Traditional Wedding Vows – Who Goes First?

By Fatime G

If you’re a stride away from your wedding date, you’ve probably started scribbling down a couple of vows drafts. We get it; the whole exchange of a lifetime of commitment in front of all your friends and family is not the most leisurely trip. And while we’re still on the topic of the greatest of all time wedding jitters, allow us to take a shot at another one- who’ll read out the vows first? The history of traditional vows is pretty straightforward; the groom always goes first. However, a significant fraction of the modern-day couples have challenged the patriarchal complex of traditional vows, with most seeking alternative approaches.

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1. Understanding traditional wedding vows

Traditional wedding vows date back to centuries of society’s religious structure- the male superiority complex behind the conventional wedding vows order is based on old traditions. As a result, most settings align the male gender with the properties of leadership and strength. However, with most gender-neutral and equality spectrums standing to question the conventional order of vows, there’s been an urgent need for alternative approaches. We look at traditional orders of vows in four ways to lay the case to rest.

2. Traditions for the win

Traditions have been the cornerstone of every society, so why overlook that now? Check in with your cultural or religious institution to determine how best to approach the vow order situation. Then, reach out to your intimate circle of friends and family for insight on how things should go.

3. Relationship dynamics

The couple’s dynamic makes for the most significant driving factor. In a sense, no one has the answer to your traditional vows order dilemma, but you; use that to your advantage by trusting your gut. We’re all for tabling the issue with your partner for their standpoint and a mutual decision.

4. Fluidity

Going with the flow is the whole effortless approach to settling this age-old strife. Whether or not the order of traditional vows matters to you, fate cuts it as the best way to break the tie. So let your wedding ceremony unfold in its natural aura before you consider to rock, paper, scissors your way out of this one.

5. Teaming up

Marriage is teamwork; implement this through your vows. You can choose to recite your vows with your partner for a more equitable approach. Ask your clergy to pose the ‘repeat after me set of vows’- this way, you can both respond in unison.

Image courtesy of shevtsovy/Shutterstock


Traditional wedding vows have been a go-to for years. However, the question of who gets to read out their vows first may have no definitive answer due to the differences in institutions, personal preference, cultural and social beliefs. Nevertheless, there are several alternatives couples can explore to find the perfect flow for them.