The Why, Where, When & How of Renewing Wedding Vows
Renewing wedding vows can be a meaningful, touching, revivifying ceremony for you and your children, family and friends. As a married couple, it is a time to pause and reflect on where you have been and where you are going. It is also a wonderful example to set for your children and grandchildren.
Can you imagine a more beautiful scene than children watching their parents joining hands and hearts as they affirm the magnitude and strength of their enduring love? What greater life/love lesson? I often say at these ceremonies: “True love does not wither or die. It merely ripens.” Afterwards many couples comment as to how surprisingly romantic it all felt!
Let the cover of your invitation feature your grandchild’s favorite drawing of Grandma and Pop Pop or even your first wedding portrait. Play your original wedding video at your reception. Buy new wedding bands for the occasion and have them specially engraved. Your ceremony should be less formal than a wedding – more casual and fun. It can completely reflect the two of you.
Significant anniversaries are especially appropriate times for renewing your commitment and love. I have conducted vow renewals for couples married as little as 10 years and as much as 50 years.
Some couples choose to renew their vows after a particularly difficult crisis in their lives, say for example, the overcoming of a serious illness or a period of estrangement. They want to make it new again! Others simply want to reaffirm the tremendous love that has matured and deepened with the passing of years. But the vow renewal is not wedding or wedding do-over so don’t de-value the day you and your spouse were first joined in marriage. That was a special day no matter where ot how it took place.
Vow renewals are usually conducted by clergy since they are generally more spiritual and not official in nature. However, if you have a warm hearted friend who is a judge or a ship’s captain—that could work nicely as well. Unlike weddings, no legal paperwork is needed for a vow renewal.
The ceremony can be conducted in churches, chapels, temples, banquet facilities, on yachts, out of doors or in the privacy of a couple’s home – with a room full of guests or in an intimate setting with just the couple. Consider reaffirming your vows in some far off, exotic destination! The couples themselves host the celebration because it is so very personal. It is a decision that only you as a couple can make. There are no shot gun vow renewals!