A wedding day is a most special day, when a couple proclaims to the world that they will love and remain committed to each other for the rest of their lives. After the wedding the couple begins married life with one another, and together they experience all the good and (sometimes bad) moments that come their way. Hopefully amidst all of life’s ups and downs they will still love each other as much as the day they said “I do”. Many couples want to celebrate the fact that their love has lasted, and one way they are doing this is by holding a wedding vow renewal ceremony. Let’s take a look at all you need to know about renewing your wedding vows.
Reasons to Renew
Couples have many different reasons for wanting to renew their vows and there is no right or wrong reason to do so. Some choose to do so after a significant wedding anniversary, such as 5, 10, or 25 years of marriage, to show that even though time has passed their feelings have not changed. Some couples who’ve eloped, or who had a very small number of guests for their original wedding, want to hold a celebration with all the people who weren’t able to be there the first time. Other couples had huge elaborate weddings the first time, and want an intimate ceremony to renew their vows. Certain couples may feel their original wedding was a disaster or they didn’t have the money to do it the way they really wanted, and a renewal ceremony can be exactly what they need. There are couples that have had to overcome a hard time in their marriage, whether illness, financial, or personal hardship, and they want to renew their vows and say that they still choose to be together. The reasons for wanting to renew your wedding vows are very personal and there is only one real reason you need – because you want to!
Vow renewal ceremonies are typically hosted by the couple who is renewing their vows, or sometimes by the couple’s adult children. You can invite people formally by invitations in the mail, or more casually by email, depending on how fancy or casual the ceremony will be.
The location of the ceremony can be anywhere you want it to be. It can be at a favourite restaurant, or at an elegant hall. It could be a backyard BBQ or an all-inclusive vacation. Because it is not a legally binding ceremony (that’s what the wedding was for), there are no limitations where your renewal can take place.
It is generally considered unnecessary to have bridesmaids and groomsmen for a renewal ceremony, as it is not supposed to be a recreation of the original wedding. However, having the people from your original wedding party attend your renewal is more than welcome. If you have children or grandchildren, it is a very sweet gesture to involve them in the service. You may pick whomever you please to officiate the ceremony as, mentioned previously, it isn’t legally binding. You could pick a family member, friend, or religious figure, the choice is up to you. Some couples choose to have a ceremony with just the two of them, perhaps while away on vacation, while others want friends and family there. Generally, you don’t need to invite co-workers or acquaintances to the renewal, only people who are very close to you as a couple.
What to Wear
For the outfits there are no rules at all. Woman can wear a white dress, or they can wear any other coloured dress of their choosing. Or maybe it doesn’t have to be a dress at all! Some women choose to wear a veil, others do not. Some choose to hold a bouquet, some don’t. The same freedom of attire goes for men, as they can wear a tuxedo, khakis, jeans, etc. The ceremony should reflect who you are, and you can wear whatever makes you feel the most beautiful and comfortable.
Your renewal ceremony is not a second wedding, and so certain things are no longer necessary. You do not need a bachelor or bachelorette party, as you are not “celebrating” your last single days. You do not need to have a shower, as a wedding shower is to gift the bride with things for her married life. And you should not register for gifts for the ceremony. The gifts given to people at a wedding are to support them in starting their new life together. You and your partner already have a life together and should not expect friends and family to give you more. If people want to give you something of course that is ok, but it should not be an obligation.
The couple can choose to walk down the aisle together, or they may choose to walk individually or with one of their children. Your vows should be very personal, and reflect the love that endures between you. Don’t focus your words on the hard times you may have gone through, but look positively towards the future. You may want to have an older married couple give you a blessing or some words of wisdom, or have your children read something they have written for you. The exchange of wedding rings is still a very popular part of the ceremony, as it signifies the exchange of love. Some couples choose to get their original bands engraved with a meaningful phrase or date, while others prefer to have new bands made for the renewal. And of course, every ceremony should end with a kiss.
In the end, there are no hard rules for wedding vow renewals to follow. Your original wedding may have been influenced by traditions and family obligations, but your renewal ceremony is all about you as a couple. You have had time to grow together and truly become a team, and you have earned the right to hold the ceremony your way.
Sara is the Jewelry Production and Social Media Coordinator at Kimberfire – a brilliant way to buy engagement rings, fine jewelry and loose diamonds in Toronto. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Art from York University and a Diploma in Jewellery Arts from George Brown College. She is skilled in jewellery design using CAD software, as well as traditional goldsmith techniques. When she is not immersing herself in all things jewellery, Sara is a dog mom to Barley, her beagle mix rescue dog who loves a good tummy rub.