A renewal of vows ceremony is something that we have all heard of…but why do people do it, and when do they do it?
Reasons people may think about renewing are things like milestones ie 5, 10, 20, 25 years etc, the first wedding didn’t go according to plan, was done on the cheap, something more elaborate is wanted, you eloped the first time round, it seems romantic or maybe something darker, you have had some troubled times. These all seem valid, legitimate reasons to want to reaffirm your vows to each other. There are, of course, other reasons cited that don’t seem quite so legitimate, such as to throw a party, to wear my wedding dress again, to get presents or our original wedding photos haven’t stood the test of time! Each to their own but surely a renewal should be about making promises to each other and not what you wear or who comes to the party?
Whatever the reason renewals are on the rise and divorce is on the decline, in fact, the 10 year renewal seems to be quite the thing at the moment. After all loving someone for a year or so is easy…still loving them 10 years in is, in my opinion, quite an achievement! This is where it gets very personal as I approach my 10th year of marriage, my husband and I have spoken about this and agreed this seems the right time for us. Our reasons are, of course, personal to us but how we do it is up for discussion. The ways in which you can renewal are endless. This is because this is not a legal process and renewals are usually carried out by a Celebrant. I would imagine if you had a huge white wedding you may want a more intimate renewal and vice versa. This is certainly our experience as Celebrants. Couples often opt for something intimate and focus on the content of their ceremony rather than the “froth” usually accompanying a wedding.
We have seen renewals in gardens, stately homes, hotels and even on boats. The possibilities really are only limited by couples themselves as they rule things in or out.
Couples will often want to write their vows the second time around and maybe incorporate some or all of those from their wedding. Celebrants are very good at crafting renewal ceremonies and helping couples to write their own vows to ensure that they reflect where they are now as a couple.
A renewal of vows should be all about what you want as a couple and you shouldn’t have to justify that to anyone. Have a party, wear a beautiful dress, write your own heartfelt vows, have just your close family there, do it in your garden in your flip flops but the biggest no no seems to be…don’t expect any presents. Now that is really not the done thing!