Why have a Vow Renewal?

Apr 24, 2018
vow renewal ceremony with civil celebrant

You know how conversations go in unexpected directions? I thought an acquaintance of mine had merely been on holiday. Actually, she had gone on a cruise. While at sea, the captain  performed a lovely vow renewal ceremony, for herself and her husband.

Why hadn’t she thought of using me?! I had to forgive her because she wasn’t aware that I could have conducted such a ceremony. (Mea culpa …)

I wonder if the smart naval uniform might have had something to do with it too?!

I asked what had made them opt for the ceremony. They were celebrating 13 years together, and renewing their vows “just seemed like a good idea at the time”.  And why not?

Not quite the naval uniform, though …!


So why bother renewing your vows?

  • You may, like my acquaintance,  be in a secure relationship, and want to mark it publicly.
  • Perhaps you want to celebrate an unorthodox number (such as a 13th anniversary); commemorating a significant milestone (ending in a 5 or 0) makes sense too.
  • You may originally have eloped or had a small wedding, and would now like to share your delight with your friends/family.
  • Maybe your wedding didn’t meet expectations for some reason (poor weather, an argument, disappointing service) and you want to make up for it.
  • You’ve come through a rough time (infidelity, illness, financial difficulties) and want to affirm to the world that you are sticking by (and with) each other.
  • You want to strengthen your relationship by a public reaffirmation.

What you won’t need

Because a vow renewal is not a wedding, you won’t have to worry about any of these:

  • Rings
  • Hen party/stag do
  • Wedding list (no, come on, you don’t need any more presents!)
  • Stuffy rituals (you can organise what you want, if you have a civil celebrant)
  • Venue (you can do this almost anywhere)
  • A reception (unless you choose otherwise)


Organising a vow renewal is simple enough.All you have to do is fix a time, place and a date, invite some friends and choose an officiant – oh, and look forward to a wonderful, meaningful day!