if there’s one place where you can speak fully from the heart and share how you feel, it’s in your elopement vows.
Elopements allow you to be way more vulnerable and open than big, traditional weddings. You don’t have a massive audience listening to you share your vows with one another. So take advantage of that and speak from the heart. The words don’t have to string together perfectly or roll off the tongue. They just have to matter. Feels good to have that pressure taken off your shoulders, right?
Traditional vow books are very cute, and they’re perfect if you’re only using them for that one day of your elopement. However, I personally love the idea of buying a pocket-sized notebook instead, so you have plenty of pages to write in over the years.
Your vows don’t have to be limited to the day you elope. If you’ve made promises to each other in your elopement vows, re-visit them and write about the ones you’ve accomplished together in your vow notebook. Take polaroids of adventures you two promised you’d go on together and paste them into your notebook, too.
Your elopement vows are essentially a living agreement you have made with your partner, and I’d argue that that deserves to be updated on a regular basis with new promises, new discoveries, and new experiences. The notebook I used for my own elopement vows was a Moleskine (I used the pocket-sized one). There’s plenty of pages in there, for my partner and I to share new stories and adventures.
As someone who also eloped, I know firsthand what you’re going through in the elopement process. I too, spent hours searching online, writing and re-writing my elopement vows.
And I knew that when we’d elope, some of the most valuable keepsakes I’d have were the photos of my partner and I sharing our elopement vows to each other. Those are the images I still get emotional looking back on.
As a photographer who specializes exclusively in documenting elopements (and who has also eloped), I’ve been in your shoes, and I’d love nothing more than to be your go-to resource during the elopement process.
Check out some of our favorite elopement and adventure wedding planning resources:
Empowering You To Have Your Adventure Elopement, Your Way
Colorado Elopement Photographers + Adventure Wedding Photographers