A notable portion of your wedding ceremony is the exchanging of vows. Without reading your vows and making promises to one another, you wouldn’t officially be united in marriage. But who says their vows first?
First, let’s talk about who says the vows at a wedding: the couple does!
Second, when does the couple say their vows? Vows may be said at different points during the ceremony depending on your faiths. The wedding vows always come before you say “I Do”.
The wedding vows are usually recited after readings and before rings are exchanged and placed on your fingers.
Now, let’s get to the big question: who says their vows first? Who says “I Do” first?
The bride OR groom can say their vows first! Traditionally speaking, the groom typically says his vows first. However, that is not a rule and can vary depending on what you decide as a couple, your faith, what your officiant suggests, or the order of events you choose.
PRO TIP: You can outline the order of events on your wedding program.
Here are some ways to decide who should say their wedding vows first at your ceremony.
Who Says Wedding Vows First
1. Who Likes Speaking In Front of a Group?
Who is more comfortable with public speaking?
The person who is more anxious or fears public speaking should read their vows first.
This more outgoing person should go second. Why?
It gets the nerves out of the way!
If you’re anxiously waiting for your turn, you’ll not be able to listen to your partner as they read their vows.
But if you go first, you can relax and listen intently without any fears as your partner reads his or her vows.
2. More Emotional? Go First
Whoever is the more emotional says their wedding vows first. This is so they can pull themselves together afterward and be able to listen to their partner’s vows.
3. Ask Your Officiant To Decide
The bottom line is, your officiant will elect one of you to say your vows first or will give you the option to decide.
Should You Read Your Wedding Vows from a Book?
Do you need vow books to read your vows? No, not necessarily, but they are a nice touch. You may want to have vow books or booklets (see some suggestions below) if you are writing your own vows or if you are adding to traditional vows.
Some people like to include a quote, or a line from a song, or add in an anecdote. Writing them down in a vow book is a great way to keep your thoughts organized and not lose your train of thought during your wedding.
You will also find it easier to read from the book, keeping your hands steady, versus a piece of paper that will shake and make noise on your microphone.
Any of these vow books will work nicely.
And that does it!
3 Tips To Saying Your Wedding Vows
When you’re saying your vows, do these three things:
1. Take a deep breath.
Breathe first. Taking a deep breath before speaking is a great way to stay calm and focused.
2. Speak slowly and clearly.
Don’t talk too fast, or guests won’t be able to hear your vows.
3. Look at your partner, not the crowd.
When I was nervous about saying my vows in front of a large room of guests, our priest told us to pretend no one else in the room was there, especially when we were saying our vows.
This was truly one of the best words of advice I was given.
Instead of looking at the room and how many eyes were on us, I looked into his eyes and it suddenly felt so easy. The nerves washed away! I only saw him and everyone else disappeared at that moment.
After your wedding, a nice way to keep your wedding vows in sight is with wedding vow art. Here are two examples you can custom create at Minted.
Enjoy it — it goes by too fast!