This second “walk” down the aisle is arguably a lot less nerve-racking than the first, as you won’t have jitters concerning what’s to come! Celebrate the life you’ve created together with a ceremony that’s all about you two–and this time you can involve the kids. Check out our ultimate vow renewal guide:
Pick a “Starting Point”
You don’t need an exact plan of what your renewal ceremony will entail, however it’s a good idea to have a few ideas in mind. Make a list of “must-haves,” such as songs, special readings, venue ideas, etc. If you’re religious, you may want to have the ceremony in a church or chapel; if not consider a garden or beach ceremony.
Book an Officiant
Because this isn’t a wedding, there’s no paperwork involved–simply celebrate your love for one another! Ask a friend or family member to officiate if desired, or hire someone. Look at officient websites and ask for recommendations; you can also ask your pastor to perform the ceremony. Whatever else, choose someone who fits your vibe as a couple.
Talk About Vows
This is the whole point of the ceremony, so don’t wait till the last minute! Talk to each other early on about what type of vows you want to say, such as your original vows or ones that discuss what your life together means to you and what you hope the future will bring. Reciting a heartfelt poem is also an idea, and there’s plenty of books and websites for finding meaningful options.
Plan the Party
Don’t forget to plan the party–the wedding party! You don’t have to have bridesmaids and groomsmen unless you really want them, however most couples choose to incorporate their children in some way. Siblings and best friends may also be included.
Go Ring Shopping
Having new rings made is totally optional, as you can slip off your wedding rings and put them back on during the ceremony. You may also hold hands the entire time, something some couples choose to do. If you do buy new rings, options include thicker bands for men and diamond eternity rings for women.
Make the Guest List
While vow renewals tend to be smaller gatherings, feel free to invite as many people as you want. Throw a smaller party if it was a big to-do the first time around, or vice versa. Invite everyone to your favorite restaurant after the ceremony, or throw a backyard barbecue! Don’t be afraid to get creative as go as causal as you want.
Find a dress that fits the theme of your ceremony. For example, if exchanging vows in a lovely park, go for a light, “airy” gown in a vibrant hue. What about loft ceremony? A short dress totally works. Your “groom” should dress to match you, such as khakis and a button-down shirt, or a three-piece suit.
Think About the Details
The cake, the decorations, the flowers, the favors…there’s plenty to consider! Pick exactly what suits you–if you don’t feel like carrying a bouquet, or want one made of buttons or old jewelry, go for it. If you want nothing else other than a big, fabulous cake, go for it. There’s no rules with a vow renewal–do whatever you want!