Take, choose, accept: what do you want to promise?

Couples often ask if they can use the word ‘take’ rather than ‘accept’ when they make the legal declaration at the climax of their wedding ceremony. 

It’s a good question.

The Registrar General of Scotland’s web site says There is no legally prescribed form of words to be used in relation to ‘marriage vows’ in Scotland”, but it also says that the parties must make a declaration, in the presence of each other, the celebrant and two witnesses, that they either accept each other as husband and wife or accept each other in marriage or make both declarations”.

You might think that means you have to use the word ‘accept’. 

You don’t. 

You can use any words that indicate acceptance, like take, or choose. 

If you like the idea of saying, “I do”, then you can ask each other a question that will prompt the desired response. 

So here’s a way you can do both of those things.

Bride says, “I, NAME, take you, NAME, as my husband. Do you accept me as your wife?

Groom replies I do.”  

Groom says “”I, NAME, take you, NAME, as my wife. Do you accept me as your husband?”
Bride replies, “I do.”

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