Part of what makes planning a wedding so fun (and occasionally stressful) is how customized you can make them. Every aspect of your special day can be as standard or unique as you’d like.

You’ve heard the standard vows that many couples choose to profess in front of their friends and family. They include “in sickness and in health, till death do us part,” and so on. However, many couples decide to write their own vows!

If you aren’t the writing type, or if you’re perfectly happy using the standard vows, that’s just fine! But writing your own vows can also be a heartwarming way to make your wedding ceremony unique, and profess your love in a way that’s special to you and your partner.

If this sounds like something you would like to try, there are just a few things you should consider before saying “I do” to writing your own vows.

WHAT ARE YOUR OFFICIANT’S CONSTRAINTS?

There are certain words and customs that your officiant has to include in the ceremony, so you’ll want to talk with him or her about the logistics of including your own vows. Before starting to write them, make sure you understand the flow of the ceremony so that your vows fit with the non-negotiable elements that your officiant must include.

AVOID CLICHÉS

Many great speeches begin with a great quote. And to put it simply, your vows are a speech proclaiming your love for your partner. However, this is not the only way to start a speech. Your vows should be unique, so try your best to avoid clichés. Of course, it’s fine to look at other vows for inspiration, but the point of writing your own vows is that they’re unique and special to you. So keep that in mind!

NOT TOO MANY INSIDE REFERENCES

On the flip side, you also don’t want your vows to be so special to you that your guests aren’t able to follow along. Your wedding guests won’t mind inside jokes if they’re presented in a way that makes some sense, but remember that you invited your guests to witness your marriage ceremony, and they’re going to be confused if your vows are just a collection of references they don’t understand.

KEEP IT SHORT

We know, you could go on about why you love your partner for ages—after all, that’s why you’re marrying them. But you’ll have a lifetime to tell them, so it’s best that you keep your vows pleasantly succinct. Take note of how lengthy other vows are, and use them as a reference!

After you’ve written your vows and feel that they’re aisle-ready, run them by your wedding party and get their critiques. They’re here to help you have the best wedding possible, so they’re a great resource to help you write and edit your vows, should you need them.

There are so many different ways of saying “I love you,” and your vows are just one way. Take these tips into consideration, but ultimately, make your vows as personal and sweet as you feel is right. You’ll never get a better opportunity to show your friends and family just how much you love this person, so you should feel free to do it in a way that is perfect for you.