Mar 1, 2022
Civil celebrant and couple at a Vow Renewal

What? A Vow renewal? Surely not?!

Although demand has levelled off a bit since COVID, things are becoming a bit more ‘normal’. I have noticed increased interest in Vow Renewals, but the same questions tend to come up. I hope my answers can be useful.

Does a Vow renewal have to take place on the anniversary?

Of course, it’s nice to mark the anniversary on the exact date, but there’s no compulsion. In my experience, people aim for the same week or even month, but I’d gladly celebrate an occasion for my clients whatever the date.

What does a Vow Renewal consist of?

Unlike the wedding ceremony, a Vow Renewal requires no legal paperwork, and there are no obligatory elements. You may wish to include certain rituals (lighting a Unity Candle, for example, or including family members as participants), but there is no set formula. You really can have the ceremony that you want, and your celebrant will be happy to advise and guide you.

Where should a Vow renewal take place?

Again, there is no obligation as regards the venue. You can hold the ceremony by the side of your favourite canal, or in your back garden. You can hire a hotel or manor house. It’s entirely up to you.

Why bother with a Vow Renewal?

There are numerous reasons to celebrate the occasion.

Your anniversary year may end in a 5 or 0.

You may want to proclaim your mutual love publicly.

Things may have changed since your marriage (eg your vows), and you’d like to update the position.

Your family may have altered (children?) and you’d like a ceremony to reflect that.

You simply want a big celebration!

How does it work?

You would organise the event like any life-cycle occasion. So you’d need to settle on a venue, send out invitations, possibly arrange catering, and the like. For the ceremony you may well want a civil celebrant, who can help you to put together a fantastic ceremony that’s perfect for you, and who will conduct it memorably.

So don’t delay! Speak to your favoured civil celebrant and arrange something that everybody will love. We all need a bit of cheering up, and this is a very good way to do it!

photo: mckinley_rodgers.com