Some mistakenly envision a vow renewal as an intricate reason to throw a party, but this milestone moment is so much more than that. Motivations for a vow renewal are vast, but the outcome is the same—a wonderful day that focuses on the love between two people. From songs to rings, your vow renewal ceremony can be as simple or extravagant as you like—after all, it should be a day all about the two of you and your love.
When to Renew
Choosing to renew your vows is based on individual experiences, and very personal to the couple in question, so the timeline can vary immensely. Sometimes a renewal comes when a couple has recommitted to each other after a rough patch in their marriage; other times, it’s many happy years down the road and used to reaffirm the strong love that has grown and blossomed since their original wedding day.
What Should You Wear?
Renewal ceremonies tend to be more casual affairs, so a sundress and bare feet might fit the occasion perfectly. However, if you’re planning a vow renewal because your original wedding day wasn’t the dream occasion you’d always wanted, don’t be shy about wearing a wedding dress. You also have your pick of vow renewal dresses, so pick what fits your style and rock it—this day is all about your preferences, no one else’s.
Writing Your Vows
Will you again recite your original vows? Most couples find that they need to add on; years together highlight the different ways love and life can affect a relationship, and this should be reflected in your words to each other. If you still have a copy of the words you said to each other on your first trip down the aisle, take them individually and make addendums or alterations as you see fit. This will make your ceremony much more meaningful and your words will become the perfect tribute to your marriage up until this point.
Who Should You Invite?
Some choose to invite all of their family members and friends to this joyous occasion, but other couples consider a renewal to be more of a private experience. As always, the more people you invite, the more expensive the day will be. If you have children, ensure they are in attendance, as this is a monumental day not just for the two of you, but for your entire family.
New Rings or Old?
Couples sometimes choose to purchase new rings for their vow renewal, but others choose to exchange the same wedding rings for the second time—it’s completely up to you. If you’re looking at your vow renewal as a way to start over, than it’s a wonderful idea to start fresh, and that includes rings. You can take a look at inexpensive moissanite engagement rings, add a band to your existing ring, or choose to forgo rings altogether. Consider your budget and your reasoning for new rings before heading out to purchase.
Presence Not Presents
If you do choose to invite loved ones to your vow renewal ceremony, keep in mind that etiquette for this occasion is much different than it would have been back on your wedding day. Don’t expect presents from guests—that means a wedding registry is a definite no-no. If you have family or friend who truly want to share in your joy, ask them to give something to your preferred charitable organization. Your renewal should focus on the two of you, and while it is a wonderful event to exult, don’t let celebration planning get in the way of the true reason for the day.
If you and your spouse are considering a vow renewal ceremony, sit down and discuss what you want the day to be about. Whether it’s a private affair or a full blown family-and-friends celebration, the second time around is a chance to truly focus on each other. Reflect on all the things you’ve been through together: good times, bad times, moments that helped you reaffirm your love. There’s never a bad time or reason to celebrate love, and renewing your vows could be the perfect homage to your life together so far.