A vow renewal ceremony is a splendid way to mark an anniversary, celebrate a major milestone in your relationship, or simply remind yourselves of the power of your marriage. So, it’s safe to say that if you’re keen on having one, you probably want to make it a special occasion.
Luckily, that’s not hard to do as vow renewals don’t abide by the same traditional rules of a wedding. At the end of the day, you can essentially do whatever you want—whether that’s making it a private affair or going all out. The best part, some may say, is that a vow renewal ceremony lets you do a second take on your wedding and completely on your terms.
Wondering how to make the most of it? Here are a few suggestions to make your vow renewal day beautiful, special and, most importantly, memorable.
1. A Made-for-You Venue
There are several schools of thought on what your vow renewal venue should be. Some argue that going back to your wedding venue is a must—which is a great idea if you’re planning a vow renewal many years after your marriage. Others, however, think the venue should align more with your personality as a couple and be all about the two of you. And with a smaller (or non-existent) guest list, you have more freedom to pick the location of your dreams.
For example, if both you and your significant other are into camping or spending time outdoors, why not go to a National Park? Winter sports fans? How about a luxurious ski resort? Love happy hour? Take a road trip to a winery! The options are endless—you just have to find the place that’s truly yours.
2. Go Abroad
A vow renewal is also an excellent excuse to take a trip—especially if you couldn’t do a destination wedding before, but wanted one. Again, with a limited guest list, this should be very easy to arrange.
3. A Trip Down Memory Lane
Pick a few dozen photographs from your most memorable moments together as a couple and use them as decoration throughout your venue, as centerpieces on tables, or as individual place cards for your guests. In addition, you may want to host a slideshow during the reception and go through each of them to share your marriage story with your loved ones.
4. Flower Picking
You might not know that many flowers and plants have symbolic meanings. Hence, you may want to be more intentional about the flora you choose to carry in a bridal bouquet or decorate the venue. Choose flowers that either describe your relationship at the moment or what you envision for your marriage going forward.
You can find flower meanings online easily, but some examples are:
- Ivy: Dependence, endurance, and faithfulness
- Amaranth: Immortal love
- Lavender/violet rose: Love at first sight
- Yellow poppy: Wealth and success
5. Keep Your Family Close
The longer you’ve been married, the more likely you have children, grandchildren, or even pets you want to include in the celebration. For example, have your son(s) and/or daughter(s) be the best man or maid of honor—no matter their age. Or, have your dog walk with you down the aisle. If you want, you can even have one of your kids act as an officiant!
6. A Forget-Me-Not
If you choose to make your vow renewal completely differently from your wedding, do include at least one element that reminds you of your original special day. Whether that’s serving the same cake, wearing the same shoes, or revisiting the same venue, it’s a sweet and symbolic way to mark how far you two have come.
Alternatively or in addition, when choosing what to wear, have both you and your partner don something that’s been gifted by the other.
7. Do Something Thrilling
Although it’s wise to keep an element of the old, it’s just as important to include something new and exciting as part of your vow renewals—if for no other reason than to symbolize taking the next step in your journey as a couple. So, don’t be afraid to take yourselves out of the comfort zone and mark the occasion. Adrenaline-boosting ideas, such as bungee jumping or parachuting, are a great option! Not to mention, the thrill of experiencing something new together will only secure your relationship further.
8. Writing on the Wall
Last but not least, do commemorate the special occasion. Consider hiring a calligrapher to write each of your vows on pretty paper and place them next to your original wedding photo and your vow renewal photo, side-by-side. Frame it, and you’ll have an eternal memory of the special event.