OK, I’m think Vow Renewals are a delight. But why, actually, should anyone even consider renewing their vows?
Well, I’m a civil celebrant, so I have to conduct them and happen to love them. However, that response may not help you if you’re seeking justification!
I therefore suggest these (hopefully, more compelling!) reasons.
Why renew vows?
34% of marriages end in divorce and 33% of them end before 10 years, so there’s every reason to celebrate staying together. People often look at 10, 15, or other multiples of 5 years as good times to celebrate.
You don’t need to renew your marriage just because there’s a five or zero at the end of your anniversary. Renewing your vows can mark significant moments in your lives. These could be the birth of a baby, or coming out the other side of a difficult marital patch or illness. Maybe family and friends missed the original wedding because it took place abroad.
What is a Vow Renewal ceremony?
Of course, the ceremony is a public declaration of love between two people. It can be in front of 200 people, or it can be a tiny, informal affair for just a handful of guests. The venue can be virtually anywhere and you have total control over how big – or small – any reception may be.
The Vow Renewal ceremonies I conduct tend to be modest, but very beautiful. There may be religious content or not, or a mixture. When putting the ceremony together, I suggest readings and poems (and, where required, prayers) that are spiritual, meaningful and memorable. All are subject to the clients’ wishes.
A focal point is usually the vows themselves. These can be written by the couple, and are often very moving. I always offer guidance on writing these, as many people find the prospect daunting. If they prefer it, I can suggest vows for them.
Quite often, people want their rings blessed, which is another moving part of the ceremony.
You’ll need to consider the following when planning your Vow Renewal:
- Venue: you don’t need to be restricted (except by budget and legality!). So you can have the ceremony in your garden, at the top of the London Eye, in a luxurious hotel, in a park or on a bridge. Or maybe at the place where you originally tied the knot.
- Invitations: you can invite whoever you want to participate in the ceremony. Maybe you have children – why not ask them to take part? The size of the guest-list is entirely down to you.
- Dress: again, up to you (although make sure you communicate your preferences to your celebrant and guests, to avoid potential embarrassment!)
- Music: you may want to use the music that you heard at your wedding; you may want a relative (preferably with a great voice!) to do a solo; you may want to play a tune that means something very special to you both; you may want nothing – again, the choice is all yours.
- Photographer: you’ll want to capture the moment for posterity, so give some thought to hiring a good photographer (see my dedicated blog )
- Catering: even if you’re having a modest ceremony, some champagne (or equivalent) and a snack go will down well afterwards.
- Other possibilities, like a reception, may be taken into consideration too.
The Beauty of Freedom
The joy of renewing your vows is that you have such freedom to arrange the ceremony as you want. You can tell the world that you love your spouse and your spouse loves you. You don’t have to wait fifty years – you can do it when you’re ready. You can spend as much or as little as you want. You can involve whoever you want. It’s such a happy event.
I hope I’ve managed to convince you!
I would love to help you. Just phone or e-mail me.