The Ins and Outs of Renewing Your Vows

Couple holding hands with wedding rings on

It is not uncommon for couples to want a reaffirmation of their love for one another at some point during their marriage. Whether you and your spouse are approaching a significant milestone such as an anniversary, or married somewhere far away and now want to re-celebrate your union with more friends and family, renewing wedding vows is incredibly special. If you and your spouse are thinking about renewing your vows, here are several great tips to help you get started.

Timing Matters, but Only to You

There is no right or wrong time to renew your vows. While many couples wait for years to plan a renewal, you can plan your celebration any time after your initial wedding ceremony. When you decide to reaffirm your love for one another will depend on your specific relationship and circumstances. Discuss timing together; you’ll know when it’s right to move forward with planning.

Anyone Can Host

Don’t let yourself fret over who will host your celebration. There isn’t a specific requirement or popular trend regarding hosting. Some couples prefer to take charge of their own vow renewal, which offers the opportunity to make it as small or as extravagant as they want. If, however, you’re interested in having someone else host your event, here are several great options you can consider: closest friends, original Maid of Honor or Best Man, parents of the bride or groom, or children.

Outdoor wedding with friends and family

Renewals Happen Everywhere

While many wedding ceremonies typically take place in a church or at a privately owned event venue, vow renewals can take place anywhere. Many couples like to choose a location that has personal significance to their relationship, like in the back yard of a home they built together or the place they first met. Vows can be renewed in new places, as well, however. You and your spouse can plan for your celebration to occur on the beach, at a park, during a cruise, at the top of a favorite mountain hike, or at a favorite local establishment. The choice is yours!

It’s Not Like a Wedding

Renewing your vows isn’t legally binding like marriage is. That means that you are free to have anyone you know and love officiate the event. Don’t feel like you have to find a clergyperson, but if you’re close to one it’s certainly a viable choice. Also consider asking a judge, a close friend, your children, or another family member.

Additionally, you and your spouse won’t need a wedding party – unless you really want one! When it comes to renewing your vows, having attendants isn’t necessary. Many couples want to invite their original bridesmaids and groomsmen for sentimental reasons, but don’t feel obligated to do this.

It’s also good form to skip the gifts during a vow renewal. Weddings generally symbolize a new beginning, so it’s the perfect time for guests to give the bride and groom presents. In most cases, renewing vows is mainly about the reaffirmation of a lasting love and gifts aren’t necessary.

Invite Anyone You Want

When planning your vow renewal guest list, know that you can invite anyone you want to. Depending on your preferred location, you can have as many or as few people in attendance as you and your spouse want. If you’re partial to a more intimate reaffirmation, stick with close friends and family only. Want a full-fledged party that includes your entire social circle to re-celebrate your union? You can have that too! Just remember to keep the size of your location in mind when sending out invitations to guests.

Bride and groom walking at sunset on the beach

Attire Is Flexible

One of the best things about renewing your vows is that you have far more flexibility with event attire. You and your spouse will have to decide together what your preferences are, but the options are unlimited. Some brides like to wear their original wedding gown, while others prefer a formal evening gown, cute cocktail dress, or a dress suit. Other couples would rather dress casually and comfortably for the celebration. Groom attire can range from the original wedding tuxedo to a nice pair of slacks, dress shirt, and tie. Spend time discussing the various options with your spouse to make sure you’re both on the same page before the big day!

Plan Your Ceremony Agenda Beforehand

This probably goes without saying, but you’ll want to ensure you have a detailed schedule set for your ceremony. What should be included? Obviously, you and your spouse will want to exchange vows again. All couples do this differently, using their original vows, ones that are reminiscent of their wedding, or brand new ones. You may also want to exchange rings – either your original bands or new rings picked out specifically for the vow renewal. Additional elements you may wish to include are readings by family members or close friends, a photo slideshow, or music from your original ceremony.

Don’t Forget the Reception!

While reaffirming your love for one another is a beautiful reason to bring your friends and family together again, it’s important to take advantage of the fact your loved ones are all near. Once the vow renewal ceremony has concluded, makes sure you plan some sort of reception to keep the party going. This can be a small or large gathering, but it’s important to plan something special for you and your guests.

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