How to Recover if You Mess Up Your Wedding Vows

Ceremony & Vows, Etiquette

Sure, the planning (and excitement!) tends to focus on the wedding reception, but it wouldn't be a wedding without the ceremony! And the highlight of the ceremony, besides that first kiss, is definitely the vows. You might have written your own, or you might be saying the same words thousands of couples have said before you, but either way, the middle of your vows could very well be the moment when your pre-wedding jitters finally bubble up to the surface and — oops! — you've flubbed your line. Now what? Our experts weigh in on how to recover.

First of all, don't sweat it! You are not the first person, nor will you be the last, to have nerves/emotions/excitement get in the way of repeating after your officiant. So take a deep breath, then try one of the following:

Ask your officiant to break the vows down into shorter phrases.
If "I, Susan, take you, Michael, to be my husband" is too much to remember (or a slip of the tongue has gotten you, Michael, taking Susan!), try starting with "I, Susan," then move on to "take you, Michael," and so on.

Pause for a breather.
Make eye contact with your officiant to let him or her know you need a moment to collect yourself. Then grab a tissue to dab at happy tears, firmly take your soon-to-be spouse's hands in yours, and smile before you start again from the beginning of your line.

See more: Must-Know Tips for Writing Your Own Wedding Vows

Laugh it off!
Whether you've accidentally promised that you'll never do dishes again, or have simply lost track of the syllables, a moment of laughter will lighten the mood. After all, it's not the end of the world.

Now that you've gotten that little blunder out of your way, turn your attention back on your vows and the person you're saying them to with renewed focus. After all, you've got to get to the end so you can seal it with a kiss!

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