Here Comes the Bride, With AI-Generated Wedding Vows

Gold diamond ring with a harsh shadow on an offwhite background

Photograph: Lars Dogondke/Getty Images

May 1, 2023 11:00 AM

Here Comes the Bride, With AI-Generated Wedding Vows

Something old, something new, something borrowed—and something spouted by ChatGPT.

As the height of wedding season approaches, some people are turning to artificial intelligence for help with their hitches. Yes, ChatGPT can spin those unremarkable wedding vows into something more poetic, or add jokes to that toast.

Turning to a chatbot to express your deepest love may feel cold, lazy, or even dystopian. But those harnessing the tech say it can help break through writer’s block triggered by the high expectations set for a special day. Some people are becoming comfortable using AI in the most intimate aspects of their lives.

For some, using ChatGPT for help with weighty words like wedding vows can seem like a joke, but it can spin out phrases that defy expectations. Michelle Albert, who lives in Seattle, says she asked the bot to write vows, expecting something funny. Instead, the output was sweet, although also generic. It gestured broadly to her fiancée’s intelligence, kindness, and beauty, and threw in clichés like, “I love you more than words can say.”

Still, the unexpected fluency piqued Albert’s interest and pushed her to start writing personal vows. “The best use case for me is just inspiration,” says Albert. She also used ChatGPT to develop ideas for how to have difficult conversations with family and friends about downsizing her wedding, meaning some people she loves won’t be invited. She and her fiancée also used the bot to help draw up an itinerary for their five-day honeymoon in Hawaii.

Joy, a popular wedding-planning website and app, now has an AI tool built on ChatGPT meant to help defeat writer’s block. Its drop-down menu lets people pick from a slew of options, including writing speeches and toasts, drafting thank you notes, and crafting punny wedding hashtags, like or “#MyOhMaui” for a wedding in Hawaii or “#SailingToMarriageOnTheHighSeas” for one given in the style of a pirate.

Vishal Joshi, Joy’s CEO and cofounder, says he understands the initial apprehension some may feel about using AI for such personal touches. “Are we trying to make something which is so emotional and so personal—are we attempting to automate it?” Joshi says. “We had that struggle.”

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But some Joy users appear to have gotten over any qualms. Generating vows and toasts have become the most popular functions of the AI features since they rolled out in March, Joshi says. He sees that as fitting with the fact that long before AI came on the scene, many people struggled to articulate their feelings on a wedding day. “Getting those emotions onto paper is so much harder than any one of us acknowledges,” Joshi says.

To generate speeches, Joy prompts a user to give details of a memorable story about the couple and their relationship, like how they met or when a person first met their future in-laws. For vows, the app asks a person to highlight what they love most about their partner. They can then choose the style of delivery, directing the system to generate something that might come from a friend, Shakespeare, or a pessimistic ex. One vow suggestion in the style of the playwright begins: “To stroll the beach in front of us, I’d give the world to share, thy values of repose and revelry matched with mine, that is so rare.”

Like with anything a ChatGPT-style bot spouts, AI-crafted vows or speeches can include tales that may not be true. In WIRED’s tests, it could take several attempts and edits before ChatGPT included enough details about the couple or a memory to make something that felt personal and authentic enough to read out in front of guests and witnesses.

Before ChatGPT, a best man or maid of honor might turn to Google for speech ideas and templates. Using a chatbot could provide an alternative shortcut, with end results similar to taking inspiration from another speech or buying a Hallmark card with a generic message. But tapping AI could also add new tensions to an already high-pressure project.

Even couples ready to make a lifelong commitment may disagree about the ethics of using a chatbot. If one partner used ChatGPT to write vows in a few minutes and another spent hours staring at a blank page before pouring out words that came straight from the heart, their efforts may feel unmatched. But some couples might embrace it as an innovative way to get to a better result: a meaningful, memorable vow.

ChatGPT’s linguistic skills come from its training on vast swathes of the web, including countless standard speech and vow formats. That might raise concerns that its suggestions will be too pat or formulaic. But the ritualistic nature of nuptials means that using AI-generated text that pulls from other toasts and vows might not be jarring. When two people stand before friends and family and declare the words that millions have said before them, they enter into a revered club of matrimony. “What makes it mine to say is that I say it—not necessarily that I wrote it,” says Quinn White, a professor of philosophy at Harvard University who studies the ethics of love and relationships. Because of that, it might not matter if vows and speeches generated by chatbots have similarities. “I think in the context of a ritual, sameness isn’t always bad.”

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Slinging a few clichés is arguably better than bombing a toast. That was entrepreneur Ben Hart’s reasoning when he started ToastWiz, an AI tool that prompts people to input personal details and memories and uses GPT-4 to come up with a clean, clear, but still personal speech. A few years ago, Hart was asked to give a toast at his mom’s wedding. He put off writing it, and when he took the mic on the wedding day to “fully wing it,” he blanked. Pay ToastWiz a one-off fee of $29.99 and Hart says you’ll get three “unique” speeches in a flash.

AI can also help out with smaller details of wedding planning. Brandon Kazimer and Jen Merlitti, who will marry this summer in Illinois, turned to ChatGPT to help them craft signature wedding cocktails. The bar package they purchased for their reception came with a set menu—adding even one extra ingredient would be pricey. The couple scoured Pinterest and cocktail websites for recipes and talked to their caterer, but they felt overwhelmed by choices.

ChatGPT came to the rescue. The couple says they prompted it with the ingredients they had, along with the styles of cocktails they liked. The bot nailed the assignment. For Merlitti, it offered up a strawberry and basil vodka spritzer, and for Kazimer, a drink he’s calling the GPT Martini: gin, dry vermouth, olive brine, fresh lemon juice, celery, bitters, one stuffed green olive, and a lemon peel. “Nothing just quite felt right for us,” Kazimer says. “So leave it to AI to solve our problem in five seconds.”

Kazimer and Merlitti say they won’t be using ChatGPT for their vows. But by working together under pressure—and looping in a chatbot—they have one more thing checked off their long wedding-planning list and some personalized drinks. And who’s to say there’s nothing romantic about that?

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Amanda Hoover is a general assignment staff writer at WIRED. She previously wrote tech features for Morning Brew and covered New Jersey state government for The Star-Ledger. She was born in Philadelphia, lives in New York, and is a graduate of Northeastern University.
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