Featured Image by Blane Marable
Renewing vows is, in the most simple terms, a way to celebrate your marriage. Whether you’ve been together 50 years or two, renewing your vows is a way to declare your love to the world for a second time, or even a third or fourth.
So how soon can you renew your vows after the wedding? It could be the very next day or on your 30th wedding anniversary. Whether you choose to renew after a few decades or on every wedding anniversary, renewing vows can be a wonderful way to celebrate your love.
For vow renewal, it can be difficult to decide who should host the event. Often, couples host their own vows, but another popular choice is to have your children do the honors. Choosing the original maid of honor or another bridal party member is a great way to bring your original ceremony into your renewal.
The beautiful part about vow renewal is that it can happen anywhere. In a house of worship, a beach, mountainside, garden or park any location can be a perfect choice. Having trouble deciding what the perfect location is? Pick somewhere sentimental from your time together.
A vow renewal ceremony is not legally binding like a wedding, anyone can officiate. You can take the traditional route with a clergyperson or choose a child, relative or friend.
How many people should you invite? Vow renewals can range from intimate gatherings with close family and friends to a big party for your whole circle of friends.
So how exactly do you invite guests? Don’t worry, the invitation is very similar to a normal wedding invitation, just don’t include the names of the hosts at the top. It should read something like “The honor of your presence is requested at the reaffirmation (or renewal) of the wedding vows of Mr. and Ms. ___.”
The next step is attire. You can wear whatever you want at a vow renewal, even your original wedding dress or opt for more simple cocktail attire. You can wear a veil, or a more simple hat or flowers in your hair.
The groom can wear his wedding tux as well with an updated tie or vest or dress down with some slacks and a jacket.
Is there a wedding party for vow renewals? Not usually, though you can have your best man and maid of honor stand by you. Having your children or grandchildren walk down the aisle with you or perform a reading to include them in the ceremony.
Your children can even walk you down the aisle. If you don’t want to have anyone walk you down the aisle, walk together as a couple!
So what actually happens at the vow renewal? You’ll exchange new vows, recalling what you said at your wedding and how your relationship has changed through the years. After reciting vows, you will exchange rings, these can be the original bands with new engravings or new rings. Just like a normal ceremony, you can choose to play special music or have your children do a reading.
Now that the ceremony is over, should there be a reception? Of course, a vow renewal reception can be as grand as the original wedding reception, or a casual backyard barbeque. One great addition to a renewal reception is to toast to friends and family who have contributed to your marriage over the years.
Do you register for a vow renewal? Skip the gifts, showers and anything like that. This is an intimate affair, not a drawn-out festivity. If guests insist on gifts, have them donate to a charity of your choosing instead.
Remember a vow renewal is often a more intimate affair than a wedding and it can be a wonderful opportunity to celebrate your love as a couple and affirm your vows even as your relationship has changed over the years.
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