Writing your wedding vows can be daunting—after all, how do you sum up years of Netflix marathons, late night conversations, and takeout dinners with just the two of you? Some things can never fully be articulated and love is one of them.

However, even the attempt to capture and explain your affections for your partner is a gesture as powerful as the thing itself. Add all your assembled guests and you have the groundwork for a treasured moment you both will never forget. Follow these simple suggestions for vow writing success!

1.) Follow a general format.

This simple layout guarantees vow success: start with one or two anecdotes about your relationship, say two or three things you love about your groom, and then end with specific promises. If both you and your groom work off the same format, your vows will be complimentary in tone and length.

2.) Avoid clichés.

The world is made up of poetry, songs, and books that extol the virtues of love—and a plethora of clichés have evolved, from general sayings like “my heart skips a beat around you” to “you make me the happiest person alive.” While it’s okay to include a couple of these sugary sayings, try to be specific to your partner. Instead of saying, “I get butterflies around you,” describe how you feel when you see him first thing in the morning or the how you appreciate his love for your family. These are the real things you love about him and their truth will touch him.

3.) Pick your promises.

An essential part of vows are the promises you make. Feel free to include general promises, like “I promise to stand by you even when life is difficult” and more specific commitments that are unique to your personalities, like “I promise to be an Eagles fan, if only for football season.”

4.) Make it pretty.

Write your vows out on a pretty card or notebook or slip them inside of an old book. This way they will add aesthetically to your day and you won’t be reading off an old envelope!

Need inspiration? Want a beautiful card to write your vows in? Here are our favorites.