Etiquette for Repeating Wedding Vows

Buccina Studios/Photodisc/Getty Images

Of all the details involved in planning a wedding, the marriage vows might be the most important and personal. Some couples write their own vows. Others take a more conventional route and recite traditional vows. In the latter case, the specific content of the spoken vows usually falls along religious lines, and the vows are repeated by the bride and groom after the religious leader states them.

Repeat After Me

When couples choose to recite traditional vows, the officiant first recites them, and then pauses to let the bride or groom repeat them. It's best to practice a bit -- if you have trouble remembering or hearing spoken words, the officiant might need to adjust the length of the passages. When you repeat the vows, don't worry about your audience -- just focus on your soon-to-be spouse. Repeat the vows clearly but always directed at your loved one. Couples who write their own vows usually do not repeat them after the officiant. Instead, they memorize or read them from a card. Sometimes, the officiant will hold the card for the bride if her hands are full of flowers.