Planning Your Vow Renewal Ceremony
A vow renewal is a ceremony where a couple publicly re-commit to their relationship. In a world where divorce is widespread, a couple who manage to stay together through it all deserve a celebration of their love. You don't have to wait for the usual anniversaries like your 25th or 50th. Reasons to consider a renewal can vary from you only got married legally before and now want to marry religiously or vice versa, you didn't have much money and now want something a little more elaborate, there were only a few people present at your first wedding and this time you'd like to invite lots of family and friends, or your relationship has had hard times and you want to reaffirm your commitment to one another.
It's a sentimental rather than an official legal event. Since you're already married your renewal doesn't require any additional paperwork and the ceremony doesn't need to be officiated by a priest, minister or rabbi though they are usually glad to participate, you can have a judge, relative or close friend or adult child do the honors.
Young couples often have a wedding heavily influenced by their parents. The beauty of a vow renewal is that you can have the ceremony you always wanted. There are far less rules about a renewal and it can be as simple or as grand as you want. Invite friends, relative, co-workers or just the two of you on your anniversary.
Here's a checklist of some things to consider:
- When do you want to renew your vows
- What's your budget
- Where should the ceremony be
- Who should officiate
- Who do you invite
- Should your children participate in the ceremony
- Do you want video or photographs
- Are you going to re-use your wedding rings or have new ones made. You can re-dedicate your rings and have them blessed.
- What should you wear
- Any special music
- A sit down dinner, catered, or just cake and champagne
Things not to do:
- Don't have attendants. Your children can have a special role in the ceremony but no bridesmaids or groomsmen. You can invite your original bridal party and recognize them during the ceremony.
- No gifts. Wedding gifts are to help a newly married couple set up their new household
- No bachelor or bachelorette parties; You're married.
Writing Your Vows
Vow renewal language can be sentimental and serious or as light as you want. There's no specific wording required so you're free to personalize it just like the ceremony itself. What you say should reflect your life together and your feelings for one another. You can acknowledge your children and some accomplishments and triumphs of your marriage. Don't dwell on any particular bad times or problems from your past.
I stand once again before you to renew our vows of marriage.
I promise to remain strong in my love, gentle in my care, and unwavering in my trust.
In the name of all we have shared together and all we are yet to be, I offer you my hand and my heart as your partner, your lover, and your lifetime companion.
What greater life and love lesson for your children and grandchildren than to watch as you join your hands and hearts to reaffirm that there is still such a thing as enduring love.