At Young Hip & Married, we typically officiate weddings for couples getting married to each other for the first time. But what about for couples who want to recommit to one another after years of marriage? In today’s blog post we’re talking all about vow renewals, whether you should renew your vows or not, and what to include in your renewing vows ceremony!
What is a vow renewal?
First things first: What is a vow renewal? A vow renewal is a recommitment ceremony between a couple that is already married. While no formal paperwork is signed, renewing your vows can feel like a regular wedding ceremony complete with outfits, guests and, most importantly, personal vows. Of course, it can also be much more casual and intimate, just like any first time wedding!
When should you renew your vows?
Luckily, wedding vows don’t expire! So there’s no specific time when you need to renew your vows. Some couples choose to renew their vows every year on their wedding anniversary, some wait until they’ve been married for 20+ years and others choose not to renew their vows at all.
Some couples choose to plan their vow renewal ceremony for a special milestone, such as their 10th anniversary or the year they both turn 50. Others will use it to renew their commitment after a rough patch or life transition, such as after one partner has a health scare or once they’re empty nesters. And some couples choose to renew their vows whenever certain conditions are met, like anytime they travel to a new continent or when their team wins the Stanley Cup.
At the end of the day, your vow renewal should be born out of your desire to recommit to one another, not a set-in-stone date on the calendar. As long as you both want to rededicate yourselves to your marriage, go ahead and renew those vows!
3 reasons to renew your vows
We’re big fans of weddings, love and any excuse to renew your commitment to one another. Here are 3 reasons to renew your vows:
- You get to refocus on your relationship. For many couples, their relationship takes a backseat after years of busy careers, raising kids, moving across the country, etc. A vow renewal gives you a great opportunity to refocus on what really matters: your marriage!
- You get to make new promises and renew old ones. If you got married five, ten, twenty or more years ago, the vows you promised may feel a little old – if you can even remember them! When you renew your vows, you’re recommitting to your partnership and updating your promises to reflect what life looks like now.
- You get to party! What better reason to party than as a celebration of love? Your vow renewal ceremony is an amazing chance to reconnect with family and friends, wear a special outfit, plan an awesome party and dance the night away. Plus, you can go on a second honeymoon!
What to include in a wedding vow renewal
The wonderful thing about planning a wedding vow renewal is that it’s truly up to you. Since this type of ceremony isn’t traditional, you can totally run with it and make it your own. Some couples choose to go big, throwing an event that looks exactly like a wedding, minus the legal paperwork. And others choose to do something completely different from their original wedding day.
The important thing is that your wedding vow renewal is grounded in recommitting yourself to one another. Your partnership and lasting love should be at the basis of every decision you make. The celebration you plan should reflect both of you and what’s important to you at this stage of life.
Ideas for renewing your wedding vows
While renewing wedding vows will look different for every couple, here are a few ideas you may want to incorporate in your vow renewal:
- Write personal vows. Of course, we think every renewal of vows should centre on your vows. Take the time to write personal, meaningful vows. (Need help? Check out our vow writing course!)
- Throw out the dress code. If you felt forced into a big white dress or stuffy black tux on your wedding day, your vow renewal is the perfect time to change things up. Wear the outfit of your dreams whether that includes a fabulous feathered cape, bedazzled jean jacket or bright red cowboy boots!
- Include your family. If your family has changed and grown since the last time you said vows to your spouse, why not include your new family members in your vow renewing? You can recite a family or community vow to include your closest loved ones in your special day.
- Think outside the box. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your wedding vow renewal. Maybe you want to renew your vows during a helicopter elopement, on a gondola in Italy or at the top of a ferris wheel!
- Skip the wedding traditions that don’t resonate with you. Since a vow renewal isn’t traditional, you don’t have to keep any wedding traditions you don’t love. Feel free to throw out the bouquet toss, ring exchange, cake cutting or anything else you don’t want!
Should you have a wedding officiant at your renewing vows ceremony?
While you won’t need a wedding officiant for your vow renewal to take care of any legal paperwork, it can still be super worthwhile to hire an officiant for your vow renewal ceremony. Wedding officiants don’t just take care of the official paperwork. They write custom ceremonies, facilitate readings and speeches, manage guests and so much more (find out more about what wedding officiants really do!).
If you’re planning a vow renewal, it’s because you believe in the power of marriage. You are taking the time and effort to recommit yourself to your partner in a meaningful way. And the best way to ensure that your vow renewal is a beautiful, lasting memory is to have an experienced wedding officiant lead the ceremony.
Your wedding officiant will work with you to create the vow renewal ceremony of your dreams – one that will have all of your guests laughing, tearing up and saying to each other, “Wow, those two are so in love!”