4 Questions to Ask When Renewing Your Wedding Vows

A mature man and woman holding hands and each wearing a wedding ring.

After a little while, even the best marriages can become a comfortable and companionable experience that, perhaps, goes on autopilot for a bit. On the other hand, some marriages experience major bumps in the road due to tragedy and life changes. In either of these cases, couples who realize they want to reaffirm their love for each other often choose to hold a vow renewal. This can be a small moment together in a beautiful place, or it can be a big celebration with family and friends. When thinking about the best way to renew your wedding vows, discuss a few different topics mentioned below.

1. How Will Family Feel About Your Vow Renewal?

While most families are quite happy with the idea of a vow renewal, just think about the timing of it in the context of your family. If your anniversary falls near another major event, be it someone else’s wedding or a sad event like a funeral, think about how to make sure that your event shares the spotlight well among family members. Letting your nearest and dearest know in person or on the phone may help make this an exciting experience for everyone, rather than just sending invitations through the mail.

2. How Big or Intimate Do You Want the Vow Renewal to Be?

A gay couple at their vow renewal with friends around them.

Your partner may have a different picture in their mind than you when they hear “vow renewal.” If you want a big celebration and they want a small one, perhaps compromise by planning an intimate vow ceremony and a big restaurant dinner afterwards with your closest loved ones. Try to find a compromise on the way you celebrate this occasion since, after all, marriage requires quite a lot of compromise! This discussion doesn’t have to have a one-size-fits-all answer. You aren’t held to the traditions of a typical wedding, which is a good thing: your vow renewal is a blank canvas for you two to write upon.

3. Do You Want to Use Your Original Vows or Write New Ones?

Some couples choose to simply redeclare their original wedding vows to each other. After all, being married for many years can lead you to realize just how meaningful and challenging those vows are! Others feel that their growth as a couple merits a change in the vows, or a tailoring to their own experiences. Regardless of which way you think you might go, dig up the old vows, crack open a bottle of wine, and read them through together. You will probably have a lively discussion and a nostalgic journey together as you choose what would make the best vows to use in your new ceremony.

4. What Is the Budget for This Event?

Catered food on a table for a vow renewal ceremony.

Once you’ve thought through the goals and the emotional sides of the event, it’s time to think about the money. Here are a few things that you may (or may not) want to budget for:


Do you want cake or desserts, or would you like to spring for a catered meal? Maybe you’d prefer a potluck to save money and keep the event casual. Food is often a big expense, so give it some thought.

Decorations and Flowers

For a big event, this might be a valuable line item, but you can do almost no decorating if you are aiming to choose a pretty setting and let it shine. Do you want to walk down the aisle with a traditional bouquet? Consider how much you want to invest in these touches.


If you are hosting a vow renewal with a large group of people, you’ll probably end up renting a venue somewhere, unless you use a beautiful backyard or public park for the ceremony.

Other costs, including hiring an officiant and buying new outfits, are possible, but certainly not necessary. Choose the items and aspects that make you, your guests, and your spouse the most comfortable. Sometimes it’s better to start from a hard number and work backwards to what you want, but if you have the funds to spare, you can also fit your budget to your goals for the event.

Vow renewals are meaningful ways to celebrate sticking with your spouse for a number of years. By selecting a vow renewal plan that works with your style, you can celebrate your marriage with those you love best, all while reaffirming your goal of being with each other forever.

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