Whether you’re one year into your marriage or 50, renewing your vows is a celebration that all married couples can do to recommit to their spouse. If you’ve ever wondered what renewing your vows really means and how to even go about planning a vow renewal ceremony, then continue reading for some tips and insight into planning the perfect vow renewal!
What is a vow renewal?
Vow renewals are, quite simply, where you renew your vows to your spouse. Couples do this in a variety of ways — in front of others, to each other privately, without a pastor, or even in their own backyard. Unlike a wedding, vow renewals have very little tradition and are typically completely open to interpretation. Whether you choose to exchange rings is entirely up to you — renewing your vows doesn’t change the wedding ring symbolism from when you were first married. Instead, a renewal is similar to an affirmation. A reminder, if you will, that you’re still dedicated to the vows you took however long ago.
When do couples do a vow renewal?
Couples do vow renewals whenever they feel it’s necessary. Some choose to do a vow renewal after infidelity and a recommitment and reassurance that the situation is past them. Others do it after large milestones, such as having children. And others have a vow renewal when one is diagnosed with a difficult illness or even when one overcomes it. And some couples do a vow renewal just because. It’s entirely up to each couple individually how they’d like to complete their vow renewal.
Do you need an officiant for a vow renewal?
Nope! In fact, some couples choose to not have anyone standing behind them as they renew their vows to each other. If you’re feeling this brave, then simply practice with your spouse before reading your vows to each other in front of any family or friends you have present.
Of course, if you want to keep your vows to each other secret, then simply go over how you’ll walk in, any welcoming or statements you’ll give to your guests, and when you’ll start reading your vows to each other. While you don’t need an officiant for your vow renewal, it is important to have some semblance of a plan so that you and your spouse look like you put some thought into it!
You don’t need an officiant because you’re already married. An officiant’s job at your wedding is to act as an authority from the government to say that you willingly entered into a marriage and sign off that they performed the ceremony. A vow renewal doesn’t negate your earlier vows — it affirms them! An officiant isn’t needed for your vow renewal, but many couples still use one just to make the ceremony feel more official. Others ask close friends or family to lead the ceremony and say a few words before vows are said.
How to Plan a Vow Renewal
You can plan a vow renewal pretty quickly once you decide to have one. However, here are some tips that can make the planning go easier!
- Choose a date far out enough so you can invite people. If you’d like close friends and family to witness your vow renewal, be sure to choose a date far out enough in advance that your guests can reserve time off, arrange travel or do anything else they’ll need to in order to be present!
- Decide where your vow renewal will be. Many couples choose to have their vow renewal at their own homes to save money. However, others go all out and consider it their Wedding 2.0! Either way is totally fine — just be sure to make the decision where your vow renewal will be held so you know where to tell guests to go.
- Order food, flowers, or anything else you want to have at your vow renewal. Consider what your goals really are with your vow renewal. Will you carry a bouquet or have your spouse wear flowers? Maybe you’ll have one of your kids put flower petals down on the ground. Make a plan for these things and then get them ordered!
If you’re ordering new wedding bands, consider also ordering a pair of silicone rings to have in the event your new anniversary bands don’t arrive on time or, if they do, they don’t fit and need to be resized. That way, you’ll have a “new” ring to put on during your vow renewal!
- Write your vows. This is probably the most important part. The vows are the star of the vow renewal, after all! Be sure to write your vows well enough in advance so you don’t feel rushed right before. Take your time with them — really think about your relationship. Over time, you’ll find that your core vows are still the same, but you might specifically vow to do things with your partner that you didn’t mention before.
If you don’t think your handwriting is good enough for handwritten vows, you can type them! Get started early so that you’re not rushing in the days leading up to your vow renewal. No one likes to feel rushed!
- Have your vow renewal! After getting all the details squared away, have your vow renewal! Celebrate with your spouse, gather family and friends … there are so many ways you can renew your commitment to your spouse.
Vow Renewal Ceremony Ideas
There are some vow renewal ceremony ideas you can do to add something extra to your ceremony.
- Wine box. Place a letter to your spouse in a box with a bottle of wine. Then, when things are tough or it’s been a year or two, crack the bottle open and read your letters to each other!
- Celtic knot tying. Tie a knot together in a Celtic fashion!
Water a plant. Split water between two vases, then pours them into a potted plant.
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