Basically, vow renewal is a way of celebrating a union. Maybe you have successfully made it to say 10+ years in marriage and you’d like to let the world know that you would do it all over again in a flash or perhaps after a rough period in your marriage you want to reaffirm your commitment to each other, then there is no better way than to renew your vows.
Is There a Timeframe to Renew?
A vow renewal can essentially be done any time after the actual wedding. This could either be the next day or even 50 years later. Although there may not be a restricted timeframe, you may not want to renew too often or too soon. It would be more meaningful to reserve the celebration for a milestone year such as 10, 25, or 50.
Who Should Host?
While most couples opt to host their own vow renewals, some tend to have their children do the honors. However, there is a new trend that is catching up fast where the couple’s best couple or closest friend opts to host the event.
Where Should the Renewal be?
This falls squarely on your preference as a couple. You may renew your vows in a house of worship, your home garden, on the beach, on a cruise, or in a public park. Most couples would prefer a place that carries sentimental meaning.
Who Should Officiate?
As opposed to a wedding, vow renewal is not a legally binding ceremony. Essentially, anyone can officiate the ceremony be it a clergy person, judge, close relative, or close friend. Depending on the couples beliefs more significance is attached to officiants who have a legal or religious mandate to bind two people by marriage.
Who Should You Invite?
This will again depend with what you as a couple want. If you choose to celebrate in a more intimate way, you may invite close family members, as well as friends known to you through the years. However, if you choose to have an open reaffirmation ceremony where you invite your extended family and a wider circle of friends, it may be prudent to limit your guest list since this may not be the time to overspend unnecessarily.
How Should the Invitation Be?
The vow renewal invitation should be much similar to a wedding invitation only that the hosts’ names will not appear at the top.
It should read something close to: The honor of your presence is requested at the renewal of the wedding vows of Mr. and Mrs So and So…
On the other hand, if the invitation is issued by the couple’s children it should read: The children of Mr. and Mrs So and So request the honor of your presence at the renewal/reaffirmation ceremony of their parents.
What to Wear?
This is your day. You should dress up! For the bride, your original wedding gown, if it fits, may bring back the good memories. Alternatively, a formal evening wear, a beautiful cocktail dress, or a good suit may do as well depending on your style and taste. A veil may be too much, but a hat or flowers in your hair may do the trick.
For the groom, a suit or your original tuxedo may come in handy. However, you may choose a new or a more creative ensemble for this celebration. Remember that jewellery gift, watch or cuff links your wife got you? This would be the best time to adorn.
Is a Wedding Party Necessary?
For a vow renewal, attendants may not be necessary. However, it would be a good sentimental treat to invite your original bridesmaids and groomsmen. For couples with children and grandchildren, they may feel more honoured being escorted down the aisle or have them perform recitals during the ceremony.
Who Should Walk You Down the Aisle?
Walking down the aisle together captures the moment. Alternatively, you may have your children and/ or grandchildren escort you. Walking down the aisle alone may not be appropriate for this celebration.
What Does the Ceremony Entail?
During this ceremony, you will exchange vows, remembering what you vowed to each other when you were first married. You may also choose to use your original vows. This is indeed an intimate moment when both of you should really think about your relationship and reflecting how far you have come. After both of you have spoken, exchange rings. Your original rings with new engravings may be more appropriate. Alternatively, you may choose to purchase new bands specifically for the renewal. During the ceremony, similar to your wedding, the background music should have sentimental value to the couple.
Is it necessary to have a reception?
Certainly! However, this may vary. You may choose to have a traditional wedding reception or a simple casual barbeque, cocktail party or an intimate family dinner. Oh! Remember to carry your original wedding photo album. It would be interesting to walk your guests down the memory lane. Family photos through the years of marriage may also add on to the flair. You may also use this celebration to thank your family members, friends, and those who’ve significantly contributed to your marriage over the years. Capturing these special moments is crucial, therefore you should remember to hire a professional photographer. These photos may come handy in your next renewal.