Why would you want to renew your wedding vows?
We are all different and we have our own reasons for renewing our vows. In England there are no legal implications or constraints - you can say or do whatever you want to do (within reason)!
To renew your wedding vows is a very symbolic expression of your ongoing love and commitment to each other but it also gives you the chance to either share new vows which are appropriate for you now or re-create the vows you made on your wedding day - reminding yourselves and your witnesses what you said before and that you still mean it - (That of course assumes you remember the vows you said the first time round!)
It may be an intimate experience - just the two of you and a celebrant to officiate over the ceremony, it may be a public commitment of your love with close family and friends or it might be a massive event with many guests and a huge party afterwards. Just like your marriage and your wedding - do it your way!
You can renew your vows on a stunning mountain top, at the beach at sunset, in an atmospheric woodland glade or in your family garden; alternatively you could have a funky ceremony in a fifties diner, at the beginning of a family party (when no-one else is expecting it to happen), have the wedding day you would have loved the first time round or combine it with your child's naming ceremony in a smart hotel.
Whatever you choose to say to each other and wherever you choose to say it, what are your main reasons to want to renew your vows?:
1. Celebrate longevity of your marriage
Especially if you have made it to 2, 5, 10, 25 or 50 years together. These can be significant milestones especially if your contemporaries have not managed to reach these milestones and have ended in divorce. You have every reason to celebrate your longevity as a married couple (as every marriage inevitably has its ups and downs - marriage is not always easy). Working together and celebrating that partnership over a number of years is every reason to publicly confirm your love and respect for each other and remind each other of the promises you want to make to each other.
2. Reaffirm your commitment to each other
After a difficult period in your relationship, such as poor health, addictions, bereavement, infidelity, financial strains you may have had all sorts of pressures and strains on your marriage. It may have meant that you have had to work even harder to make it succeed - LOVE may be the one thing that has got you through these difficult times so renewing your vows is a very public way of showing your ongoing love and determination to make your marriage work.
3. Include your family in your celebration
Some couples want to include family members such as their children in a celebration - especially if they couldn't attend the original wedding or had not even been born at the time of the first ceremony! It can be a celebration of the beautiful family you have created from your union, as much as your marriage itself. Exchanging vows can be an expression of unity for you and your family.
4. Have the celebration you can now afford
You may now be able to afford a ceremony and party that was just not possible the first time round! Some weddings are created on a real shoestring especially when you are at the start of your adult life - Love and enthusiasm was all you owned back in the day - now, years down the line, you may be able to afford to splash out a bit more and celebrate with your nearest and dearest with plenty of fizz, a special meal and a shindig.
It could be a wonderful surprise - set up by one of the couple to express their love and ongoing commitment to their partner for life. What an incredible way to publicly show your love to your partner.
6. Make special memories
One or both of you could be experiencing health conditions which could be life limiting or life shortening. You want to make memories, you want to celebrate your marriage and the life you have created. What better way to mark these achievements than to have a vow renewal and be surrounded by the most important people in your life?
A vow renewal is an incredible way of sharing special words, it is a way of renewing your commitment to each other and confirming your love (let’s face it - life runs at a million miles an hour and sometimes we just forget to slow things down and say ‘I love you’)
Vow renewals give us a chance to also create visual memories - special photos to go with those special words.
Celebrate your relationship, Celebrate what you have achieved in life and Celebrate love.
My name is Justine and I’m a Civil Celebrant in Kent. Message me at firstname.lastname@example.org or use my contact page for more details about my services and celebrations of love, marriage and life in the South East and further afield.