Renewing Wedding Vows - Examples and Sample Vows for a Wedding Vow Renewal Ceremony
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!
Wedding vow renewal ceremonies can be as creative and personal as you want them to be. Walk down the aisle to classical music and walk out to “your song”. 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.
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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!
A couple can end their vows with a poem, for example, this verse by James Weldon Johnson:
"The world, for me, and all the world can hold is circled in your arms,
A minister may state the following "Declaration of Intent" before the couple takes the standard wedding vows:
"When you first joined hands and hearts 40 years ago, you did not know where life would take you. You promised to love, honor and cherish one another through all things. Life has surely brought you both wonderful blessings and difficult tribulations. Therefore, you have fulfilled your promise. And God is smiling! So, as you come here today to reaffirm your wedding vows and as you reflect back over all the years as husband and wife, do you now reaffirm the vows you took 40 years ago? If so, repeat after me.
(Insert your personally written vows)
The following example vows have been adapted from Diane Warner's Complete Book of Wedding Vows. A couple may say these words to one another just before they take the vows of their choice.
"You are mine, my love, and I am yours, as ordained by God from the beginning of time. God brought us together, kept us together.
Writing your own vows?
Try the following to help you with the writing of your personalized wedding vows:
The Wedding Vow Toolkit - The ultimate tool that will help you write personalized vows that are romantic and special.
Equipped with the research and their answers, a couple is often better able to express what is in their heart. Remember that love brings even the most reticent tongue to verse! Some of the most beautiful vows I have heard come from those who have never written before. Also, in answering these questions, you are creating a precious document. How often do we take the time to complete such an exercise? You will cherish these words for the rest of your lives---and perhaps can even pass it along to your children one day.
WEDDING VOW RENEWAL TIPS
Examples and Sample Vows for a Wedding Vow Renewal Ceremony
If there are new rings to exchange:
Many couples want to keep the rings they exchanged when they married. But, for those who would like to exchange new rings here are some vows you might say to one another while you exchange the new rings.
As the husband and wife exchange new rings:
"We have lived and loved as we promised long ago in the presence of God, and our past and future are a circle unbroken, much like these rings, with which we renew our pledge to one another of never-ending devotion."
Vows for Reaffirming with your original wedding rings:
Husband/Wife hold hands, touch the other's ring and say:
Know that there are sections for vow renewals in most wedding books. Your readings can be tailored to represent a more mature love. The Anniversary Song by Naomi Long Madgett is popular with couples and is often read along side a biblical verse. And. speaking of music, following are suggestions for songs to play during the ceremony or at the party that may follow:
Best Anniversary Songs Often Make Good Music & Songs for Wedding Vow Renewal Ceremonies -
Renewing Your Wedding Vows: A Complete Planning Guide to Saying "I Still Do"
Wedding vow renewal information and sample vows for renewal ceremonies generously written and submitted by Rev. Susanna Stefanachi Macomb, Interfaith Minister, Author of Joining Hands and Hearts - Intercultural Wedding Celebrations: A Practical Guide for Couples.