How to Hand-Letter Your Wedding Vow without Guidelines (The Simple Way)

calligraphy, project how-to

Lettering Your Own Vow / Writing a Love Letter in Calligraphy

Making something beautiful for a reminder of your wedding day can be quiet simple. Especially if you’ve got a calligraphy hand… in hand. Let’s get started!

Personally, this project took me a couple of hours. If you’re the kind of person (like me) who likes to finish something in one sitting, don’t start until you have that kind of time.

If you haven’t got a ‘calligraphy hand’ under your belt, you can use your own handwriting or hand-lettering for this project. But, I also recommend (without paid affiliation) the Kaitlin printable worksheet by The Postman’s Knock… if you have weeks before your vow needs to be ready.

So now you have the words, and the format of your vow. (If you haven’t, read our previous post: Things to Consider When Lettering Wedding Vows) If you type your whole vow into a text box in a word processor, you can see roughly how many lines it would form. As a rough guide, the 8 x 10 inches (or A4, or roughly the home printing paper size) fits about 100 words and 15 lines of medium-sized lettering. Before writing in the actual (final) paper, the simplest way is to use modern calligraphy and flush left justification.

Take a regular (printer) paper with the same size, and write your vow in calligraphy/hand lettering with pencil. This helps us determine spacing, and also smooth some hiccups with letter combinations. Note everything that needs to be improved on the real deal (I just add an ‘!’ to a line that’s a bit too long, and a if it’s too short, so I can adjust the space between letters later).


When finished, I put the ‘sketch’ paper and the actual ‘final’ medium side by side and my guard paper as ‘ruler’ underneath (see image above), moving it down every line to match my draft. This is how I make sure I write every line straight without actually drawing guide lines. Then just copy every line to the final paper, pausing to mind everything you decided in your previous draft before doing so.


There you have it! It might be daunting to do it on the ‘real paper’, because you can’t make too many mistakes. But still, try to breath and relax, taking a break every 3 lines to stretch your hand, neck, and shoulder (while restart-cleaning your nib, if using dip pen).