Many couples today are choosing to renew their wedding vows again as a re-affirmation of their love and commitment for each other. Saying “I Still Do” after you’ve been married for a while is a great way to emphasise and affirm your relationship values.
A renewal of vows is not a legally binding ceremony, so in many ways, you have more leeway in what you might want to include in your ceremony and how you want to celebrate it. The ability to focus on including only what is meaningful to both of you means that for many couples, a renewal of vows is often a more powerful statement of the significance of your love for each other than your original wedding might have been.
When to Renew Your Vows
You can renew your vows any time after your wedding. Here are some of the most common occasions that couples plan for.
You are Celebrating a Special Anniversary
Many couples choose to renew their vows as part of a special anniversary. 5th, 10th, 25th and 50th wedding anniversaries are often a great time to bring together friends and family and to re-affirm your vows as part of the celebration.
You were Married Overseas
Perhaps you were married in a different country and never had a chance to include friends, relatives and family in your home country. You might then choose to hold a second celebration once you get home and renew your vows again.
You have Passed a Difficult Time Together
If your relationship has survived a difficult test, or issues related to your children or family members have meant a time of stress for your family, you might choose to renew your vows as a commitment to start afresh and a statement of your hopes for the future.
You never had a Religious Wedding
You might have had a civil marriage ceremony and never had a religious service. Renewing your vows could allow you to include a spiritual commitment to each other.
Great Ideas to Include
The fact that this is not a “traditional” wedding ceremony means that you can skip things like a gift registry, bridal shower, bachelor/bachelorette parties and a big procession with bridesmaids and groomsmen.
Instead, focus on each other and personalise the event as much as possible. Here are some great ideas which you might want to include.
Write Your Own Vows
Spend some time to write new vows to each other. Now that you’ve been married for some time, you can include more concrete promises and vows to each other. If you have children, include them in the vows you write. You can promise to love, care for and cherish your children as well as your spouse in your new vows to each other.
Re-dedicate Your Wedding Rings
Have your wedding rings blessed or re-dedicated at the ceremony. Putting them on each other will cement the new vows which you have made to each other.
Include Your Children
Having your children there as a part of your ceremony is particularly poignant and meaningful since the represent the best of both of you and your union together. If you have grandchildren, it will be even more meaningful. Have your children or grandchildren play roles such as ring bearer or assist in officiating your vows together.
Give Your Guests a Voice
Have another couple or family member approach your guests to ask them to prepare best wishes for you and your spouse. Have an “open” event after the ceremony to allow your guests share their thoughts and wishes for you.
Light a Candle
Light a candle to remember any loved ones who are no longer with you and to include them on this special occasion. You can also include lighting candles to represent your hopes for the future as part of the ceremony too.