If you’ve watched a movie with a wedding scene or been to a few weddings, you’ve probably heard repeating wedding vows before. Repeating vows are when the couple repeats their vows, line for line, after their officiant. Their officiant will say a line and then one partner will repeat it, continuing until both partners recite their full vows.
But what are the pros and cons of repeating wedding vows? Do you have to repeat your vows or can you say them by yourself? Plus, what do you need to know about repeat after me vows if you decide to go that route?
Find out if repeating wedding vows are for you and check out our 10 repeat style vow examples. Say “I do” to some extra help with your wedding vows!
What are the different types of wedding vows?
There are three main types of wedding vows: traditional vows, personal vows and a combination of the two.
Traditional vows: Traditional vows are vows that are prewritten for you – you simply select a prewritten vow to say at your ceremony. You can find these vows online and there are lots of religious and historic examples. They generally follow a set pattern, speak more broadly about love, and can be heard in many ceremonies. Check out our top 20 traditional wedding vows here!
Personal vows: Personal vows are vows that you write yourself. They give you a chance to reflect on your own love story and decide on the exact promises you want to make to your spouse. Personal vows often feel more meaningful and heartfelt because they are unique to your wedding.
There’s nothing more special than taking the time to write personalized vows to your partner and to hear the ones they write for you. If you want to write your own vows but you’re not sure where to start, check out our video vow writing course.
Combination vows: Combination vows combine traditional and personal vows. You may start with a set of traditional vows and tweak some of the language to better suit your relationship. Or you might start with personal vows you write yourself and then borrow a few lines from a traditional vow.
Remember: There are no rules when it comes to writing or putting together your vows – it’s your wedding, your way!
What are the different ways to deliver your wedding vows?
Just like there are different types of wedding vows, there are also different ways to deliver your wedding vows. The two main options are reading or repeating.
Reading: If you opt to read your vows, you will do just that – read your vows! This works best with personal vows where couples can read their vows to one another, in their own words, coming straight from the heart. Typically, the officiant will step aside and each member of the couple will take turns reading their vows off of a piece of paper.
Repeating: If you choose to repeat your vows, you will follow a “repeat-after-me” pattern with your officiant. Each member of the couple will repeat a line that the officiant says. Once partner 1 finishes repeating all the lines of the vow, it will be partner 2’s turn and the officiant will start again from the beginning. This vow delivery usually works better with traditional vows, but can still be an option for personal vows.
Repeating vows example:
Officiant: “I, Taylor, take you, Cory, to be my spouse,”
Taylor: “I, Taylor, take you, Cory, to be my spouse,”
Officiant: “To have and to hold,”
Taylor: “To have and to hold,”
And so on until Taylor finishes their vows. Then, Cory will take their turn, repeating each line after the officiant.
Just an “I do”: If you don’t want to read or repeat vows, the last option would be to skip the vows entirely. Instead, you can simply go with a commitment statement (aka declaration of intent) that your officiant will read out loud. You will answer by saying, “I do.”
3 reasons to choose repeating wedding vows
Repeating vows aren’t for everyone but some couples really like this vow delivery option. Here are three pros to choosing repeat-after-me wedding vows.
They’re short and sweet!
Repeating wedding vows are often shorter than vows you write and read yourself. If you’re looking for a shorter ceremony, this could be a good option. Repeating style vows are also great for couples who are nervous and less comfortable with public speaking, as they’ll only need to say one line at a time.
You can collaborate on your repeating vows
Typically, the same set of repeating vows are spoken by both members of the couple – you’re both saying the same vows. The nice thing about this is that you can collaborate on what you want your shared promises for your marriage to be. You can select the vows together (check out our examples below) or write your own.
Repeat after me wedding vows are perfect for private couples
If the idea of sharing personal wedding vows and promises to one another in front of all of your guests sounds like a nightmare, repeating vows may be for you. At the ceremony, you can opt for a short, pre-written, repeating vow and save the personal vows for a private moment between just you two.
3 reasons NOT to choose repeating wedding vows
Of course, there are some cons to choosing repeating vows. If any of the below bother you, repeating wedding vows might not be the best option for your wedding ceremony.
Your officiant is part of the moment
The nature of repeating vows means that your officiant is a big part of your vow moment. They will be speaking your vows with you and likely in every photo from this part of your ceremony. If you skip repeat after me wedding vows, you can make this moment more intimate by reading your vows directly to one another while your officiant steps to the side.
Your vows can feel stiff
In real life, we very rarely have to repeat what we want to say after someone else, one short line at a time. So it can feel a little bit stiff to only say a few words at a time and then take a giant pause, especially when your officiant just said those same few words. The stop/start motion of repeating vows can remove some of the natural flow and intimacy from the vows moment.
Repeating vows are not as personal
Since you’ll be starting and stopping, involving your officiant in your vows, and very likely saying pre-written vows, it only makes sense that repeat after me vows just feel less personal. As officiants who have witnessed thousands of vows, there’s nothing quite as special as couples reading their own words, from the heart, to one another without any interference. Sadly, you lose out on that with repeating vows.
1 thing to keep in mind with repeating vows
If after reading through the pros and cons above you decide that repeating vows are for you, there’s one very important thing we need you to keep in mind:
Repeating vows will be repeated four times, so keep them short!
Repeat after me vows are said by the officiant, partner 1, the officiant again and then partner 2. That’s four times that every single line will be said out loud. Not only can this get a little monotonous for your guests, but it can also drag on for a long time.
So keep it short and sweet! Guests don’t want to sit through long, tedious vows. And you don’t want to feel awkward repeating after your officiant for minutes that feel like hours. Instead, choose a short vow that can be easily repeated in a short amount of time.
Aim for your repeating vows to be 1-3 sentences (which is really 4-12 sentences after they’re repeated four times, plus pauses). If you really want to say more in your vows, consider reading them yourself instead of repeating. This will cut the overall time in half, as your officiant won’t have to say the vows twice. You’ll also be able to read your vows more naturally and without stopping after every few words.
Alternatively, you could save longer vows for a private moment or wedding day card to your spouse-to-be and still use repeating vows during your ceremony.
10 unique repeat after me wedding vows examples
If you’ve decided that repeat after me wedding vows are right for you, check out 10 repeating wedding vow examples below. From short repeat after me vows to funny repeating vows, we’ve got what you’re looking for. Go ahead and choose your favourite for your upcoming ceremony! Or use this list as inspiration to write your own short and sweet repeating vows.
Traditional repeating vow
I, (NAME), take you, (NAME), to be my spouse, to have and to hold from this day forward. For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, I promise to love and cherish you.
Modern twist on traditional repeating vow
(NAME), I promise to love you in good times and in bad, when life seems easy and when it seems hard, when our love is simple and when it is an effort. I promise to cherish you, and to always hold you in the highest regard.
All the love wedding vow
(NAME), I take you to be my spouse; to share with you the laughter; to kiss away the tears; and to give you all the love in my heart, as long as we both shall live.
Share all that I am vow
I, (NAME), take you, (NAME), to be my partner, to share all that I am and all that I have, for all time to come. I promise to do all in my power to keep my love as deep and as strong as it is today.
All my heart repeating wedding vow
(NAME), I take you to be my partner: to love you with all my heart; to share with you all my soul; to grow with you through all my days; as long as we both shall live.
By your side repeat after me vow
From this day forward, I make a promise that whatever happens, you shall not walk alone. I’ll stand by your side and be your closest confidant. Through our brightest days and our darkest nights, I take you into my heart.
Friendship and marriage wedding vow
(NAME), I commit my life to our friendship and love in marriage. I promise to comfort you, to encourage you, and to support you. I vow to share life and all that I am with you always.
Journey through life repeating vow
I, (NAME), take you, (NAME), to be my partner, lover and friend, to journey through life with, beyond the road’s end. I will love, comfort and honour you, through good times and bad, all of my days.
Best friend and lover wedding vow
Today, I take you, (NAME), as my spouse. I promise to walk by your side forever, as your best friend, your lover, and your soulmate.
Rest of my days repeating wedding vow
(NAME), I promise to love and respect you, laugh with you, share my life openly and honestly with you, support you in times of sadness, and share your joy in times of triumph for all the rest of my days.
Will you be repeating vows on your wedding day? If so, which one of the wedding vow examples above do you like best?
For more help with your wedding vows, get a FREE copy of our vow writing guide!