Time Guidelines for Wedding Vows

You’ve written your vows and you’ve bought a set of our beautiful heirloom wedding vow books. You’re all set and ready for the big day… or are you? Knowing how to write your own wedding vows is really only half the battle—you also need to make sure they’re not too short and not too long. How long should wedding vows be? Here’s what you need to know.

Ideal Wedding Vow Length

Take a guess—how long do you think your vows should take to read? Five minutes? The answer might surprise you! Per wedding experts and officiants, your wedding vows should be somewhere between one to two minutes. 

If you’re thinking, “That doesn’t sound very long!,” we get it. It may not sound like a long time, but when you’re standing up in front of dozens of your closest friends and family members, even 60 seconds can feel like an eternity! 

How Many Words Should Wedding Vows Be?

You can also fit a lot more into a minute or two than you might think. Two minutes is about 300 words for the average speaker, or a little bit more than half the length of this entire blog post. It’s also very possible that your vows might come in short, especially if you have a tendency to speak quickly when you’re nervous or in front of a crowd.  

Practice reading slowly and clearly and time yourself while doing so; this should give you a good idea of how long your vows are and whether you need to cut them down a bit or lengthen them. 

Do you need to shorten your vows? If so: 

  • Edit like a pro. Take out flowery adverbs, remove anything that says the same thing in a different way, cross out clichés, and stick to the most important points you want to make.  
  • Omit the stories. If the bulk of your vows are relaying stories or cute things your partner does, they’re not vows—you’re just giving a speech.  
  • Put your thoughts in a letter. Anything you can’t fit into your vows can be written in a letter to your partner. 

Do you need to lengthen your vows? You should include: 

  • Make promises to your partner. These, after all, are the entire point of vows! 
  • Add a (brief) story. Yes, we just told you to omit stories above if you’re running long, but if you’re running short, tell a sweet or meaningful story about your partner or your relationship. 
  • Insert a meaningful quote. Don’t over-rely on words from books, movies, or poems, but one quote that encapsulates your feelings can be a nice touch.

Check In With Your Partner

Many brides and grooms don’t want to share their vows before the ceremony, which is absolutely understandable—you want to see your partner’s authentic reaction in the moment. That said, you should make sure your vows are about the same length. 

Why does it matter? It can be embarrassing when one partner has lengthy vows and the other comes in under 30 seconds. It’s good to be on the same page, not only when it comes to length, but also tone. If one partner is sentimental while the other is funny and unserious, it might cause some hard feelings after the ceremony.

Order Wedding Vow Books from Luna Paper Co.

You’ve put a lot of thought into your vows and they deserve to be written on something more than a piece of blank paper. Our wedding vow books are destined to become a keepsake that you and your partner will always treasure. Contact us to learn more.