Who Usually Says Their Wedding Vows First?


A marriage vow is a crucial highlight of nearly every wedding ceremony. It is a unique moment when you share how you feel about your spouse, make lifelong promises, and reflect on your journey together. 

For this reason, the session is not only an emotional moment but a magical part of the ceremony that should leave a long-lasting impression.

As the countdown to your big day begins, you may wonder who will come first in exchanging marriage vows and whether it is okay to stick to the traditional order of exchanging vows.

What is the Standard Order in the Exchange of the Vows?

The traditional order of vows follows the standard practice in most religious weddings, where the groom says his vows before the bride. 

Although no existing law supports the procedure, males are presumed to be heads of households, so naturally, they take their vows first. 

That doesn’t mean you must follow the tradition if you want a religious ceremony. You can still negotiate with the officiating clergy or priest on the possibility of switching the order if you wish.

On the other hand, in modern practice, you can agree with your spouse on who says the vows first, especially if you plan a nondenominational wedding ceremony. 

How Do You Determine the Order?

The wedding industry has undergone significant changes owing to a rapid rise in modern trends. 

As a result, patriarchal weddings have shifted to allow more gender-neutral and unbiased practices in wedding ceremonies. 

For instance, at the moment, there’s no universally recognized order of exchanging vows between the bride and the groom.

So, if you’re wondering who will read the vows first, here are a few suggestions to consider:

Stick to the Tradition

For a religious ceremony, you may not have the freedom to change the vow order because of the laid down religious specifications. 

If you plan a religious occasion and feel okay with the current practice, you may opt to stick to the tradition where the groom comes first.

Have a Mutual Agreement

Couples have varying personality dynamics, which greatly influence their choice of order of vows. Therefore, before the big day, you may talk with your spouse and agree on a mutual perspective. Ideally, it would help to consider what naturally resonates with your mutual feelings.

Leave It to Fate

If you totally can’t decide the vows’ order, how about leaving the decision to fate? Here, we suggest decision-making activities such as flipping a coin, drawing straws, or even rolling dice.

You may organize these activities at your joint shower party or a well-attended engagement party to make it more fun and lively. 

Exchange Your Vows Jointly

Although not popular, you may decide to recite your vows simultaneously. 

However, the mutual exchange of vows is not recommended if your vows differ. In such a situation, you may opt to recite, in unison, the answers to the questions that your wedding officiant will ask with “I do” or say the “Repeat After Me” set of vows.

Bottom Line

Generally, there are no formal rules guiding the order of exchanging vows except for religious ceremonies. 

You are, therefore, free to decide whether the bride or the groom should come first in saying the vows. 

You may stick to the tradition, agree with your spouse, or leave it to fate. Better still, you can say the vows jointly if it resonates with your natural feeling.


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