At some point in their married lives, many couples like to turn back the clock to their wedding ceremony to relive the fond memories they have of that day and may decide to renew their wedding vows.
This might mark the end of a difficult period in their relationship, and they just want to celebrate getting through the rough patch by again proclaiming their love for each other.
For others, it coincides with a significant wedding anniversary, perhaps 10 years, 30 years or even 50 years and the couple decide it may be a nice romantic thing to do to remind each other why they decided to get married in the first place. It can give them a chance to celebrate or renew their vows with a unique and personal ceremony.
Some may just want to freshen up their relationship and say to their partner promises that they were unable to say when they got married in church or registry office service previously.
Perhaps the couple have married abroad and would like to celebrate with a ceremony with friends and family in the UK.
Whilst it may seem easy to have a renewal of vows ceremony, if it is to be truly meaningful and memorable, then it can take almost as much prep work as a wedding, but without all the usual associated trappings.
One of the nice things about a renewal of vows ceremony is that there are no rules. There are no legal aspects and there is no paperwork, so the world is your oyster as far as what the ceremony will look like. You can also include friends and even family who were not part of your life on your wedding day.
Before you start, you may wish to ask yourself a few questions.
First you need to decide on the atmosphere you wish to create for the ceremony and decide where the ceremony would be held. Would it be at a hotel, in your back garden, or on a beach?
What time of day would you have it? After work on a weeknight followed by some nice food and celebratory drinks? Or perhaps on a Saturday evening just before you have a lovely dinner? Or would you rather the 2pm afternoon ceremony, similar to a traditional wedding?
Would you prefer your ceremony to be lavish and complex or brief and simple? How many guests would you invite? Would you invite the same guests who were part of your wedding, to help rekindle some of those original memories?
Would you like to have a video or slide show of the original ceremony?
What’s the process in renewing your vows?
As mentioned previously, you can pretty much include whatever you like. It is good to open the ceremony by letting the friends and family know the reasons why you have decided to renew your vows.
You may wish to include a reading or two that summarise your feelings about your relationship, your marriage and each other as committed life partners.
At some point, you will say your vows to each other. This is the core of your renewal of vows ceremony.
Would they be more traditional or less formal? There’s room for lots of humour if that is your preference. A renewal of vows allows you to come to this point with much deeper understanding and love of each other than you had when you first said your wedding vows, so your renewal of vows ceremony will be richer for the fact that there’s now so much more wisdom and experience, as a married couple, that you can draw upon.
(I have included a link to some great examples of wedding vows for renewals you could gain inspiration from and a link to some nice readings.)
Finally, after saying your vows to each other, you may wish to open it up to members of your family or close friends to say some warm words about you on this happy occasion or engage with your guests by getting them to say an affirmation of support for you both as you head into the next phase your married life.
Your ceremony would typically close with some nice words about the importance of what has just taken place, and best wishes for continued happiness in your marriage.
As your celebrant I can deliver a ceremony I am confident you will love. We can work on the vows together and make them unique and special. We can think of different songs, reading and poems and I can involve the guests in the ceremony as well by asking them to show their support for you and your future together.
If you require any further information on renewing your wedding vows, please do not hesitate to contact me.